Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To Create

What could be in this adorable box?

While you ponder on that. Let me tell you about my current situation. I like to mix it up on this blog. I talk about personal things, crafty things, but all the time real and true things.

My life has been, well lets just say not the most exciting lately. I ended 2011 in a bit of a slump. I was working at home (aka spending way too much time sleeping and lounging about watching netflix). This is not great for anybody.  Especially for those of you who may be like me and hate being alone. I swear it does something to you, being lazy. I was not happy. I have never been one to be long term depressive. Of course we all have our days. I feel like for the most part I am an upbeat person. Headstrong and lets be honest a little bit bossy, non of which are conducive to a sit on your butt all day and feel sorry about your life personality.

My parents gave me a sketch journal for my birthday. I don't know what it was but something just flicked on in my head. It was almost like one of those moments if you aren't sure if you should be jumping up and down screaming with joy or smacking your head against the wall for not figuring it out sooner.

With this new excitement still burning inside of me, I made a lot of decisions to change. I have been more active. Hey, those endorphins really do make people pleasant to be around. I have been sketching and creating more and with more purpose. I've been visiting my long lost love, the printmaking lab. I didn't realize how much I had missed it. I even called my mom the other day and told her I wanted to do a cross stitch typograhphic *sampler. I know crazy. I am so grateful for people in my life who support my creative nature.

I was discussing with a friend about what my life would be like if I had done something else. We were laughing envisioning ourselves doing anything but art. I have to say I can't imagine doing anything else.  I wish that everyone could do what they love. The pressures of family and money and well, just life in general often dissuade people from doing what they love to do. For me even if I am only creating for myself and the few who indulge in viewing my art then I feel accomplished for now. Who's to say what the next 10... 20... or 50 years have to hold for me. I hope that I can instill in myself this bit of knowledge to always stay with me, so even when I find myself at a low point I can remember what it feels like to know that what I am doing is right and for me.

Well I believe I have dragged on for longer than any of you care to read.


I have enjoyed making and painting these beads very much. It is almost relaxing to do the monotonous work of molding and painting. Some might think such a thing is tedious, but I love it. I posted a while back about some beads I made in a similar fashion. These were a little simpler so it wasn't as difficult to make a lot of them. I made this latest necklace for my sister in law Liz. I just love how the color turned out.

*At 12 my Mom made me do a sampler to represent a modern day girl's work on a sampler. It would go in a special exhibit at the church history museum she was in charge of that year. (more details another day?) I HATED it. I can't say whether it was just teenage hormones coming on or a real hatred but I feel I must try it again to know for sure.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cheers to cold toes and warm bellies.

I live in Logan. If you know anything about Logan you know that it is known for its bitter and miserable winters. I don't get into winter sports and sledding just scares me* so there isn't a whole lot to do when it hits January for me. This year we have been lucky enough to have our winter postponed a smidgen. But as all good things do, our beautiful fall weather had to come to a dismal end. Stormy, wintery Logan days like today make a warm drink a necessity for survival. And what better way to ingest warm hot chocolate then from one of these? 

My friend Mandy and I have been crafting on occasion and we painted these mugs a while back. You can pick some porcelain paint or pens from any craft or art store. They have so many beautiful colors; it was difficult to choose. Pens might have been an easier option. If you are not equipped with a steady hand and an ability to just let mess ups and globs work to your advantage, I would definitely go with the pens... However, the paint lifts off the surface and gives it a dimensional quality that I rather enjoy. So maybe try both? You decide. You can use mugs you already have or find some like I did from the local thrift store. I found this delicious set of eight for 50 cents each.

After painting them, I decided to send one across the ocean to my brother in Germany for Christmas. He has since enjoyed many tummy warming beverage delights (Hot Cocoa and marshmallow style). There is something about drinking out of an artistic mug that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
How about you?


* I know this sounds incredibly wussy, but people keep dying and getting hurt doing it... I guess I'm just      not as daring as I used to be. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living". - Marcus Tulius Cicero

Death. Why is it so hard to talk about? I keep going back and forth on whether to try and laugh about it once the pain has subsided or to be serious in my writings on the subject. It's so hard to find a good productive way to talk these things out. I believe it is always best to try and communicate. To express how you feel with those you love and care about. So I will do my best to express myself in an attempt to help better deal with the emotions I have. I will also try to discourage any further depression on the matter. For all the sadness we have to experience in our lives we should always try to look up and find a way to find peace in the things we can't control.

Today I want to speak only of the death of animals. I don't think I can even begin to fathom talking about the death of our friends and family. That is for another day.

We develop such close attachments to our pets that they almost, if not completely become human to us, and I believe that pets are a very important part of anybody's life no matter their age or status. If you have not yourself had the chance to own a pet. For shame. Go find yourself a rock or capture a snail* or something. Those are pretty low maintenance?

Ill give you a once over of some of my pets over the years that I have lost. Ill try to stay chipper, but cut me some slack we are, after all discussing the passing of our dear friends.

The rabbits, shiloh and milo. We loved these little guys. I found out they had been poisoned somehow and passed while I was staying in Logan with my cousins. My brother Matthew and I used to sneak them into the house and play with them in my ginormous, oversized pink doll house. My mother was not thrilled with this when she caught us. Here is my account of one of their deaths in journal form.

Don't you love the drawing? I guess I forever chose to deal with things in an artistic way. There are several more writings about later pets but I will spare you and myself the humiliation of those entries.

Princess. My first real pet was a golden retriever. We picked her out from our friends litter. We all loved her so much. She was, as my childhood journal states, "the best dog that will ever live." We found out that she had kidney failure and had to be put to sleep. I remember it being the worst day of my life. I think we all cried for days, even my brother Chris, who would never be caught dead shedding a tear. He tried to hide it by putting his entire head in his shirt. None of us noticed, we were all beside ourselves with grief. It was our first real experience with death. The closest thing to a family member passing I think we could get. She was, after all, all of our first and most loyal friend.

The Scruffinator aka Scruffy. Our little menacing schnauzer pup. He lived a long life but was sadly hit in his prime by some idiot teenager speeding in their idiot red sports car that no teenager should be allowed to have let alone drive. It was a traumatic event, especially for my poor brothers who experienced it first hand. I had just started dating Steve, so he got to experience my over dramatic flail to the ground in the most agonizing episode of grief. I think it might have frightened him just a little bit. Needless to say I cried my eyes out on the sidewalk next to him. Every time I think about it I get tears in my eyes. We were such great pals.

The Snake. Now this one I think you will all think I am a lunatic for even mentioning. (my grandparents and mother especially) I know there are a few of you out there who might understand. I had a pet snake. His name was Tee (after steve) but I just liked to call him snake. He was a little albino corn snake. Pink and orange and incredibly awesome. For unknown reasons he passed away not to long after Steve and I were married. Did I cry? you may be thinking. Why yes, I did. I don't even think I myself would believe that I'd be saying this if you asked me 5 years ago.....but I loved that snake.

Tippy. This was the most recent departure. Steve and I rescued the little guy** from petsmart where Marcus, my brother, was working. He had some inner ear infections and couldn't be sold, so we took him in. His ear had been fixed but he was a little off kilter at times (hence the name). He was hilarious. Seriously I never thought I could enjoy having a rodent as a pet, but he was an adorable little guy. Running in circles and grunting his little heart out in communication with Steve (his favorite). Sadly as a lot of guinea pigs do, he started having some stomach problems that led to his death. It was hard having to watch the slow process. I know it sounds quite silly to be so sad over such a strange pet, but it truly was incredibly sad. Side note: at the vet they make you check, out of three options, how much you care about your pet. It is a rather cruel way to make someone fill out paperwork if you ask me, especially when they have a sick animal. It was weird. I suppose they are just trying to do their job.

Somehow we form attachments to these little creatures and they just grab on to our emotions. I cried the night little Tippy died, I am not ashamed to admit it. I Sobbed.

I learned tonight that my grandparents had to put there dog, Wilson, to sleep. It is a very sad and unexpected thing. My heart just aches for them during this difficult time. It seems almost harder to bear then if I were going through it myself, knowing how much they are hurting over their loss. Cute little Wilson was such a great companion and friend for them. They loved him so much and took such great care of him. He is probably the most loved animal that has ever walked this earth.

I love my sweet Grandparents. They are some of the most caring and compassionate people I know. My sweet Grandma Jean is my number one reader here. I am always so thrilled when she tells me about how much she loves reading what I write. My Grandpa is so tough. I broke him when I was young by forcing him to hug me. I don't think he really ever liked hugging, but I literally would just hold on to him until he hugged me back. Now I find myself being embraced before I can even think to hug him yet. It would just not be a proper visit without a hug from him and a full tummy from Grandma's delicious cooking. I hope they know how much they mean to me. I finally got up the courage to try and write this post because of them and what they are going through. I know they must be in so much pain over all of this and I wish there was a way I could comfort them. I hope that my writings can at least let them know that I care for them dearly.

I love you Grandma and Grandpa. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I could be there to give you hugs.

Death. Why do we have such a depressing and frightening word for this. I suppose it is because it is a very depressing and frightening thing we all have to experience sometime in our lives here on earth. The death of those we come to love is never an easy thing and everyone deals with it in different ways. I don't think we can ever truly be prepared to lose those we love. I am sorry if this post has been a little bit sad, and a little bit different from my usual ranting and commentary on my life, but everyone has to deal with it in their own way, there is no right way to mourn.

All we can do is remember how much joy and happiness they brought to our lives. I am glad my parents taught me this after my first experience with death. Don't forget all of the wonderful things they brought to your life. Whether four legged friend or slithering serpent we can all benefit from the love of a pet, no matter how strange. Until next time.

*My mom used to pay me to capture all the snails in the gardens and yard. I was too sad to let them be viciously salted and thrown in the street by my I would try to keep them as pets. I know I am such a weird and unexplainable human. 

** He actually lived up to his name of pig, and was quite a chunky little fellow.

Friday, January 6, 2012


If you know me.... well... I need not explain.

Helllllloooo 2012. I really cannot fathom that this is our current year. It just does not compute, no matter how many times I go over it in my head. Well, what kind of human would I be if I didn't at least try to make some resolutions huh?

I have always been a terrible goal maker/keeper. Resolutions...? not really much difference between the two. I have always tried to think of some good resolutions but never really became passionate enough about them. Maybe I just haven't found something to be incredibly dedicated to? I do move from thing to thing, project to project. I am one who loves change and new exciting things. Hence why my goal making/keeping is usually a sporadic mess.

This year I was trying to think of things I could resolve to actually accomplish... I kind of lost track of time and by the time I came around to pondering this again...well here we are in two thousand and TWELVE and I have yet to actually set some resolutions. I do have one set... thanks to my parents. For my birthday they gave me this great sketch journal. I am pretty excited about it. A sketch for every day. I am pretty motivated and terrifically tickled with excitement about filling this baby up. I love to sketch so I am pretty sure this will be a good resolution for me. Thank you Dad and Mom for helping me set a resolution. One I am desperate to actually keep.

With resolutions fresh on my mind and after a conversation with my dad earlier today (about how a yellow light air day compares to living with a smoker. A red light day, well you might as well be a smoker if you are breathing that gross air. Thank you inversion) I found myself craving a drink... Diet Dr Pepper... my beloved vice*. Needless to say I questioned using the car. I decided I would get a little bit of exercise in order to obtain my drink... maybe work on one of those resolutions I have yet to commit to... eh hm weight loss? Good idea right? I did, however, question this "good idea" several times on my journey to and from the station. I am getting ahead of myself.

I live a hop skip and a jump away from a gas station but in an attempt to be an overachiever I decided to go to the one located up the street a bit farther. Quite a bit farther as I found out along the way. It's amazing how much closer things seem from the comfort of... lets say your motor vehicle or even a bicycle?

 I figured it would be beneficial for me to count my steps on this lovely little stroll to see how much ground I covered. I can't really say for sure that footsteps are a valid measurement for distance, but I counted them anyway. As I was strolling, counting to 100 repeatedly I realized how hard it was to count to 100 over and over without loosing count or track of my thoughts. My mind went everywhere. I think I will spare you the details of exactly where it went. All I will say is that I came up with some pretty creative things while inadvertently distracting the mathy side** of my brain. In turn my creative, free thoughts went wild without the distractions from the more analytical side of my brain. After my 3,636*** step journey came to an end as I walked up my porch steps I realized I rather enjoyed myself, aside from it being a much lengthier trip on foot than I had first anticipated.

I think I may be making this journey frequently, as long as this weather holds up?

I suppose I should make some real resolutions now? Maybe even some plans to keep them. I am not sure if this trip made a resolution maker/keeper out of me yet.

Only time will tell.

* I have no intentions of quitting or attempting to resolve myself of this beloved vice (a better phrasing than habit if you ask me)

** This is in no way an attempt to seem smarter or more scientific than I actually am. If you want to get technical here then I'd have to direct you elsewhere... I found this pretty interesting.

*** I may or may not have walked up and down my front steps in order to make that number become a cooler number... I also may have lost myself in counting a couple of times in the 70s... so, this number may not be completely accurate.