Sunday, December 26, 2010

i was here

i love the week between christmas and new year's day.  there's a magical pull to the future while looking back with gratitude and (mostly) satisfaction.  how do you acknowlege this transition? 

i do it with 'standing here' self-portraits.  i try to take at least one per month and really enjoy looking back at the places i've been and the space i inhabited.  some of them are fun and flighty and some really put me back in the emotion of that moment.

this year my feet touched both solid ground and undulating funhouse floors.  i slipped a few times and had to call at least one time-out to lie down; but mostly i stood confidently facing all the love, regret, beauty, acceptance, rejection, grace and fear.

some of the best places i stood in 2010:
  • my home.  the home that loves me.
  • my garden.  day or night, sun or stars, flora or snow, she always whispers, "do it."
  • the cold pacific, who welcomed me home to california.
  • the warm atlantic, who showed me i could stand solid even with shifting sand beneath my feet.
  • bikram yoga class.
  • with the most beautiful, talented, graceful women.  feeling like i belonged.
  • at the door.  the same door i hovered around throughout 2009.  i'm still standing here wondering what's on the other side, trying to plan for all the possibilities and pitfalls.  i am slowly moving toward courage and away from the misconception that i can tip one toe into the unknown while the other foot holds firm in the certain.
thank you for standing with me.  where should we go in 2011?

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Sunday, December 19, 2010

turns out

even though i chose the words beautiful and fearless to focus on in 2010, the word that chose me was grace.  how about that?

Friday, December 17, 2010

christmas color week: stripes!

thank you annie for hosting a beautiful color week!  this weekend i plan on visiting all the colorseekers.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

five senses friday*

  • holiday color everywhere in anticipation of annie's color week!  see here for more deets.
  • perfectly clear blue skies.
  • driving to richmond on wednesday, i found a radio station playing only instrumentals of john lennon music.  it was magical.  i cried. 
  • christmas pine
  • cinammony-peppery-chocolately mexican cocoa
  • paperwhites
  • indian pumpkin soup
  • heat, sweat, power, grace:  i love bikram yoga.
*fsf inspired by abby

Monday, December 6, 2010

hooray for me, hooray for you

small but meaningful recent accomplishments:
  • christmas tree up and lit
  • survived (and weirdly, kinda liked) first bikram class and going back today
  • stopped myself from buying a vintage coat and felt okay with it
  • made art all weekend
  • ate the most amazing pistachio gelato sprinkled with crumbled up italian cookies and candied pistachios on my birthday with zero guilt and absolute bliss
  • am happy to be 46.  i feel good and am really excited about life.  my birthyear sister graciel noted that, numerologically speaking, my age now equals 1, which symbolizes the beginning.  how can i not be excited about that?
one little moment on the big c gave me some beautiful perspective on age.  if you don't know the show (first of all, it's incredible!), cathy is 40-ish and has just been diagnosed with cancer.  she really begins to cherish life and live it like she's always wanted to.   her aunt comes to her birthday party when she hasn't yet told her family she is ill. the aunt is in her fifties, is dressed in a cheap dress from the junior department and has that face (you know the face!) morphed into unrecognizableness from too many surgeries.  when they are saying goodbye at the door, cathy looks at her with love and says, "it's a privilege to grow old."

what have you done recently that deserves celebrating?  tell me in the comments.  i'll be over here applauding your brilliance.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

just because

i often need a reminder to trust that things will work out as they are supposed to.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

now it's december

and after all that reflecting and gratituding, it's time to take some action and play a little 90-day game i like to call "embrace and release".

beginning today, here's my plan:

embrace:  bikram yoga (i know! me, the girl who hates to sweat!)
release:  toxicity, restlessness and hopefully about thirty pounds.

embrace:  simplicity, order and i-have-enoughness
release:  purchasing more clothes (something to make the bikram yoga seem easy)

embrace:  transition, transformation, authenticity
release:  shame, fear, resentment

would you care to play along?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

today i am grateful for

these things:
  • each of you.  i love that you come here.  thank you for that.
  • how 30 days of gratitude...recognizing the true abundance of life...can make a girl's heart swell and glow.
  • for the opportunity to stand still and solid with the atlantic and sort some things out (photo of me by the lovely jenica mckenzie).
  • for those times when i get restless (like today) to change, to do something different, to move faster toward potential and fullness and wholehearted living.
thank you for sharing gratitude with me. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

today i am grateful for

being different.

so there's this big green pasture that i drive by from time to time.  it's dotted with a hundred lovely white cows.  and one brown donkey.

the donkey makes me smile every time.  he's totally just getting his donkey groove on in the midst of cattleville.  this weekend, i decided to stop and take some photos.  the cows were uncertain and ran in the opposite direction, making sure to keep a safe distance.  the donkey confidently trotted right up and looked me in the eye with a happy greeting.

it's funny to write that i recognized a kindred spirit in the donkey.  but there you go.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

today i am grateful for

starry night skies, three stinky-face dogs, turkey with mayo on a leftover squishy roll, mittens, the gifts of imperfection and finding my wish ticket from squam in my coat pocket.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

today i am grateful for

all the times i got it backwards, colored outside its lines and generally fucked it up.

because of that, i can love more honestly, openly and fully with my whole wild heart.

“love is the ultimate outlaw. it just won't adhere to any rules. the most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. that would mean that security is out of the question. the words "make" and "stay" become inappropriate. my love for you has no strings attached. i love you for free.”

-tom robbins

Friday, November 26, 2010

today i am grateful for

having enough to eat and not having to think about where my next meal is coming from. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

today i am grateful for

the simple things.

happy {official} gratitude day, friends.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

today i am grateful for

the courage to be enough.  with no disclaimers.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

today i am grateful for

the little box of organization that is the start of an art studio.  we cleared some space and are knocking a big hole in the wall for french doors and more light.

also:  the box holding the alcohol inks is simply decorated with japanese masking tape, which i am still swooning over.  tomorrow i'll show you what i did with the lid of the box after i tore it off.

also:  love, love, love alcohol inks (thanks mccabe!).  their color and spread on the surface is divine.

what are you starting?

Monday, November 22, 2010

today i am grateful for


painting, photography, cutting and pasting, stringing words together, marvelling at others' work:  no matter the medium or method, art saves me.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

today i am grateful for

a fantastic time with melissa at the flea market.  i love all the color, story and whimsy at the market.  nipper came home with me.  sadly, the magic carpet did not.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

today i am grateful for

not having to be at work, the big c, a tiny squam reunion, greek yogurt with honey and walnuts, and when i told my husband i really, really, really want to quit my job, he said, "be an artist."

happy saturday beauties!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

today i am grateful for

being thursday's child, that moment when babies melt into you, animal crackers and ginger ale, my big bed and business day trips that take me through the gorgeous shenandoah valley.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

today i am grateful for

happy boots on grey days.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

today i am grateful for

the sound of rain on the roof, jury duty, pumpkin lattes, my sweet man, crazy fun dreams in need of analysis, stores that refuse to engage in christmas until thanksgiving is over and having no need for proper punctuation.

Monday, November 15, 2010

today i am grateful for

little scenes.

ever since childhood i've set up tiny collections of goodness around my space.  it started with a wee pink pig wearing overalls that i painted in a ceramics class.  he was carefully placed among flintstones jelly jars filled with water and flowers picked from the yard. 

in my early twenties when money was scarce, it was a collage of images cut from magazines and thriftstore books then taped to my closet door.  this montage served as an inspiration board before i knew what that meant.  i would lie in bed and stare and dream and plan and heal and smile.

when i first started making a real income, the scenes got a little out of control.  i started accumulating way too many objects.  like a crazed magpie, i hunted for and acquired anything shiny and new and trendy.

today the little scenes are pared down to the essence of their personal meaning:  a bit of memory, a touch of wish and a whole lot of beauty.  each one makes me very happy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

today i am grateful for


and lazy saturdays when there is absolutely no need or desire to leave the house or even get out of pajamas.  these days give me space and security simultaneously.  and time to mull over questions.  here are some of my answers:

viridian green.
rain boots!
a peppermint milkshake.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

today i am grateful for


three weeks ago today, my saturday morning routine went something like this:
  • wake at 5am to a dark silent house
  • climb three flights of stairs to the kitchen to make coffee
  • open the giant doors to be greeted by the sea and stars
  • sit in the big white chair wrapped in a blanket, sip coffee and gaze at the horizon line
  • watch as the faint pink line begins to glow and deepen to red
  • when it is light enough, take coffee and camera and head to the sand
  • quietly and respectfully navigate other morning beachsitters as they experience their own sunrise
  • literally hold back tears as the sea slowly gives you a giant ball of fire
  • love how your skin is glowing golden pink
  • forget holding back the tears
  • feel small and powerful at the same time
  • love how everyone knows the exact time to start being social with cheerful greetings
  • wish for girlfriends in everyday life who say, "good morning beautiful" and mean it
good morning beautifuls.

Friday, November 12, 2010

today i am grateful for

mindy lacefield.

it was pure kismet that we were assigned the little room downstairs in the big beach divas house at squam by the sea.  it was pure love in action that grew our instant connection.

mindy is an artist and a dreamer and a sensitive wise soul.  her sense of whimsy is contagious and it serves as a technicolor dream coat over her mad wit and brilliant mind.  i am so lucky to know her.

mindy was in a few of my art workshops at squam.  it's fascinating to watch her create a piece.  she moves with speed and instinct and magic.  the art in my photo above is her signature little girl.  i fell in love with it just as i fell in love with her.  because mindy has such a big sweet heart, the art came home with me. 

see mindy's space and work here.  you won't regret it.

happy friday loves!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

today i am grateful for

moments of "exercise".

i abhor the gym.  all the sweat and grunting and bad music and silicone can ruin my day in the blink of an eye.  and the shots i had to have during batgate 2010 left my joints stiff and unpredictable.  and in all honesty, i just flat-out neglect my yoga class and really any regular fitness program. 

so when i have the opportunity to take a walk up to court during my work day, i jump on it.  it's two blocks straight up from my office and then 200-some steps. 

of course, i'm even more grateful for the walk back to the office.

p.s.  there are so many projects to make with japanese masking tape!  i'm primarily using them in some mixed media work i'm doing right now, but i also covered a plastic headband to make perfect stripes.  google "japanese masking tape projects"...there are so many wonderful ways to use it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

today i am grateful for

japanese masking tape.

is it weird to say that tape changed my life?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

today i am grateful for


and stripey socks.

Monday, November 8, 2010

today i am grateful for

having to make this choice:  paris or prague?

if you've been around here a while, you know i've been crazy-planning my paris trip.  as usual in the curious casa, something came up to get in the way.  but this time, it was another destination...ken is taking his theatre students to the prague quadrennial exhibition of theatre design. 

at first i was all pissy.  and i was resentful because ken suggested we just do both (oh, the unlimited summer thinking of a teacher...). 

then i got a grip.

and i remembered the 24 year old me who sat in the public library reading travel books.  and i reminded myself that i'm trying to be more flexible and spontaneous and adventurous.  and then i thought that prague seems like a darker, less-cliche version of paris, so it just might be the city for me.

i am so thankful that i get to go to places i used to just dream about. 

{flickr artists here.}

Sunday, November 7, 2010

today i am grateful for

the oatmeal meditation.

on quiet and still-dark weekend mornings, i stand alone at the stove and take the time to cook steel cut oats.  my stove is old and emits a gentle hum when turned on.  the twenty-three minutes of stirring engage just enough physical activity to distract me into stillness.  the steam breaks loose hard emotions like anxiety, anger, shame and pulls them away and out the vent.  i breathe in the scent of cinammon, honey and vanilla and am replenished with a sense of boldness and warmth. 

i add walnuts and dried berries (lately i'm into goji berries...have you tried these?) and my hands surround the warm fullness of the bowl.  with each lift of the spoon, i am nourished, filled, loved.

grace in a bowl.

seriously, it's the closest thing i have to a regular meditation practice.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

today i am grateful for

being a brave girl.

here are some brave things i've done lately:
  1. spoke the truth
  2. got messy with paint
  3. held up my art proudly and talked about it in a group
  4. let someone see the real me
  5. let myself be vulnerable
  6. talked about my fears
  7. gave comparison a rest
  8. laid low
  9. told a woman i barely know that i thought she was brave (she was!)
  10. let love in

Friday, November 5, 2010

today i am grateful for

extra wicked hot & sour soup that knocked the would-be killer virus on its butt.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

today i am grateful for

a home that belongs to me. 

i've gone without a space of my own too many times in my life to underestimate the stability and security a home provides.  i could never take it for granted.

this one, it holds me.

thank you little brick house and big back yard and tiny magical forest.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

today i am grateful for

the freedom to express my opinion.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

today i am grateful for


mornings, first days of the month, new years day, even mondays...if it's officially the start of something, i love it.  the sense of the clean slate, of the do-over, of pure possibility is one of the most exhilarating feelings i experience.  the power to begin again polishes the roughness of loss.  there is nothing like the energy of new.

for the past month, i've been somewhat obsessed with the word 'begin'.  i went to squam thinking i would make a piece of art with the word in it.  while there, the spectacular sunrises deepened my awareness and connection to the art of beginning.

in my last workshop, i randomly picked this blessing and it was read to me by the lovely jen lee:

"just when it feels like everything is over, a new beginning is about to be born."

Monday, November 1, 2010

today i am grateful for

finding love in unexpected places.  and people.