Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Currently Obsessing

We'll call this one 'Currently Obsessing' in which I will share said current obsessions with you fine folks. Because I'm cool and I like cool stuff and you can be vicariously cool by liking the same cool stuff as me. Get it? Good.
I even made a pretty list!

I'm not trying to say I'm like some kind of fabulous trendsetter or anything (kidding! That's totally what I'm saying) but calling oneself a hipster in even the most tounge in cheek of ways indicates a certain confidence in ones coolness. Or maybe I'm just an asshole. I have not quite been able to acsertain that just yet. When I do I'll let you know, but in the meantime, I need to tell someone about all this interesting crap floating about my brain these days.

First up, currently listening to : Angel Olsen. I'm going to continue in bold because she is just that frickin amazing. I'm serious youtube that shit like right now. Here, I'll make it super easy for you.

I do have to admit one thing though. My husband found her first. Which makes him a little cooler than me, but that's okay. We're good for eachother like that.

The album is called Burn Your Fire For No Witness and Pitchfork gave it a crazy good review that says it way better than I can so click that link people! The song Enemy in particular just tears me apart in that perfectly painful way, that pain that is so beautiful because it's so fucking real. It's like (one of) the girls inside my head broke out and put music to all her unwritten poetry. I'm sorry if that makes no sense to you. Please, just listen.

The next two things on my list are colors. Because I'm random like that, bear with me. I plan on dressing pretty much exclusively in shades of white this spring. Well, white plus denim. While my hunt for the elusive perfect white tee shirt has thus far been unfruitful, I will continue my search and wear every iteration of said white shirt until I find it. I will find it, if only because that's all I'm going to wear and purchase. I'm nothing if not stubborn. Now, I'm sure some color will get thrown in there (it's going to be a big season for pastels, but I'm sure you already knew that) but I saw this one picture on Pintrest and I decided that white was it for me this spring.

Gold. I bought this amazing gold foil pen and I'm putting that shit on everything. Plus, this gold wishbone necklace the husband bought me that magically goes with everything I own. I've worn it every day since he bought it, and the only other piece of jewlery I wear every day are my wedding rings. I have quite a few baubles (what can I say I like shiny things) so that's saying quite a bit. What can you take from this? Invest in a delicate piece of 'personal' jewlery. Then you can wear it all the time and call it your signature piece. Who doesn't want a signature piece?!? That just sounds fancy.
The bullets cool too, but it's got nothing on that wishbone xx
I'm still reading The Journey of Desire . And I'm still obsessed with it. But I'm not going to review it
until I'm done (which might be a while, because I am savoring this read. Plus it requires much bible checking and investigating). All I'm going to say is, get thee to Barnes and Noble. We can be obsessed together.

Items 5 and 6 on the list can kind of all be thrown into one category, and we'll call that category creating. Or maybe art. Anyway, I can't stop buying pictures of girls with antlers. Deer girls. I have no idea what's behind this new fascination, but I've always had a thing for the wild and fae. I even have a Pintrest board, girls with antlers .

Art by Prettylittlethieves
Art by GirlandParrot
I have so many new favorites on etsy. It's crazy how many amazing artisans and crafters make their 'home' on etsy. The platform it's given my work has been insane and I've found so many like minded creatives there. Which is pretty much the definition of cool. In case you were wondering.

And that said, I've managed to work my way around to what's kind of been bothering me about my work lately. I haven't made art for the love of making art in... a while. And I feel like the stuff I'm selling in my shop, while it's definitely representative of me as a creative, I'm not sure that it's representative of me as an artist. I'm not even sure who I am as an artist actually. I can certainly make things. It's almost too easy. But I feel like I've been lacking vision. Maybe that's why I'm making lists and searching for inspiration.

I think I just need to get lost somewhere.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Joshua 1:9, acrylic on canvas... DONE!

Joshua 1:9 (and a girl who needs a shower)

Please do pardon my no makeuped pajama wearing self here, but I'm proud of this one damnit, and I want my face in there! Joshua 1:9, acrylic on canvas is finally done!! For those of you who might be like, what the eff is this b*%#^ talking about, I started a project a couple months ago for a good friend of mine (who has become an even better friend through this collab which is like awesome) and it's finally finished. I put my heart, soul, sweat, tears, and a few mistakes *wink, wink* (those winks were for Sarah, owner of said canvas, in case you were wondering - inside joke), into the design and execution of this painting and I simply could not be happier with the way it came out.

When Sarah first approached me about creating a custom piece for her sons' room, she had a pretty loose/vague idea about what she was after, other than she wanted it to be large and feature a somewhat 'cobbled together' verse from Joshua. She wanted something not too young, something that could grow with her sons as the go from the adorable curly haired wee ones they are now into young men. Masculine, but playful.

Aside from the colors, neutrals with a woodsy feel, that was pretty much all the direction I got. I've never done a piece this large, but I really let the verse itself lead my design process, and then my paintbrush. When painting or working with scripture in any way, the words are so rich, they have so much to say. I feel as though it's just my job to let them talk and try to capture it to the best of my ability! What struck me the most as I read (and reread, and prayed over) this verse was the idea of a journey, stepping out in faith and letting The Lord lead me into the wilderness, all the while knowing he is right there by my side. Whom shall I fear, right?! These thoughts inspired the 'journey into the mountains' theme.

The more I read the verse, the more it resonated with me. These things I worry and freak out over, do I have such little faith? The Lord is with me wherever I go. He is saying to us, my child, be not afraid, I am with you. He does not want us to live lives of fear, insecurity, and obscurity, he wants us to be strong and courageous, to step out in HIS name and do great things. Whether they are huge missions or small acts of kindness and mercy.

I love the way the canvas came out, and I am so pleased it's new owner loves it too. But the most important thing to me is that it will hang on the wall of two of God's most precious (and adorable) sons, and that his word will be there to tell them that wherever they go, whatever they do, they needn't fear. God is right there by their sides.

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

I just can't today. And it's OK.

Art by Paula Tamara Hoss xx
Sometimes I feel like I just can't. Sorry work. Sorry family. Sorry friends and dishes and brushing my teeth. I just can't today.

We live in a crazy world. We are overbooked and overstimulated. Overwhelmed and overworked. When we do catch a moment for ourselves like a butterfly in our net of desperation (lyrical!), it's usually spent on the toilet or those blissful moments before passing out of sheer exhaustion. I say we, and not I, because I can't be the only one who feels this way. Right?! And this state is not reserved for mothers of small children. I have my three only half the week, and this feeling of I'm doing too much and I can't catch up is pretty much a standard part of my life.

Now, I've hit a bit of a wall. I have a tendency to push myself and push myself. And then push myself some more. Until I hit said wall and I just can't. I'm an emotional person. To a fault at times. Sometimes all it takes is the smallest, inconsequential (to you maybe), thing and I... I melt the f*** down.

I'm pretty sure we've all experienced this at one point or another. Your boss asks you to stay late. No big deal right? Except you've stayed late all week, your house is disgusting, you have 3 huge bills due this week, and your dog is sick. Might even need surgery. Instead of muttering under your breath and nodding your head in acquiescence like you have every other day this week, or month, or year, you FLIP. YOUR. SHIT. Maybe you yell 'I quit' and slam your door on the way out. Proceed to hole up in your apartment with old Law and Order (SVU, obvs) marathons and several different versions of the same salty snack. I go for salt and vinegar Cape Cod chips.

Maybe your husband has let the dishes sit for two days. And the trash. All the while your running
around taking Suzie to ballet, Mollie has drama in an hour, and Bobby just had an accident. You have
spit up in your hair (which you haven't had a chance to wash in a couple (?) days). You just remembered you have no milk. So, what happens? You FLIP. YOUR. SHIT. Different circumstances, same story. You're doing too much, not because you're a perfectionist, or even a particularly hard worker, but simply because you have too. There is no one else to do it. Such is life, and sometimes life sucks.

Listen up ladies, this is the important part, I'm here to say it's OK. We're allowed to feel these things. We're allowed to get overwhelmed, angry, emotional. It's ok to say, I can't with this today. While I'm the first to admit that my tendency to be a bit extreme in these situations is not the best way to handle them, that's me. And that's ok. I can't just quit my life, but I can take a time out. Life is hard. We work even harder. It's ok to say no to the birthday party, the overtime, the dinner with friends. When you can't, you can't.

I guess you're probably thinking, this chick needs to get her life together. If she had it together in the first place she wouldn't NEED to 'flip her cuss word'. Well, yeah. Working things out before they come to a head and you are forced into epic explosion is obviously the way we are supposed to deal with things. I agree 100%. But I'm here to say, it just doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes we don't even realize we were stuffing something until it's too late, and we are going all Vesuvius on someone.

Perfect people don't exist. And those almost-perfect people? BOR-ING. Real life is messy. It's complicated, overwhelming, and sometimes so unbelievably beautiful that it actually hurts. I sat down to write this because I had to work it out for myself. I hit the wall real hard today. Like, a head on, probably broke my nose type of hit. I've been working so hard (which is such a crazy amazing blessing, please don't misconstrue my words as being ungrateful for everything The Lord is doing in my life) that I haven't taken any time to 'check in with myself'. It's pretty clear your overwhelmed when you don't have any idea how your feeling, simply because you haven't stopped long enough to find out.

I'm sure you're wondering what sent me headlong into that wall, but I'm not quite ready to go public with that one. I just can't. And guess what? That's OK. I'm allowed to feel that way. I'm not talking forever, but I needed to sit here and write this today, to be alone, to check in with myself. And guess what else? I actually feel better.

Sometimes hitting the wall does that for a girl.

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

A recap, a winner, and an awesome husband

Hello friends, it's been too long! Love Buzz at Mill no. 5 is over and I can finally come up for a bit of air. I love what I do, but two jobs, three kids, and preparing for an art show is a lot of work! I feel like I haven't had a moment for anything (including cooking or cleaning - I have an awesome husband), and this blog stuff takes some time, hence my radio silence.

I want to start by thanking you all for participating in our scripture canvas giveaway. So many kind comments, encouraging words, likes, shares, all of it. You guys are the best. That definitely deserves the bold type. I announced the winner on Facebook this morning, Erin Vincent-Leger! I know her husband through work (the day job) and I couldn't be happier that she won the Joshua 24:15, 'As for me and my house, we will serve The Lord'. It's an inspiring and convicting verse, one that hangs on my wall, and I'm pumped that it will be hanging on theirs as well.
Me and hubs on our way to Love Buzz
So, anyway, Love Buzz!! We drove up around 8am (even though we didn't have to be there until ten, my husband is one of those crazy punctual people, whereas I am decidedly not) and I pretty much thought I was going to puke the entire time, I was so nervous. Luckily, not only is my husband punctual, he is also my rock, and he has a way of keeping me calm despite myself. When I say I couldn't have done this without him, I mean I couldn't have done it without him.
We got everything hauled up to the fourth floor (there was an elevator, but it's still no joke with that door setup - again, props to the husband) with the help of the awesome Love Buzz staff. The mill itself is crazy gorgeous and cool inside. My father and I were in awe of the old giant beams and columns (you appreciate that kind of stuff more as a carpenter!).

My handsome daddy (in case you couldn't tell, I'm a bit of a daddy's girl)
We got the booth set up, all of my family came out to support us, I sold tons of my valentines day cards, and I met some wicked cool people. I think that was the best part of the day, getting to meet so many talented artists and crafters. The girl across the hall from me was so nice and supportive (and crazy talented, check out her shop Firelight Pottery, gorgeous jewlery) and she is a Christian too. What a funny coincidence (I love when God does that stuff).
Everyone loved our display, and I was quite happy with how it came out. So many people helped to bring it all together, loaning me antlers, paint, chalkboards. I have the best friends and family. Seriously, I love you guys.

It was an awesome first show experience, and I feel so blessed to have been a part of such a cool community of talented artisans. Drew and I prayed on the way up that we would be a good representative of Christ while we were there, and I think we did that. Because that's really the whole point of this right? Making those connections with people, shining that light. I firmly feel as though you never know who you might reach, who might read something even in passing, and have it spark something in them, be an encouragement to them.

But, if I'm going to be really real here, I'm relieved it's over! It was a lot of work, stress, and craziness. I've said it like three times already, but my husband has been an angel through it all. I have been rather difficult (who, me?) at times, and he kept on smiling and supporting me through it all. I love him so much. So. Frickin. Much.

And I love you guys (I think I said that a few times already too, but it bears repeating). A million
thank yous to each and every one of you.

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P.S. I just started reading this book, The Journey of Desire , and it is amazing. Ah-maze-ing. I can't wait to talk about it with you guys!!