Category Archives: Musings

Some things I think are great today

White IKEA queen size Malma bed with green print coverlet and white pillows and several artworks on the wall

Bed, chandelier, both side tables from IKEA, green print spread and lampshade from Urban Outfitters, accent pillow handsewn (by moi) from vintage silk scarf, Mexican silver mirror from Bonifant Avenue thrift store, “gold” mirror wih James Baldwin quote from Boston yard sale circa 1991, standard size vintage embroidered pillows via Ebay, desert scene in pink frame from Angelica Gomez as gift, white-framed Jennifer Sanchez print from 20×200.com.

I think some of you know that I’ve really been trying to work on my charitable donations this year. I already tithe to my church, but wanted to give more, so I’ve been trying to give about $50/month to various charities and arts projects. I just saw this 52×52 project over on A Cup of Jo, and I think I’m going to sign up for the $10 (and actually give $15 so I can improve on what I’ve done this year).

This is my friend Abbey’s blog, Aesthetic Outburst. I love how transparent she is about both the joys and the perils of the life she’s made for herself with her husband and so-cute-I-could-overdose-on-them kids. I love how generous she is, how creative, and how she seems to have figured out a good balance of being engaged with her kids without stifling them, and balancing her time with them with her own need for creative and personal time.

I love the idea of gratitude journals but when I try to keep one it tends to fall by the wayside. Not because I’m not perpetually grateful but because I’m always scheming for a few more minutes of sleep or a few more minutes playing on Facebook. Thank goodness I’ve found Happy Rambles. They send you an e-mail every night, you hit reply with what you’re grateful for, and c’est bon. It’s also lovely that it comes at night as a good reminder that even the crappiest of days will have something to be thankful for, even if it’s as mundane as “I’m grateful for e-mail.”

I think Leverage is great every day. I’ve been catching up on old episodes, usually watching one every night. It’s the perfect detox no matter how frazzling a day it’s been. And if you’re wondering why I linked to a photo of a particular cast member and not the page for the whole show, all I have to say is–have you met me?

This thing I think is great today involves Ryan Gosling. Don’t even try and pretend you’re not all up in it! (h/t A Cup of Jo)

Poems are dangerous things…

“the unbearable tearing, and I wake—
unable to scream with this lush, exploded tongue.”

                                                                     —Sandra Beasley

Poems are dangerous things. I was reading Sandra Beasley’s poem “Orchis Speaks”  from her collection I Was the Jukebox over coffee the other morning. Next thing you know, I was in Whole Foods picking up bread, fruit—and this mini-orchid. What shall I name her?

“Still the risk must be run; the mark made”

My first painting in 25 years.

Last week I picked up a paint brush for the first time since I was a senior in high school (which was nearly 25 years ago). I was with two friends at an ArtJamz event, at which you get handed a blank canvas, an easel, and an unlimited supply of paints. Reading Lily Briscoe’s meditation on painting in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse made me think about the way I had approached the canvas. I kept thinking back to that high school painting class when I didn’t understand art as an expression of thought, of passion. And I felt that this time I had to say something when I painted. Here’s what I wrote in my journal about it nearly a week after the fact: Read the rest of this entry

How much creativity is too much creativity?

5.23.11

View directly across from my bed. (l-r) puff paint flower by Abbey Hendrickson, “House Plant 3” by Carrie Marrill via 20×200.com, thrifted, lacquered, wooden tray made in Italy by Fratelli Alinari

Have you heard about the 30 Days of Creativity Project? Per the website, the project is “a social initiative encouraging people to create stuff (anything) every day for 30 days in June.” Given my fondness for 30-day projects, I’m sorely tempted. It would feel like cheating to count my daily Facebook video since I do it everyday anyway, so I’d need to find something else, preferably that’s not “write a poem.”

On the one hand, it sounds like an awesome opportunity to shake up my creative self by trying something new. On the other hand, given that I’m already making daily videos, that I’ve been poem-ing fairly regularly these past few months, and I’m writing/researching all day at work, will adding something else silt me up rather than help break new ground? Did I mention that in June I’m continuing the sugar free lifestyle and possibly adding 30 days of daily yoga practice? How much creativity is too much creativity? How many projects are too many projects? I’m not someone who likes to be perpetually busy, but I am someone who gets great satisfaction from being alone and just making. I forget the name for that pinnacle of the creative state when everything’s clicking—is that flow—but that’s when I feel most alive (and I think most connected to God).

Do you keep pushing yourself till you actually find out what your limits are (and hopefully surprise yourself in the process), or do you come at it from a purely analytical standpoint by which I mean, you give yourself a good shake and say, “Uhm, well, there’s only so many hours in a day!” Which is true. But right now I have the gift of not having a husband or children making demands on those hours, so shouldn’t I push myself now until that time when God releases my husband and kiddos?

What I’m leaning toward is taking part in the June challenge by taking a photograph everyday, with an option to write about the photograph if I feel so moved. I think the most onerous part will be downloading the day’s photo, which really isn’t onerous at all, and I’ll have 30 images to jumpstart future writing projects. And a more comprehensive way of seeing, perhaps. I’m also leaning toward holding off on the 30 days of yoga until July.

How much creativity is too much creativity? There may not be any such thing, but there’s only one way to find out…

Musings (4/20/10)

I would make a self-portrait every day if I could. No. I would make a self-portrait every day if I dared. In terror of narcissist, self involved, navel gazer. I inevitably lean toward the confessional. To be seen is to exist? If I dared: To be seen is to exist.

Musings (3/29/10)

I’ve been pondering the idea of “uniform” lately. Periodically, as I read Vogue or some other fashionista rag, I happen across an uber-stylish woman–like Aerin Lauder–who subscribes to the uniform theory. That is, she has a particular look from which she rarely wavers because it’s always flattering and takes the guess work out of getting dressed. For some women it’s always wearing a patterned shift dress with tights in the winter and sandals in the summer. For others, it means having a closet full of a zillion interpretations of the class white blouse and classic black pant. For others still, the “uniform” is a limited palette. I read at some point in New York magazine that Renaissance Man-designer Karim Rashid only dresses in all pink or all white.  Not only does the uniform simplify the whole getting dressed thing, but it brands you with a strong visual identity.

So my experiment for the next few (months, years?) is to try the uniform. I’m limiting my basics to shades of black, white, or grey (with the occasional lavender piece cause really I just can’t NOT wear my favorite pants). I’m not banishing color entirely—that will come in the form of accessories and outer layers. I’m interested in focusing on the visual interest that can come from layering textures and creating stark contrasts. I’m also interested to see what happens if I not only limit my palette, but also limit the number of items in my closet. Can one really stylishly get by—as Lucky magazine would have you believe—on only a handful of basics that you mix and match willy nilly each month?

I’ve been dressing this way for about a week now, and I have to say that I feel more myself in a way. I actually don’t own a ton of black, white, or grey so the limited palette is forcing me to be extra creative in putting together an outfit, and that seems to be really feeding my all-around creativity. It’s also making me appreciate color more—the richness of my  turquoise pashmina, the fleshiness of my peach scarf. And yes, I am loving that I get to indulge my love of  oh-so=Parisian black/white stripes  (as in the above outfit, which features three different stripy layers). Of course, it also means that I have to pay more attention to getting my laundry done each week, a task at which I am already failing miserably. Sigh . . .

So what are your thoughts on the uniform? Do you have your own version? Are you for and/or against? Would you committ hara kiri if someone told you you could only wear this or that color from now on? What are your fashion musings?

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