Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Choo Choo....

While laying in the dark last night, having a small panic attack.
The Barren and I were going over the myriad of family events
we are attending these next two weeks.
We are attending a HUGE family dinner tonight where I see one of my SIL, the one who NEVER responds to gifts, or gestures for her children.
I am working on releasing that anger/hurt
Then this weekend we attend what would have been the birthday for The Barrens cousin, she passed away in November from a rare form of lung cancer. She never smoked a day in her life.
The celebration site is located about 10hours from our home, so it requires us driving all day, to spend a day and then drive home so we can be back to work on Monday.
Then another birthday weekend celebration that has us driving to another location, a ranch for a weekend, where we celebrate my aunts 70th birthday.
It is more like being sequestered, as we are required to stay, eat with and partake in all pre-planned activities. We are only given cryptic clues as to what clothes we are required to bring,
and what we will be doing.
Fun for some, but based on our history...it is a mixed bag.
Past family events have been mildly OK, with healthy dashes of bullying you into doing things you'd prefer not to and berating comments about your food preferences or lifestyle choices.
So a typical family vacation.
For reference, the last time the family did this, we now all refer to the weekend as "Hell Weekend"
The ranch has horses, and although I would like to ride, I broke my butt a week and a half ago falling on the roller rink...
really, I think I cracked my tailbone, I have all the signs according to Dr. Google.
So I foresee a small battle on this one, like buck up and stop whining and just get on the horse.

There is a family photo involved too, as the clothing list requires we all bring a white shirt and a pair of levis (jeans).
The Barren and I were laughing at this because neither of us has a plain white shirt!
I was telling him how it made me anxious to think of a huge family picture,
but then I calmed myself by thinking, well at least they are not using it on the side of a bus or something.
So, my level of embarrassment can be controlled in a way.
Then in reflection of this photo I said to him, "hey we are the like the caboose at the end of the train."
Maybe we should make shirts, or refer to ourselves all weekend as Mr and Mrs Caboose.
The end of the line!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Awkward Silence

image via tumblr
So I had coffee with my friend.
She is the one that I/we are working with on rebuilding
the great break from years of broken fixes.
I have been making GREAT efforts to make sure I am always keeping in touch
or suggesting we have a weekend meet and catchup
It has been several weekends since we've been able to meet.
All these past weekends I have either sent a text or seen her and mentioned what a crazy full time this was or how we should figure a good time to meet.
We finally had a chance so we took it this morning.
In all honesty I am still a little gun shy, I always suggest we meet at the corner coffee shop and it allows for a fixed amount of time to sit and chat...in a public place.
I know now, that I should focus the conversation on her for the first half, or two thirds and smile a lot
I love hearing what is happening with her children and so I try and constantly take mental notes.
As she seems to round the corner of shared events, I shift some of the conversation to myself...sort of.
I can really only share some stuff.
I have found it works best when I don't share how I feel about my body...
or my deep sadness of my SIL being pregnant again
or my extreme happiness about how I don't have my days TOTALLY monopolized by another persons schedule.
or how I am kind of hung over cause the Barren and I were out drinking all night
I can talk about my art, a little about my family, and what we are doing this coming week.
I have found that she tenses up when I mention other friends,
so I don't talk about them or name them.
It sounds really restrictive, but in a way it is very controlled.
As I age I have found there are friends and there are FRIENDS and sometimes we grow apart and change in ways that distance ourselves and then over time we can grow back towards one another.
But then there are silences in our conversations.
...and in my mind I am thinking
wow, my life is very different from yours and I can't relate.
It is a strange flip.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


I love to listen to Mahalia Jackson on Sunday, especially in the studio.
She makes me feel weepy and empowered,
strange combo but those are the closest words I can use to describe the way she moves me.
I feel like I can accomplish things and succeed.
I am still on a printing frenzy, I am taking it as a sign that I am working things out...in some way
I am very superstitious as you know, so I hesitate admitting this.
I am relaxing my timeline and expectations more and so far it seems to be working.
I wish you a happy Sunday, and hope sometime today you can find some peace with yourself
A smile, and a surprise
Let Mahalia sing into you...so sweet and inspiring

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Trying this and that

Me: What cha doing today mom?
Mom: I am just going to piddle around the house.
Me: Um, Mom do you know what piddle means? It means pee...
Mom: ha, No I am not doing that, I am just finding things to do around here.
Me: OK, I just wanted to clarify.
I am trying some advice on for size to see how it feels.
In my effort to be a better me, find my way in this crazy world and try and not let shit get to me.
Like, this last week. My SIL is looking really preggers now, plus she is a bit moody-tudy too.
Every time I sit and talk with other Artists and creatives I always ask how their day is framed.
It is a way to see how the day starts and the creative process creeps in.
Some have very structured schedules:
between 8 and 9 I do this,9 and noon that, etc...
Some start with house errands, or a list of deadlines...
Interesting enough, almost everyone I have spoken to that works from a home studio says
"I take the dogs for a walk and my day forms there"
Well, I don't have dogs, and I can fairly certainly tell you my cats are not big motivators for extreme walking...
"hey you, lady, come feed me so I can settle into a nap"
So this morning after feeding the cats and making sure their lives were attended to,
I went for a walk.
Just until I broke a sweat, and then I would head home.
(small steps, but with purpose)
I was out for about half an hour
I didn't get a lot of thinking done, just some ooh look at that shadow...it cleared my head for sure!
I am going to try it again
maybe incorporate it into my daily morning routine...
it will keep me away from morning news and over time I am sure it will kick start the
list/organizer thing in my head.
On my way home I swung by the local small coffee shop for a bagel
$2.25: for a bagel, un-toasted in a bag, no cream cheese
I am still figuring out her price matrix for that one...but I was able to snap-up the last "power bagel"
well, I think she only buys two...so I was lucky today.
I am currently printing...I am thankful for that.

Friday, March 22, 2013


It is Friday!
I met with a local painter yesterday...it is on my list of things to shake up!
Step two:
Get out and socialize, step out of your comfort zone

I know the painter I met with, in a casual sort of way.
You know when you are familiar with someone because you frequent their stall at farmers market, say hello and how do you do. The person you always seem to get at the coffee shop.
You know them but haven't had a meal with them kind of know.

She is someone like that.
She is amazingly talented, about 13yr my junior and making it as an artist and designer.
In all fairness she also knows me about as well too.
We are far more familiar with each others work then each other.

We agreed to meet at a coffeeshop in the town between my home and work...she told me the name,
 I knew the place and agreed.
I arrived a little early because I wanted to seem cool and relaxed by the time she arrived, and so I ordered a chai, opened my current list book (book I am making to-do lists in) and relaxed.

Taking in the scene:
Be cool, you are cool enough to be here
Boy, there are a lot of yoga people here, everyone looks like models
I don't feel so cool right now
That table is talking codes and meta links, I kind of know what they are saying
Hummm that one looks like Justin Timber...
ohh I know this song, I like this album.
OK I am cool enough again
I feel like I am looking for a blind date, looking up at everyone that enters this place...
focus on your list
Sipping chai...mmmm
Wow there are a lot of laptops in here
Ohhh check out that guys mood medallion, it is huge but not overly sooo
I should try their chocolate chai next time....
What time is it?
Then the text came :  looking forward to meeting with you today
I texted back I was waiting for her.
She said I am here where are you?
I, it turns out, was at the wrong coffee shop.
I was at the original location, she was at the newest.
I blew it!
I told her I would be there in a moment.
I gulped the top third of my chai, leaving the rest to be thrown down the drain and
my calm eroded as I walk/ran to the car three blocks away and drove to the correct location.
By the time I arrived, I was a half hour late!
Comfort zone shattered- check

I am never that late person, but today I was.
She was gracious and we ended up talking for an hour and a half.
I got to learn about her process and her other businesses, she has two others besides her painting.
It is funny to hear highly productive people say how they wish they were more organized or better at scheduling. We talked about personal goals, exchanged website inspiration and simply shared some time. We giggled with guilt at how unusual it feels to meet someone in the morning at a coffee shop, on a studio day and wondered if it fed the stereotype of what people think artists do all day.
We both then commiserated on how much work we actually do to get our work seen.
She had multiple client meetings so we visited as long as we could.
It was a good morning, didn't start out as calm as I had hoped but it ended that way.
I also know a little more about her making our next chat that much easier.

Things learned:
Triple check addresses of agreed meeting places
Be kind to yourself when things go wackadoodle, it isn't always bad
Try a chocolate chai, if you are gonna spend $5 on a drink make it a splurge
You are doing just fine...keep on keeping on

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I spent several days last week in the studio....after the monumental amount of rejections this year, I hatched a new plan/battle-cry to sit down, focus and not look up until I had blown the dust out of the corners and was making things again.
It didn't matter what I was making, as long as I was making!
I have let go of the list of goals for this year, and have started a new list.
Clearly, my first ideas were not right, so I am off to allow the correct ones to present themselves.
Step one:
I signed up for a figure drawing open studio class.
It is a two hour period, that I have access to a model, and can just sit and draw.
No teacher telling me if this or that is right or wrong.
Just me in a mind space of drawing and no judgement.
A gift of time to do or not do whatever comes to me.
I have been in figure drawing classes since I was in high school. A couple friends and I had special permission to leave school to take college drawing classes and then return to school for the rest of our classes. It was a great introduction to the freedom outside the high school walls and we felt far more mature than our classmates. After all we got to sit and draw naked people for credit.

Before heading into the lab, I texted a friend that I took classes with back in the day, telling her I was anxious about drawing...she sent back a text
" just like the ol' days, watch out for the crazy penises"
Let me explain:
When I had taken my first class, I had not seen a man naked up close before.
I was 16 or so and although my BF was adorable and ready to strip at a moments notice we never got
completely naked with each other.
Ahh the mechanics of high school love
So in one of the first classes, a male model sat down in front of me,
spread eagle and posed for an hour.
Some would say he was simply sitting....I think he was showing off.
I was taken aback and was acting as cool as I could.
Sharpening my pencil, looking for the right charcoal...looking at lines of the body...
but I could hear my friends giggle behind me and we were all trying our best to be
mellow and all copacetic with the scene, you know...
 OWN the fact that we were there for a reason and a purpose.
Well I drew, and as I got to his crotch his penis moved.
Not huge amounts like a sword battle, more like it rolled this way and then when I came back to that part of the drawing it had moved another bit...so I erased the first position and re-drew...well this went on for another half and hour.
Needless to say, by the end of the pose, it looked like something exploded in his crotch.
my poor drawing.
My instructor just smirked and said nothing.
I was mortified and vowed to never sit that close again...I never have.
Needless to say, that day created a reputation for myself amongst my peers and NOW we all joke about the penis with  the mind of its own.
I have a million figure drawing stories...that one just mostly set the bar for the next 25years
The figure model at my most recent class; she works at my local grocery store and spent a good portion of the time chatting while posing.
She had been stacking apples all day.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday

This article is hitting the internets today, and I am thankful someone in the fashion world
has their eyes open.
Although I think these models are FAR from Plus size, I am thankful that some stores are actually displaying them as options for shoppers.
I know I would feel a hell of a lot better about myself if I saw these instead of the
pre-puberty bodies often displayed:
image via: I am bored
HERE is the link to the article

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Road Block

I am currently trying to work through this "block",
working hard at it...and trying all my tricks.
Work around it
step aside
let it be there
Be sad
Be happy
eat everything in the house
drink tea
take a walk
deep breathing
but I am still trying to crack the right code....
I will keep trying, something has to work eventually:
via Twisted Sifter

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Beautiful Butterfly

OK so after crying in the coffee shop while talking with a friend...
I got to work in the studio and here I am up to my elbows in ink.
Working...struggling and recovering from a lot of emotion it appears.
My SIL announced via and ultrasound image on facepuke, I thought I was ok, but not really.
It hit me...it surprised me, but I am working through that...I got drunk last night to also celebrate the most rejection letters in a month I have ever gotten....quite a feat!
 I am at 75% of my submissions for the month.
I was awoken this am, by my bank texting me that my debit card was being used suspiciously...ironically they bought a bunch of anti-identity thief stuff online. sigh
All seems calm again...but really....I think I forgot my umbrella for the amount of shit that is flying right now. So I am hunkered down in the studio...pushing myself thru the sludge of stagnation and plan on rewarding myself by getting some plants to yardbomb the neighbor tonight.
Karma yoga...do for others.
So back to the press I go....and then onto the next thing and the thing after that.
I continue to move forward...moving, laughing at fear, anger and frustration.
you silly adjectives 
I will emerge from this a beautiful butterfly....or a funny looking moth.
Either way I will have wings!