December 20, 2011

A Moving List

Okay, so my block is once again changing for numerous and complicated reasons. Thus far I have moved three times in the past year, and I may possibly be moving again in the next 5 months. So, while I do not claim to be the authority on moving tips and techniques, I have learned A TON of stuff. And I know how people nowadays love lists so I submit my

5 Things I Learned about Moving

#5 Label everything!!
This is probably the first thing most normal people do when they are packing. I however, am a totally disorganized mess. I start out with one box filled with books neatly packed, then taped shut and labeled. But eventually I realize oops I forgot this book... well, I'll just stick it in here with the cds and this painting really couldn't fit with the art stuff, but these paint brushes should really go in a box by themselves.. I wonder if I can  just pour this entire drawer into a back pack. Then if I don't immediately unpack everything I end up looking for health insurance forms everywhere but to no avail. Save yourself the trouble.

#4 Don't pack your clothes... a box, I mean. Clothes are perfect for wrapping dishes and breakables. It's also a million times more eco-friendly to wrap with clothing vs bubble wrap, newspapers, ect. I recently packed my trunk full of boxes, but there was so much space left over between the boxes; little nooks and crevices pleading to be filled. That's where my clothes came into play again and I saved myself so much more room because now I don't have a huge bag full of clothes in the back seat. Just make sure not to use formal wear or delicate clothing. Obviously. 

#3 It's really not hard making friends.
It's always hard to leave them. I always think that I am awkward when I meet new people. I never know what to say, and I am often too serious. But each time I move, after only having stayed a few months, I know I will miss people. And they will miss me. At work, school, the gym, church, the grocery store, just be kind and respectful. Be helpful. People notice. And go out when people invite you even if you only stay an hour (that is something I have a hard time doing). When you are new you have to work on building and maintaining relationships.

#2 It really is just stuff.
This is coming from a true sentimentalist. I saved a Burger King receipt from 1998 because it had sentimental value. I also do not have a plethora of expendable cash to repurchase items I trash/donate. But did I really need that coffee table art book? I don't even own a coffee table. Must I hold on to this rice cooker that insists on leaving a semi-burnt gelatinous mess at the bottom of the pot? No. I'm not saying get rid of stuff you really love. Just look around and you will find so many things you really don't need when you are moving. And wouldn't it be better to donate it to a thrift store which can then profit from your donation? Think of it as giving someone else a chance to get something they couldn't afford new.

#1 Have something to look forward to.
It is sad when you leave a place. I have only been in VA for three months and there are a lot of things I will miss. Find one thing to look forward to and when you find yourself feeling sad, focus on that. I find myself dwelling on the past far too often. Envision all the new exciting things you will discover, people you will meet, drinks you will have, meals you will cook, meetings you will attend. Anything. Everything.

Do you have any moving tips? Lemme know.

December 18, 2011

Apathetic GoTB

I have recently been bad about posting. It seems I have been taken over by two (not unfamiliar) monsters; apathy and depression. Depression is something I have struggled with for a long time. And typically I do just that; I struggle. I kick and scream and cry and rage against this force. I battle it with meditation, phone calls, friends, family, art, music, love, coffee, sunshine, exercise, tea, Buddhism, and a plethora of other things too numerous to count. I struggle to find some ray of hope and sunshine to cling to. Most times I find success just in the struggle itself. I may be depressed, but at least I am fighting.

Other times, Depression's blank friend Apathy decides to join, and that is when things become... less hopeful. Typically it goes like this. Depression ----> notice depression ----> meditate (paint, read ect) ----> feel a little better ----> repeat. However, once Apathy joins the party a whole other cycle starts. Depression ----> notice depression ----> don't care ----> more depression ----> don't care ----> ∞. That's the dangerous thing about it; not caring about not caring. And nothing gets done. My experience is in no way unique. Of all the research I have read about depression, apathy is common in many cases. So how do we pull ourselves out of that? Do we rely on other's to make us feel better? Soldier on and try to push through it? What do you do to motivate yourself?

December 8, 2011

Where We Are

For someone that has moved four times, pretty soon five times in the past year, this poem really hit home for me.  Were I more eloquent, I would have written this exact poem myself. But I am not, so I have to settle for empathizing so completely with it, I will call it my anthem.

Where We Are
(For Edward Field)

i envy those
who live in two places:
new york, say, and london;
wales and spain;
l.a. and paris;
hawaii and switzerland.

There is always the anticipation
of the change, the chance that what is wrong
is the result of where you are. i have
always loved both the freshness of
arriving and the relief of leaving. with
two homes every move would be a homecoming.
i am not even considering the weather, hot
or cold, dry or wet: i am talking about hope.

--Gerland Locklin

I know I always feel a sense of relief when I leave a place and foolishly think all my problems are going to be solved once I arrive at my new place. Overly optimistic I suppose.

December 6, 2011

HTT: Inspiration Calendar

My new calendar in my journal with spots for notes.

I use Stumble Upon pretty much everyday and recently found this article on ivillage. Now, more confidence is something I could use and I loved that there were 30 exercises, so I made myself a little December homework project and came out with my Inspiration Calendar. Here's how I made it:

You will also need something to glue the pieces onto. I used my journal.

1. Select your magazine pages that you like. You could also use scrapbook paper for a more uniform look or newspaper. Choose at least two pages for a variety. I used some pages out of fashion catalog, but for the tutorial I used pages from a cooking mag.

2. Next fold the magazine in halves until you get a size that you like. And tear or cut them into their pieces. Don't worry about measuring them. We will need to trim later.
3. Next glue all of your squares onto a sheet of white paper, or you could use a nice piece of lightly patterned cardstock for a more decorative look. If there is a square that you don't like (for instance has too much text or an obvious logo) try flipping it over to see what the other side looks like. This will also give you a bit more variety. Cut out all of those pieces.
4. Now we get to trim. How much you trim depends on how big your journal/support is. If you are making a 30 day month, you will want either 5 pieces across and 3 down per page or vice versa. I set each piece out onto my journal and saw I only had 4 rows of three, so I trimmed them until I had 5 rows. I also don't care if my measurements aren't exact. I like that each rectangle is a little different. If you want uniformity, break out the ruler and paper cutter.
5. Now that we are all trimmed, time to get gluing! First fold up a little tab, then apply glue and stick to page. Pretty easy, right? 

6. And finally....
Write all those little steps you will be doing on the front of each square and don't forget to add the day. Doodle to your heart's content. Slop some paint over things. Glue some tinsel. Whatever, just make it you.I really like how mine came out. My only regret is that my ribbon tape is packed up. I would have liked to put some of it vertically on the tabs. it would have added some extra support and also tied things together nicely. Oh well, maybe next time right? Send me a pic if you make one, and let me know how you like the tutorial.

December 5, 2011

Listing GotB

I found inspiration in one of my favorite blogs the other day. Elise over at A Beautiful Mess posted about a list she makes every year of things she wants to accomplish. Sounds pretty ordinary. I mean, I think everyone has to do lists and bigger life goals lists ect. But I liked this one because it starts on your birthday and you make a new one every year. It's a great way to inspire yourself and I love that you can look back through the years and see how much your needs and wants have changed. I'm making my own 24 Before 25 list and it's going to be awesome. Of course, I am usually a little too optimistic when I make lists like these and add too many big projects. However, no one ever said you had to accomplish everything on the list! And roll over is totally allowed. Let me know if you make a list and feel like sharing.

December 1, 2011

Bad Poetry

I unpacked one of my favorite books of poetry today, Bad Poetry by Pamela August Russell. Her poems are witty and wonderful. After re-reading the book I had to put tons of them into my poetry journal because they all made me laugh. I couldn't pick just one to share so I'll share two. Hope you like them as much as I do.

The Forgotten Art of Mincing Words

Oh good, you're back.
Did you get the sausage
like I asked?
The spicy, Polish kielbasa?
You forgot it?
How could you?
All I wanted was
some damn sausage
and I don't think i'm
asking much here!
I even gave you a note
it said, "don't forget the sausage,"
and you forgot the sausage!
This is so typical of you.
This is unforgivable.
This is...
What i'm trying to say is,
I'm in love with you.

Unfortunate Cookie

You will soon meet someone 
who will bring you much joy and love.

Eventually they will devour your soul
like it's a hot dog eating championship.

Lucky Numbers: 543, 8, 192, 78

November 28, 2011

Imperfect GotB

Wabi-sabi. It's my new favorite word (and it's so fun to say). It is something I have loved for quite a long time, I just didn't know what to call it. Wabi-sabi is finding beauty in things that are imperfect or incomplete. Friends usually scratch their heads when I am taking pictures of dilapidated buildings and rotting fruits, but these are the things I find most interesting. Perfection is something so many strive for, yet perfection is not attainable. I find "perfect", "whole" things boring. I would rather capture something real. Something that has seen some history, faced some trials. And aren't the people that we admire most the people that freely admit they are not perfect? The people that have faced the most hardships? Hardships leave scars. They leave a mark on us so we always remember what we have come from and how we are better for having gotten through it. Wabi-sabi people in a wabi-sabi world.

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Go eat some food and spend time with people that love you.


with the night falling we are saying thank you 
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings 
we are running out of the glass rooms 
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky 
and say thank you 
we are standing by the water thanking it 
smiling by the windows looking out 
in our directions 

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging 
after funerals we are saying thank you 
after the news of the dead 
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you 
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators 
remembering wars and the police at the door 
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you 
in the banks we are saying thank you 
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us 
our lost feelings we are saying thank you 
with the forests falling faster than the minutes 
of our lives we are saying thank you 
with the words going out like cells of a brain 
with the cities growing over us 
we are saying thank you faster and faster 
with nobody listening we are saying thank you 
we are saying thank you and waving 
dark though it is

--W.S. Merwin

November 23, 2011

Donating GotB

Godspeed my good friend.

So after all the posts I have written about changing peoples' lives, I realized I haven't done much to try and change the world. Sure I have sung a lot. Even at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. And while it is a unyielding belief of mine that music changes the world, I get just as much out of it as the person listening. I sing because I love it. So yesterday I "donated" something that for the past year has been very dear to me: my poetry journal. I was switching journals, and instead of throwing the journal away or tearing the pages out for a later use, I decided to brighten someone's day with it. I love things like Found Magazine (link) and often dreamed of finding a treasure left behind by someone; something that would give me a clue as to what their life was like. I also dreamed of leaving behind a piece of myself somewhere for someone else to find. It's kind of like the butterfly effect. So that's what I did. I hope that my journal finds someone who needed cheering. And I included a bookmark and note that asked them to add some poems and one day pass it on to someone else. If you feel like changing someone's day for the better, let me know know how you did i, and I'll post. We're all in this world together, might as well make it as wonderful as possible.

November 22, 2011

How-To Tuesday: Magazine Poetry

This week I thought I would show how to make some poetry. This is not an original idea, I have seen it done many times over the years, but it's so much fun and the possibilities really are endless. I think it's less intimidating than sitting down and trying to write a poem for scratch. These are great for journal entries, or gifts for someone special. You could even turn it into a card, or if you want a HUGE project try altering an entire book. So here we go!


1. Choose a topic (or don't, just let words organically jump out at you)
2. Start blacking out words and letters with your pen/marker.
3. Leave some words and phrases unscribbled until you have a sentence.
4. Keep going until your have said everything you want with your poem.
Yeah pretty simple I know.. I probably didn't need to write a tutorial on it, but whatever. Here's an example of one of mine:

It reads:

Impossibly steep road.
Breath in the weight of the mountain.
Nettles waiting; stinging bare skin.
Gentle urge.
You run.

 Have fun. Let me know if you make any and I'll post.

November 21, 2011

Inspired GotB

A few quotes caught my eye the other day:
Every new day is another chance to change your life - anon
He is able who thinks he is able - Buddha
No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again - Buddha

I found a tremendous amount of wisdom and solace in these few sentences. Times are hard for most people today, particularly in this economy. And sometimes that can lead to a feeling of hopelessness. I know I experience that feeling often. I think that we often forget that each day is an opportunity and is precious. We DO have the power to actually change things in our lives; we have the power to change other's lives. Today I started trying to change little things in myself for the better. I forgot that it was my job to do this and I have missed so many chances to change simply because I felt I was at the whim of circumstances. Do you forget that you have the power to change things? Do you forget that new beginnings can start anytime? I hope these quotes inspired you. Let me know what you think.

November 17, 2011

A Boy and A Girl

It's Thursday again and that means a new poem. There are many things in life that feed my soul. Art and music. And poetry. You can often find me in the poetry section of Barnes and Nobel, sitting on the floor, reading. Poetry goes straight to my heart and makes me smile, laugh, appreciate, cry, and reflect. It heals the parts of me that hurt the most. I can't help but share something that affects me so greatly. A Boy and a Girl is short and yet brings up so many wonderful images of love. And it uses one of my favorite words: savor. I hope that you savor this.

A Boy and a Girl

Stretched out on the grass,
a boy and a girl. 
Savoring their oranges,
giving their kisses like waves exchanging foam.

Stretched out on the beach,
a boy and a girl.
Savoring their limes,
giving their kisses like clouds exchanging foam.

Stretched out underground,
a boy and  a girl.
Saying nothing, never kissing,
giving silence for silence.

--Octavio Paz

November 16, 2011

Editing GotB

Just another photo edit. I've finished one set and I am now working on a new one. I still don't have names for all the photos or either of the sets, but I am sure they will come to me eventually. I took this picture in a friend's garden in Washington state. I think it was a zucchini blossom.

Let me know what you think.

November 15, 2011

How-To Tuesday: Paper Flowers

Today my roommate/best friend had a pretty lousy day, and If I had tons and tons of money I would have gone out and bought her flowers, and completely decorated the house, and set up an elaborate dinner. But I don't and I didn't. However, anyone can use things around them to brighten someone's day. Even if they don't have money/time to buy a bunch of stuff. So here's what I did.

I have a bunch of art magazines that I read, and usually I tear out the pages I find inspiring and the rest I will use for art projects. If like me you don't have the money to buy a bunch of flowers, make some out of paper. They last longer too. Here are some great tutorials on how to make paper flowers:
rolled paper flowers
Paper Cherry Blossoms

I decided to vaguely combine elements from each of those tutorials to come up with these huge flowers.

The magazine I used was Sommerset Studios 

November 14, 2011

Thoughtful GotB

"Who Killed John Key" -- Sam Mahons

Using Stumble Upon (one of my favorite sites), I found an article about Sam Mahons "Who Killed John Key?" He was asked if he was afraid people would be offended by the image. He responded "All art is expression and metaphor and the job artists have is to make people feel uncomfortable. Now once you've made people uncomfortable you've got their attention. And once you've got their attention you can begin to change their mind." Which made me question what I think my job is as an artist. While I agree that art should make people think and question their beliefs or the current social/political ect system, I never considered my job as an artist (or musician for that fact) one to make people uncomfortable. And I have heard these kind of comments from artists of all kinds. I even read a magazine article last holiday season in which a woman claimed gifts should be something that takes a person out of their comfort zone.

I always viewed my job as one of uplifting society; inspiring "ordinary people" or "the average Joe". I think the world is full of uncomfortable people, what the world needs is more people who are inspired and fulfilled. Don't get me wrong, I love artists, musician, architects, and any creative people that strive to wake people up or change their perspective. And we need these people. But I find this idea of "uncomfortable to change people's minds" can be taken too far; I find artists that rely purely on shock value to be tiresome and pretentious. 

November 11, 2011

Things I Love: Texture!!!

If you haven't already noticed by how this blog is set up, I am a total nerd and LOVE organizing things and making lists. I also have a habit of being oblivious to the small things in life; the things that can bring the most joy. Therefore, Fridays will now be full of love; specifically things I love. So this post is dedicated to..... TEXTURE!
Favorite Texture Medium: Golden Crackle Paste
I love lots of texture in everything: food, clothes, and especially art. I love the turn a lot of abstract art has taken now; artists are adding crackle paints, gritty mediums, paper pulps, coffee grounds, anything to enhance roughness. I was browsing through some art on esty and was so inspired (artists like this one). I think I am going to have to do a texture set when I get my paints unpacked.

November 10, 2011

Why I Am Not a Painter

Presently, many things are in the process for me; i'm looking for an apartment, another job, and trying to work on some art. So in celebration of the"getting there" stage, I thought I would post one of my favorite poems about the creative process and how art can take unexpected turns. 

Why I Am Not a Painter

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
"Sit down and have a drink" he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. "You have SARDINES in it."
"Yes, it needed something there."
"Oh." I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. "Where's SARDINES?"
All that's left is just 
letters, "It was too much," Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of 
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in 
prose. I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven't mentioned 
orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike's painting, called SARDINES.

November 9, 2011

Journalin' GotB

When I was younger I decided to start a journal which I filled with photos of friends, poetry, and pre-pubescent angst. Now twelve years later I still keep a journal, but instead of filling it with all my angsty ramblings, I fill it with art and inspiration. The art helps me look back through the journal and remember my life as beautiful. And it helps me see that I am always growing as a person, artist, and musician. It's my art journal. I thought I would share some pics, and I hope to inspire someone to keep their own art journal; whether you fill it with pictures, poetry, doodles, paintings, quotes, scrap book elements, ticket stubs, or some smears of coffee grounds from breakfast. Times become hard and you fall down. I empathize with this presently. It helps to look back on better days. And know better days are still coming.

A one page spread. I usually cut them in half.

November 8, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday!

I once thought I would go into English for a career. I just can't resist a good poem, metaphor, onomatopoeia, or alliteration. Thus, we have Tutorial Tuesday.

 While I was working in New York I always had a lot of co-workers comment on my hair styles; which was a huge surprise considering I am so uncoordinated I can't even blow dry my hair and use a brush at the same time. Fortunately, there are many bloggers that post hair tutorials for the uncoordinated people such as myself. So, if you are often mystified by a seemingly elaborate do, here is a great site. Maegan is a pretty stylish lady. Love Maegan.

Someday soon I will put up my own painting tutorials here, however that will have to wait until I find an apartment of my own. All of my painting supplies are still in boxes :( Enjoy!

Waterfall Braid

She also has fun DIY projects. I like her side french braid a lot too. Let me know what you think!

November 6, 2011

Workin GotB


An early update as I will be busy tomorrow morning. I've been trying to put together a photography set. So I've been editing pictures and trying to add pictures that flow well with each other. It's turning out to be harder than I thought because I am tying together modern hotels, a crumbling penitentiary, and ruins in Switzerland. I'm not sure when I will finish the set, but I thought it would be nice to show a preview. The one above is from a trip I took to Switzerland some years back. Let me know what you think.

November 4, 2011

This is Just to Say

I have a journal in which I write down poems that move me. Typically my journals are filled with art and doodles but I wanted the poems to speak for themselves. Recently I have been transferring the poetry into a different journal that I like better, which is a lot of fun because I get to read all of the poems that made me laugh and cry all over again. I thought I would share with you one of my favorite poems:

This is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plumbs
that were in
the ice box

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet 
and so cold.

-- William Carlos Williams

It's a simple poem which I find funny; I like to read it slowly so that I can really experience the line breaks and form he uses. It's simple enough that I even read it to the 5 year old I babysat last year and we had a whole conversation about it. He talked about it to other people for weeks. So cute.

November 2, 2011

New GotB

(We Could All Use a Little)

It's funny how often I find myself putting things off because I am waiting for the perfect time. We invent so many excuses to put off the things we really want or need. I am again the new girl, having recently moved. I moved for several reasons; two big reasons were to pursue a musical and artistic career. Maybe start putting some paintings up in local shops, teach voice lessons. But I always have excuses not to start these projects. I didn't even want to start my blog until it was perfect; the background was perfect, I learned more HTML, ect. However, is life ever "perfect"? Should we just stand around waiting for the right time to pursue our dreams or start on our projects? Maybe the right time doesn't simply "come". Maybe we need to take a leap, make it happen, and hope it will work itself out. I'm going to be editing photos until I have a set I want to display. What projects have you been putting off?