Monday, March 30, 2009

Stuff My Kids Gave Me and Other Spiritual Practices

Stuff My Kids Gave Me This Morning, 3/31/09

In a post on Spiritual Practices for Hope in Uncertain Time, Magpie Girl talks about walking in the dark, about riding out the wave in writing and about breathing true things. All beautiful practices. Go there to hear what she has to say. At the end of her post, she asked a question. "What spiritual practices do you have to nurture hope in times of uncertainty? "

That got me to thinking about what I do when money is tight and there isn't any on the horizon, and the only thing that keeps you going is hope. You've just got to believe. How do you keep the faith? Now, I'm not religious, although I know people turn to religion for that hope. Me, I have to turn to the little things. The beautiful things, the point of it all.

That's what this blog is supposed to be about. Little things. Inspiration. Cheap and/or free things, so I thought this is the place for me to share a little bit of what I've learned, not just the cool things I see on the web while going about.

So these are the things I have done in uncertain times.

I have kept a list of at least three things a day that made me happy. Sometimes it was tough to make my quota, Sometimes my happy file floweth over.

I have taken a picture a day. Often many more than one. There are beautiful things out there if you look for them. They turn up everywhere.

Lately I am starting to draw a sketch from life once a day… or maybe not even once, maybe just every once in a while. When you pay attention to the line of a grape stem, you start seeing the wonder all around you. I think it also helps to take up a project so you feel like you are growing as a person and being productive, even if other things aren't going so well. It could be the photography or it could be learning to play guitar or cooking vegan, or growing a window garden.

Also, my kids keep giving me stuff they find, rocks, berries, twigs… I think I’d like to collect these things somehow, a record of them. Perhaps a photo of them, laid out on a piece of paper. (Oh, hey, it's already done! Inspired by this post, and this post. See, this blog really is my inspiration file. Just stick around and see what else I create based on what I find here. :)

Also, have picnics. Take walks. Window shop. Stop and listen when someone is playing music in a public place. Sing. Dance. Spin with a child. People watch. Go barefoot. Have long heartfelt conversations. Have sex. Stand in the rain… take advantage of all the free sensual and spiritual pleasures in life.

Life is still good, even when it sucks.

Keep the conversation going. What are the things you do to keep hope in tough times?

Beth Hannon Fuller

"Making art and ignoring the dishes since 1994" Now that's a blogger I can get with. Beth Hannon Fuller has 3 kids... little ones, and does a painting a day. I mean, I don't know if she does one EVERY day, maybe it's 5 out of 7 days a week, like me. But how cute is that studio/workspace of hers? And how cute are her pieces? Go check out her etsy shop. She has originals and prints for very reasonable prices.
Love this blueberry collage with the little stem over the map.
and I am really attracted lately to anything that resembles a lollipop. I'm doing trees shaped like these olives. Ivy calls them "popsiple" trees and makes me draw them all over the place.

found via paper n stitch blog. she's the featured seller.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Kendra Baird

How lovely is the work of Kendra Baird? I love the stylization of the figures/foreground against the textured and painterly backgrounds. I like it when the painting fools with the fourth wall and reminds you that this is not real, not a window you are looking through into another world, but an actual painting, made by someone's hand.
I think this one is my favorite. Love the girl in blue, and shadowy, foresty paint splattered canvas. Oh wait, there's more.She's called "Dissappointment"

found via scoutiegirl.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Let's Talk Purple and Such

Oh so pretty, found through sfgirlbybay. She has lots of purple there, but this one is my favorite.

Love this living room. Anything with lilacs gets my heart, but also, I love that black chair... although I don't usually like black leather furniture... too oppressive. But this one looks good. Maybe because it's a small chair. I like the patterned rug. I like the piles of books. That's another thing I find calls me. Books. A room needs books in order for it to feel finished. At least for me. I also like the art. A room needs art. And strangely, I really like that radiator. I know everyone wants to hide them, but maybe radiators are nostalgic for me, growing up in NYC. Or maybe I like the graphic pattern. The stripeyness. The industrial feel.

Now let's talk about purple. I really like purple and have found it is great on walls. I used a darker shade than this in my living room once, Benjamin Moore Tropical Dusk. And my kids had a lighter shade from the same paint chip in their nursery. That was an amazing color. So warm and light and fresh. Not girlie at all. I wish I could remember the name of it.

The best thing about those shades of purple were that they were not that purple. They were muted and had a great deal of gray in them. Like shadows. I would definitely use that paintchip again. Maybe not as dark as Tropical Dusk, because that has to fill a need, but that light color was wonderful. Not as pink or as bright as the picture here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What a Dreamy Room!

Vineeta's done it again. Found something to match my inner vision I didn't know I had until she put it on her blog. Thanks Vineeta.

I love this room. I love the white draped couch (on a side note, I saw a gorgeous white bedspread at the thrift store, but before I could get there, someone else picked it up and examined it. I hovered about hoping she would move on, but maybe I hovered too close and she took it!) I love the collage of pictures. I love the ivy crawling up the wall and the wide windows. I like the spots of red. And I'm not usually a fan of carpeting, but that floor looks so cozy with all the pillows.

Anyway, I would love to live there, even if the room is a bit girly so I'd probably have to limit it to my studio. That's okay. I could handle that.

Image from Debi Treloar Photography

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hi! This is Me.

After I cobbled together a dohickey made out of a cereal box so that I could take my through the viewfinder pictures on thisthe Duraflex II I got at a great estate sale a few months ago.

It's a lot less pretty now that it's got cardboard duct taped to it, but it works better for taking fun photo shots.

Hey, now that I look at it, some kid of mine has lost the knob on the crank. Grrr.

But I'm impressed with the picture I took. So, I guess I don't need the crank. I don't even think the camera works in its original state.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Really? Oh My. I Had No Idea.

Directed by Spike Jonze and written by Dave Eggers?

Can I find wolf suits for my littles before this comes out on October 16th?


Oh, well, see, I loved these pictures and this dress so much I was going to post about them anyway before I found out they were a giveaway. I love the fantasy world, make believe, story book setting. The dress is fantabulous.

How fun would it be to set up a pirate background and have a kid photo shoot in costume? Well, she talks about a green screen, and that just ain't gonna happen for me. I'm the kinda gal who makes things out of paint and cardboard and newspapers. Computers mean I spend a week pulling my hair out trying to figure the some'in some'in out.

Still, I like the idea of a photo shoot. I have some giant cats... a leopard and a black panther... we could start with that. And goodness, our back yard looks like a jungle anyway. Now I need some explorer outfits. If I won this Modern Pirate Frock we could start there. One down, one to go.

Modern Pirate Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Garden by Mae Bruncken



I want to go to there.

Actually, I am blessed to have a garden that looks like it was carved out of a jungle, so I could do this. Switch the plastic chairs out for wicker (wicker? in steamy, rainy Florida...uh, yeah, that won't work.)

Nestle a bench and cushions and coffee table in a nook off the winding pathways.

My best interpretation (in my head) of this, would be to hang little glass candle holders from the trees.

Hm. How to keep the rain out of them? I guess they would need little roofs. Okay, not as quick and cheap a transformation as I thought. No little mason jars on wire hangers.

But still doable. I'll just put it on the end of my long To Do list.

Now, I can't open up Mae Brunken's site on my ancient computer, so you'll just have to go through Decorated Life's blog. That's okay, she's real cool. I'm sure she won't mind you traipsing through her rooms.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Misty Mawn

Misty Mawn got my attention with these. I love the imagery and I love the paint treatment. I suppose it's no mystery that I would like these, there are definite parallels between my own work. I also love the title of the post. "art, it's good for you." I love the writing on this one, and the little house sketched in there. I love little houses.

Bring on the Spring. I think everyone is ready.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Paper Crane Frock

I imagine I would be like my paintings in this dress. I would be dancing on the tip of my toes, ready to take flight.

It's already Spring in Florida. And you know it's going to get hothothot. What better way to be coolcoolcool than in a romantically simple white cotton dress?

Paper Crane Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Such pretty details found on Offbeat Bride. I love the wheat grass crates and the mason jars and the long family style tables draped with white fabric. And I would add martha stewart tissue poofs and pretty triangle banners and polka dot streamers and balloons, all in shades of rose and apricot and yellow.

uh oh.

Looks like someone's getting a little detail happy.

Must be like Coco Chanel, who said something along the lines of get yourself all dressed up and then take three things off.

I think it's a good practice in all things... fashion, decorating, makeup, scheduling, writing... do what you want, but learn to edit, and get back down to the simpler version, which might actually be truer to your vision.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Hidden Seed by Elsita

The lovely Elsita has started a new blog about style called The Hidden Seed. Yay Elsita, I have always loved your art, and the peeks of fashion you show are just as exciting.

How awesome is this pretty gray dress with wide legged pants? And the yellow/gold slouchy beret? Gots to get me one of those. Have to say I am not crazy about the heels... but then I don't live in LA married to a Hollywood producer. I go for flip flops or ballet slippers or flat boots, that go so much better with my lifestyle that is so not glamorous.

I mean, I have never been to the Oscars.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Work Outfit

Here's me in my new apron. Well, old apron. I found it in a high cupboard when I was looking for the juicer to make grapefruit juice (the dark leaf at the top of the picture is from the grapefruit tree).

This apron used to be my grandfather's. I like that. It's mine now. Here's a detail. Look at the rick rack and the embroidered flowers. It's made out of a heavy cotton and the ties are adjustable. And the colors are just my colors. I'm a total winter.

I've needed this apron, because I have been working HARD.

I've been cooking and tending kids and fending off sticky peanut butter fingers and painting and writing and BECOMING A BUSINESSWOMAN.

Yes, I've finally opened up my etsy shop. Stop by. I will be adding prints to it as time goes on and you never know what new flying person or dream will show up next.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Amanda Blake-- Sigh! So Lovely

she dressed her children in clothes made of night, painting by Amanda Blake

I love everything this woman does. Her awkward little personalities, the blockiness of it, the backgrounds, alternating between flat and patterned. Look at the little hatches in the yellow tree. I just love it. Reminds me of Aboriginal dream paintings. Oh, well, maybe that's another reason why I love it. Those paintings have enchanted me since I was in college.

I love the starlight here. I should, I do starlight like that often. Well, sorta. Doesn't matter. Still makes me swoon.

I love also the way she talks of being a mother and a painter. It just resonates.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dear Universe, How's About You Grant Me A Fantasy?

Look at this holy smackalicious loft/studio (from Loft Life Mag) in my old home of Williamsburg Brooklyn. Now I loved lots of things about Williamsburg, but my apartment was a little four room floor through with tilting floors and no sink in the kitchen... although it did get lovely light.

Love this kitchen dining area with raw wood and glass cabinets and that funky table.
Uhm, and the CEILINGS. I mean that's just a ridiculonkulous kind of dream, but we could still take elements. For one, the open plan/open space. The adaptation of the original construction into a home... hey this could be in a barn, as well as a converted loft space. I also like the little cluster of potted trees under the sky light. The brick walls are nice, but I've living with brick walls, and if you don't have a lot of light/space, they can get confining. Or cozy, depending on your point of view. I like the industrial feel, too. Not just of the space itself, but of the furniture and art studio.

Oh. There are the chairs. Green wicker. I like green wicker, but I think that table would also be nice with benches.

I also like the color scheme of whites and grays and raw wood browns with little pops of dusty green. Not fancy, but soothing and chic.

One question. Where are the books. This loft needs books.

Found via sfgirlbybay

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pretty Laundry Fantasies

A fabulous give away on Grosgrain. I love this dress, and think it would be just the thing to indulge my inner pretty dress lover. Don't you love that it's in a laundromat? She also has it with knee high riding boots. I have some old leather boots I'd definitely see pairing with it, though I'd probably wear it with leggings, a tank and ballet slippers, what with my little children always wanting me to blow bubbles and carry them up the stairs and sit on the floor with them.

I'm starting to dream fashiony dreams again. Starting to imagine new outfits... out of old clothes in new combinations, or with one or two new additions.

Hey! I just realized, the girl in the picture has almost my exact hair.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Red Velvet with Pink Cream Cheese Frosting and mini M&Ms. Balloon candles.

Happy 2nd Birthday Baby Girl.

Frantic Mama's shortcut? Duncan Hines cake mix. Had to get an interview written! Couldn't bake cupcakes from scratch. But I did make the frosting. 2 packages 8oz cream cheese and half a cup of butter (both room temp), 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 6 drops red food coloring. whip whip whip whip the fluff into it. The girl loves M&Ms so I used those to decorate.

She loved most of all everyone singing happy birthday to her. And her rockstar toy guitar.