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Showing posts from April, 2013

apr.29 {happiness is getting ready for my first art show}

Over the weekend I applied to an art show and I was accepted.  I'll be selling my art at a local artist's market as part of a community wide open studios.  Last year I attended this event as a spectator to both see the art as well as meet other artists and check out different studio spaces.  It was a great day.  I felt like a fish in familiar seas, and that notion was just so hopeful and exciting.  I was on the verge of accepting a studio in the Joy Street Studios building, had met a studiomate and everything, but as things shifted with work and my dad's health I decided the timing just wasn't right.  It often feels like these kind of opportunities are fleeting and that decisions are a bit urgent (at least that's how it feels to me a lot of the time), so when something fabulous comes along it's hard to turn it down.  But it was the right decision, then. A whole year later I'm back in my creative groove and have so much more focus on what it is I want to be

apr.28 {letting people in}

In my twenties, Alex and I were often at the hub of social festivities.  We had dinner parties, holiday bashes, big birthday celebrations, and cozy gatherings in our home fairly often.  We were kind of known as party folks - not in a drunk and crazy kind of way, but in an organizing and planning kind of way (though there was a bit of the latter as well).  I learned to host a mean cocktail party and we always had friends crashing in the spare bedroom. These eventually became fewer and further between.  Somewhere along the winding road of everyday life a smallering happened, and I lost my Hostess With the Mostest mojo. If you know me at all, you know I'm a planner at heart.  I love to create experiences and organize gatherings wrapped in all the shiny little details that make such togetherness memorable and special.  Even now I get that bug quite often, but it's rare that I act on it.  I've often wondered about this change.  Maybe it's the nature of growing up and losing

apr.26 {tomorrow is a new day}

{ From May 1, 2009:  I chose this post because it mirrors exactly what I have been thinking about with my oldest son lately.  I realize that life is so similar for us all these years later, before boy #2 came along and when he was just 5.  Sometimes I read my old words and they feel faded and far away, with a vagueness that washes over things with time or a nod to how things have changed.  This post is like an arrow straight to the heart.  I feel it now as much as I imagine I did then.  I'm so glad that what is much the same is the feeling of hopefulness and possibility, and the unique way he challenges and inspires me be the best mom I can be. }   *********** The emotional climate in this family can sometimes be wildly unpredictable. We often need to stop and take a few deep breaths (or a mommy time-out). At the end of the day I sometimes find myself saying to my son, and myself, "tomorrow is a new day". I realize that i've said it often enough that he now reminds

apr.24 {sex, pies, and washi tape}

Sex positive. It's a label and ideal that I've been slowly integrating into my life these days, and a descriptor I just added to my social media bios yesterday. Ultimately, I hope to shed some happy and informative light around what it means to be empowered sexually by simply being a part of the conversation.  If I can help others to feel less shame and embarrassment and also inspire some curiosity and exploration around playfulness and pleasure, well then yay for all of us! Even though I'm not 100% sure what this looks like in it's entirety yet, I am taking steps to inhabit and honor this space with good intentions and a certain sensibility.  It's not about sensationalizing sex or conversely, staying quiet and under the radar.  For me it's meeting women openly, right where we are in our every day lives, with information and celebration so we can all be more active and engaged participants in our own sex lives. Over the past few months, I have begun to follow a

apr.23 {my life as a bit of a science experiment}

The tricky thing about hormones is that they're always changing.  As a girl, I know some of you can commiserate with this monthly tale of woe... add in the additional challenge of managing a hormone imbalance  in that mix and you can imagine the psychosomatic roller coaster that is often my life.  This past week I have not been feeling my best, in fact I have been feeling quite miserable.  There are always sunny spots if I can poke my head out long enough to find them, and so there were good moments during our vacation week together thankfully, but for the most part through the days of Spring Break I was struggling. Over the last few weeks or so my doctor and I have been fiddling with my medications because it turns out I have a very low tolerance for estrogen and the oral contraceptive I was taking to manage my PMDD ended up giving me high blood pressure - just when I thought we had this thing finally figured out.  I've never had high blood pressure in my life and so it was pr

apr.20 {reconciling with my inner mover and shaker}

During the long hiatus I took last fall I realized that I don't really like being over-busy.  I like being productive, but the two are not the same. Part of the next step for me is getting my art and work out there, and this means doing the legwork and taking on a bit more.  In the past, I had lists upon lists of things to do and for the most part they never seemed to disappear as more was always being added.  While the hustle and bustle felt like forward progress, a lot of it was just swimming in place.  There was simply too many things to juggle.  I'm trying really hard to not go to that place again - to not measure the worth of what I'm doing by how busy I am. In fact, I want to be all about promoting couch surfing, Sunday driving, beach wandering, porch sitting and lazy mornings in bed snuggling! That doesn't mean I don't want to get shit done.  That's still naturally a big part of my modus operandi, but I want the expectation to come from a different place

apr.18 {from the outside in}

The past couple of days we have been wandering in the woods, splashing in brooks and ocean waves, exploring long and winding paths and marveling at the spectacular spring show Mother Nature is putting on for us right now.  Everything is tender and greening, and the skies have been so clear and blue it's like someone painted it.  Heaven. Since becoming a mom, I have never felt more connected to nature.  I know it is both because of having little boys who need to run in the fresh air as well as having found my own creative connection to the earth - it's a photographic study and inspiration that never ever tires. Being in the sunlight and among the trees is healing, like a giant exhale loosening all the tension.  I learned this when my oldest was very young and it was an absolute necessity for him to be outside.  It calmed his busy little spirit and lulled him into his happy place, just like that.  As he has gotten older this is still just as true, and now he is aware of his own c

apr.17 {in every depth and breadth}

{Sounding Line} 36x48, mixed media on canvas Right now the boys are digging a giant hole in the front yard.  We just had the yummiest breakfast at the little cafe at the top of our street just after I finished Sounding Line this morning.  Life is good. This painting is actually 3 pieces that have become one.  The first piece was a painting I made for a show last spring called A Sea of Words , a seascape made of layers of words and paint and map pieces. I began this painting long before then at an art gathering with some sweet peeps, and then it sat for a long while sort of done, but not really, as I wasn't really completely in love with it.  Something was missing but I couldn't figure out what. The second piece, Finding My Way , was a mixed media quilt I made last summer.  It hung in a show in the window at the local gallery and I was happy with it.  The piece met a tragic demise though, where at one point last fall it was chopped up into pieces and tossed away.  It was an imp

apr.16 {i heart Boston}

I was hesitant to go online this morning, to see the headlines (which I haven't looked at yet), and find the number of injured and fatalities had risen over night while most of us were tucked safely in our beds.  I was worried at the top of my facebook feed would be posts from my friends who discovered there was someone they knew who was caught in the melee.  Yet this tragedy already feels like a dear old friend was badly traumatized and hurt. Boston is the taproot of this small eastern state, and in many ways my life.  Having always lived little more than a thirty minute drive into the throng, it's a place that feels like home in so many ways:  It is where I became a citizen of the United States when I was 4.  It's where my father worked when I was growing up and where my mom would sometimes take my brother and I on special trips into the city to watch him play softball in the shadow of the big skyline along the Charles.  It is the place where I saw the Nutcracker as a lit

apr.15 {social media and the envy effect}

(... and the rest of the table is covered with crumbs,  random toys, and papers) The other day there was a link going around to an article about the issue of people promoting their lives on Instagram (and Facebook) in a way that only shows the good stuff - the happy photos, the beautiful homes, the smiling children.  For me, I wholly agree that to only represent the up-side of life is misleading, especially where we all can get caught in the comparison game.  It's only telling part of the story and it becomes pretty easy to think the flowers are rosier in everyone else's garden.  But I also think the "envy effect" says more about our own insecurities than it does about the purveyor of pretty pictures.  I understand this from my own experience, for sure. I often wonder though how much of other people's reality we really want to see?  I think a lot of people go on to these sites, especially Instagram, specifically to see inspiring and uplifting images, at least in

apr.14 {sun, rain and clouds}

Today, simply trying to stand in the fleeting patch of sunlight, catch the small moments of goodness, feel the warm swirl of hope, and remember the abundance of all that is in my life.  So this is me, showing up. Do you have those days too, sometimes?

apr.13 {inspiration has a story}

Throughout my creative journey there have been a lot of projects and ideas I've undertaken, some wonderfully successful and others that were not.  I thought in the spirit of truth telling and Gina's brave previous post, I'd share with you what happened to some of the bigger projects I began that never made it off the ground.  Each project was a hands-on learning experience none the less, and I hope that by sharing my experiences you might find some helpful inspiration in the lessons that I've learned. Wishstudio (the brick and mortar):  There have been two tries at having my own creative community space, one very early on in '07, and the second last year.  Both were very different experiences and didn't take flight for different reasons. The first Wishstudio , birthed inside an artist's building and studio community, was actually where the concept of collaborative community began for me.  I had the vision of holding space for other creative living types in

apr. 10 {ready for the world}

During dinner yesterday, we all were going around the table sharing good parts of our day and somehow we got on the topic of preschool.  Suddenly Alex realized it was Preschool Open House night and it had started 5 minutes ago!  I missed last year's meeting somehow, it wasn't even on my radar, and thus he did not goto school this year (which I wasn't really in any hurry anyway, so it was all good).  I just made it before the little info video started to roll.  This fall, off he'll go. Things are happening in his little world.  He wrote his name for the first time yesterday.  He starts Tball in a couple of weeks on the Royals, and he can't wait!  He's using words like "similar" and "frustrated" and "fire aspect" which I have no idea what that even is because it's a Minecraft thing, but it sounds sorta complicated and fancy.  He is getting the hang of his new Razor and is super proud of his big-boy scootering abilities.  It's

apr.9 {the biggest dare: show up with your whole heart}

Last night I listened to the lovely (and very funny), Brene Brown speak about imperfect and daring parenting.  It was a packed house, and considering the topics for the evening were mainly vulnerability and shame it was really awesome to be sitting in a room filled with other moms and dads who were also curious about embracing their own imperfections as a way to be a better parent.  There is something deeply connective about coming to a safe container, like the space that Brene created using humor as the jumping off point into the more tender areas, and experiencing the humanity of every person in the room.  Even though we mostly all sat silent, there was solidarity in the simple fact that we were all there acknowledging our imperfections, our fear of vulnerability, and the shame we carry as a natural result of simply being alive. I won't go into great detail because you absolutely need to read Brene's books  or listen to her  TED talks , or watch her  conversations with Opr

apr.5 {i really need to stop doing this guilt thing}

This has been one of those crazy weeks, one where every day is jam packed with places to go and things to do.  I can hardly believe we've made it to Friday without any major snafu.  Like always, the anticipation is worse than the actual reality and so this was the lesson for all of us all week long - take it one day at a time.  We've got this. In the wake of everything speeding by and filled to the brim, I've been waffling all week about a workshop I am supposed to attend tomorrow not knowing if schedules would realistically line up.  So I've been doing that thing where in my mind I can not fully commit.  Even though I intended to go, and want to go, and registered ages ago (doing a little happy dance immediately following), I have been feeling the hesitancy all week. Well, more like the burden of guilt. This happens a lot.  When there is a big opportunity of doing something really wonderful for myself I feel insanely guilty - for taking the time away, for spending the

apr.4 {telling your style story}

The past few days I've been immersed in the beginning stages of a new project and have been pushing past my old aesthetic to find the newer and more current one I've been playing with lately.  This process has really slowed me down and has had my creative flow all stopped up.  I've been tired and a bit frustrated, but I knew I had to keep at it - the clarity was just around the corner.   Since beginning this new WishstudioLife blog in January, I've had a really good but abstract sense of my style story simply by paying attention to the things that surround me and what I am drawn to.  But I've been trying to put my finger on one cohesive label and words like bohemian, handmade, edgy, feminine, gritty , have been in the mix but nothing had quite emerged as a clear and descriptive name.  I always need the words - it's just how I operate, and for this new project I really had to nail it down. Finally, it came to me yesterday after much tenacious searching, and since

apr.2 {searching for treasure, family style}

{our Secret Stairs letterbox} Now that the weather is beginning to turn for the better, the sun getting stronger and the birds busy in the new feeder beside the house, being outside is such good medicine.  One of our favorite things to do with the kids outdoors is go letterboxing and geocaching.  If you've never heard of this, it's pretty much like going on a treasure hunt with a map and clues leading you to a hidden trove of fun. Letterboxing , which we began maybe six years ago when our oldest was little, is a network of boxes that people create and hide, then leave clues behind for you to find.  Anyone can create one.  Inside the box is a log book of some kind, an ink pad, and a stamp that is usually hand carved.  Some of them are really beautiful and have such clever names and themes.  All you do is goto the Letterboxing website , look up a box in the area you want to explore, and it will give you the list of directions and clues plus helpful information about the location