Wednesday, December 30, 2015

So I'm not an alcoholic, but I am an addict...


 "It is impossible to understand addiction without asking what relief the addict finds, or hopes to find, in the drug or the addictive behavior." Dr. Gabor Mate

 i am addicted to drinking... i feel like i can hide everything i felt others never liked about me behind a glass of semi-ok tasting liquid with a short straw and ice... slowly slipping into the warmth of the 'alcohol glow' that i get after one or two drinks.
 i'm addicted to the way it makes me feel. what i know i can get away with and who i get to be with a glass in my hand and a buzz in my head... whether it's good for me or not. and honestly, it's not good for me. i'm escaping a whole host of things through that liquid portal into the place where things are all 'eh.' (those two letters encompass a world of ideas for me... sorry to be so vague...)
 sometimes, it's fun to go out and get a bit blitzed and stumble about with some mates, laughing my ass off, but often, i choose to come home because i want my bed, to be alone with my thoughts, and because my face hurts from smiling or my soul is a little thin from whoring itself out... and for what? 
 it's a way of feeling that i've made a significant human connection... that i've 'put myself out there.' i come home feeling cheap. no matter what the costume, the place, or the people... with a few exceptions that are so few and far between...

 so, in reference to Dr. Mate's quote, the relief i find in my 'drug or the addictive behavior,' is an escape from loneliness. or from boredom. ironically, i have more fun getting ready to go out than i do once i get to wherever it is i'm going for the evening... 

 i know this is all a little jumbled. i'm thinking through it all as i write, and when i sat down to write this post, i honestly was thinking that i wasn't going to drink in 2016, but now, i'm thinking that maybe i won't drink in bars/at bars (in restaurants) in 2016. as in, no social drinking in 2016... not making an event of alcohol... 
 i'm not an alcoholic, but i am an addict. i wish i could say with certainty that i was giving up drinking altogether in 2016, but the idea of not having a bottle of wine by a campfire disheartens me... or the occasional treat of an Irish rootbeer or Stubborn Mule... things i truly enjoy for the drink itself and not just the reward of head hum at the bottom of Glass #3. 
 so yeah. no social drinking in 2016. not going out with for the sole purpose of drinking. interesting how that came up and solidified... wow. i will admit that this frees up quite a bit of time... lol!
xo

Monday, December 28, 2015

2016... and for once, I feel focused... kinda...

  2015 is definitely the best year I've had in a while... a few things resolved themselves, some definitely difficult pieces of me see to have found a resonance with the Universe (instead of someone or something in particular,) and I'm not feeling the addict in me fiending for the manic satisfaction/torment of trying to connect deeply with other people. 

  I want to go into this year reminding myself that what I pay attention to grows. I can choose where my life is abundant and where I prosper. I know I've been scattered all over the place for a while, but somehow, that's ok because it's brought me full circle back to knowing... or not knowing but being. (Whatever it is, I don't care if I can't explain it. I'm just glad to have it.)

 I've been building campfires in my backyard lately. Wanting to be outside. I got a second hammock (one that looks like the kids' at Baylor (the local Baptist university) so I'll be joining what I call the 'pod people.' Seriously. When spring comes, hammocks EVERYWHERE. It's kind of surreal. I'll put a review of it up here as soon as I can reasonably test it out;) I also have my tent-amazing-hammock that I have been dying to use that I think I'll test at the same time. I think I could camp with just a fire and that one. 
  I like the building experience with the fire. The being alone with it. Gathering wood in my neighborhood (which the neighbors are only slightly curious about,) building a little kindling nest and getting it started with my fire-key. I've made fires before, but never without a bunch of newspaper and some lighter fluid or something... this feels more right. More sustainable. More self-reliant.
  Tonight I gathered wood that's been rained on for 3 days. Our fire pit was about half full of water and all I could think was, 'If I can get a fire started with this, in there somehow, I can start a fire anywhere... and that's important... heat. Warmth.' I sunk a big, flat rock in the middle of the water and tried about three different ways with the kindling and finally on the fourth or fifth try, flames that began to feed. :) SUCCESS! 
 Being able to cook on one is next. I'll start with tea;) I did skewer some brats the other night but those don't count. Lol... 

  And I've been reading. I read Clan of the Cave Bear in about 3 days and then started on Valley of the Horses, which I'm almost done with. I'm loving these books! They kind of remind me of a more elaborate Hatchet which was is an all-time favorite for me. The ability to live in nature alone without society and all the crazy appeals to me. I love my share of the crazy consumerism, which is something that I'm working on, and I'm moving more toward sharing and attempting a simpler lifestyle by making shifts out of the main road of 'Go out and drink. Go out to dinner. Go to the movies.' Etc etc etc. Everything is a search for amusement with expense. And my soul is getting crispy on it. Tired of the excess.

 Anyhow, it feels good. I don't know what I'll do this year. I did the year of not buying clothes Feb2014-Feb2015 or something close to that... maybe just continue on the long-term camping path... see where it goes?

xo

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

  

A Concise Cornucopia of Technique

  Anyone can pick up a paintbrush, fill a cup with water, and grab a child's pan watercolor set for a few dollars and have a go at creating something of their own; express themselves with just a few easy to come by elements. 
  Technique in any medium can be explained to death and usually books find a few that they focus in on with such intensity that it becomes hard for an artist to try something new. Wet on wet... dry on dry... salt and texture and so on and so on... blah.
  Artist, instructor, and author, Helen Birch has brought so many artists to reside between two covers in such a small book and then added her instruction to accompany the brilliant works of art. She covers all of her topics in just a paragraph or two in very concise and descriptive language. She doesn't demonstrate the technique, but one can gather just enough information to try and strike out on one's own. I love this because it keeps the artist from adopting a certain process to get a specific end, and though learned processes are valuable, these are the very ruts that can ensnare the mind into thinking it's 'just how it's done.' 
  Basics such as the Rule of Thirds, Working in Monochrome, and Selecting Paper are just a few selections from the book. Moving into more advanced principles and ideas for example, such as Pareidolia which is the 'tendency among humans to find something recognizable in indistinct forms,' even more advanced artists are sure to find a challenge or more than a few techniques here to either try or revisit.
  By no means is this an overwhelming book or a fully instructional book, and it's not meant to be. It's more of an introduction of ideas or a reminder of something valuable that may have drifted to the back of one's repertoire. 
  A beautiful gift for any artist. I give Just Add Watercolor by Helen Birch a full 5 stars.

xo;)


***I received this book for free so that I could honestly review it and give my opinion and feedback.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Look what i made;)


These are my tiny bunnies:) The middle rough one is from some of my handspun as is the green dress on the right;)
You can find the pattern here:)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara!!!!

 I received the most awesome mascara from Yves Saint Laurent to try for free! I honestly didn't know what to expect, but it smelled so good (I know, weird, right... but so good!) and it gave me these little sweetheart lashes that DO NOT CLUMP up together and keeps my lashes so freakishly and wonderfully soft!!! 
 I didn't think I'd be saying this, but Vox Box may have changed my mascara life forever! Thank you, Influenster for the awesome product to try and talk about!!! I'm loving it and sharing it!


xo

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

  Synchronicity is a word that I know very little about, but have experienced over and over in my life.  
  The other night, helping a girl into the bathroom at a bar, she suddenly looked up at me and with such meaning in suddenly clear eyes, started repeating over and over, "You are enough.... You are enough... You don't need anything or anyone else... You are enough..." 
  How does a drunken person take that? I brushed it off but it's been in the back of my mind over the last 48 hrs. I added her to my Facebook... she's gorgeous and so beautiful in spirit, which I think I had the soul-saving privilege of seeing the other night.
 There's a point when I'm working on a project... when I'm really immersed in it that I realize that I don't need anyone else. That I don't need the interaction of another person's thoughts or everything that comes with them...
  And yes, that's the colder side of me, because the other 80% loves and feels with such intensity that that is where I draw my inspiration and creativity from. I want souls... I think I freak people out when I say it, but I want souls... very few and very select, but I know who's on that list, and I am after them like there is no tomorrow. They are the ones that make my clock tick... keep me going... challenge me... put me back together... love me... and periodically, hate me... but I love them. I am willing to be destroyed for them, and for some, I have been torn apart over and over again, whether by my own demons or their betrayal.
  And then there are those that I owe my life to and that I have obliterated countless times, and for that, I am sorry. All I can do is try to make sure that I don't waste it... and I'm looking for a way not to waste anything... so overwhelming...
  I am enough... for what? Maybe that in itself has to be enough for the moment...

xo
  

Monday, February 9, 2015

Things I do at 2am that earn free stuff...

Ok... so I know that we're all up that one or two nights a week where we didn't go out, we're in our pj's binge watching a TV show on Netflix, and probably dinking around on the internet... so here's a short list of what I've been up to and why:

#1>> Swag Bucks: This is my ultra-favorite so far!!! I've gotten around $75 in Amazon gift cards and have rarely filled out a survey. They're actually fun to sign up with... it does help if you have a 'junk email' address to file everything you sign up for to. If you sign up under someone, you usually get a little starter help and there person you sign up under gets a bit, too! My link is here (and yes, I know it's a bit o' the self promotion, but I'd love it if you did sign up under me;)

#2>> Influenster: You review products and build 'impact points' to be included in a campaign send out which involves getting invited to get a Vox Box (which is a bunch of free stuff sent to your door!) Again, my link is here, and you can follow the blog if you like. I already help out my SB kids on Facebook, so if sign ups start coming through here, we'll start getting some tips and such up on the blog as well!

#3>> Watching Unboxings of Ipsy, Birchbox, and Vox Box on Youtube. Yup. Instead of cute kitten videos, I watch what other people are getting in the mail. (I have a weird obsession with getting mail that I think stems from the fact that I used to get presents, letters and cards from my sweet grandmother who lived across the country when I was little.)

#4>> Writing here in my blog and trying to come up with fun things to do for readers. I know I have a list of blogs that I read on a regular basis but don't 'follow' or even 'comment' on, so I'm aware that people are reading, just not how often or who... 

#5>> I use Oyster for all my digital books... ok, so I have Kindle for Mac as well because I can't help myself when Amazon is so accessible... I read... but sometimes I easily get disillusioned with a book or get the project/tips/whatever out of it that I want and then I'm done with it, so I definitely don't want to own it... gets expensive.

What do you do so late, lovelies?

xo


Saturday, February 7, 2015

 Let me preface what is about to follow... I am so not perfect... not even close, but I have thought and belief seeds that are sprouting toward action... and what good are thoughts and beliefs if there is no action? 
 However, sifting through what I'm interested in and what to do with all of it is at best daunting, and at worst, painfully paralyzing. Just start, right? Start with what I have? What I am? What I can do? Be the change? It should go beyond 'being' the change... I don't like this whole 'closet change' thing... reminds me a lot of 'closet Christianity...' Do not make so bold a move only to back away from it... (I don't know who said it, but I like it...)

So... interests include but are not limited to:

*mindless consumerism... and on this front, I am speaking purely of the flow of money. I think it's sick. People spending and spending and spending... I've done it... and then I got sick of myself... my excess. You're being told what to buy... being told that you aren't enough without it, whatever 'it' is... being told that it will fill this gap in your life, hole in your soul, bring that man/woman around the corner to solve all of your problems... whatever 'it' is, won't. 

*faces, not corporations... true, they are made up of hundreds, thousands, even hundreds of thousands of faces, but your purchase does not mean anything to them... your singular purchase by itself is nothing. they are not celebrating your hard earned money spent in their establishment (maybe in a bar graph as one of the 'millions' at a meeting somewhere...) 
 I want to spend my money where it feels like I'm helping someone to live their dream... I want to spend where someone's 'thank you' is genuine and you know they mean it because you may be their only customer that day... even their 50th customer that day... but they appreciate every penny... 

*urban container gardening food co op... this has been a hard sell... even among people already growing more than enough food on their balconies and in their backyards... all i can think is wtf? what are you doing with the extra? my mom had GINORMOUS squashes last year that she was trying to give away left and right! my idea is that everyone grows what they grow and then everyone trades and gives what's leftover away:) how hard is that? 
 there are people out there who don't have produce because it's too expensive or they have a limited grocery budget, and i think willingly sharing is a responsible thing to do... especially in the face of government hand outs. people taking and not giving back is a problem and causes decay in the soul... it degrades a person's character (imo... although even Gahndi said something similar.)

*wear things out... literally. people dispose of stuff (clothing, cooking utensils, toys, housewares, furniture... everything) long before it's done being functional. it's wasteful and disrespectful of the resources that went into making it. and if it no longer fits or  you can no longer justify owning it, garage sale it...yes. I do garage sales... sell things for $.50 and $1.00. it allows me to offer my stuff to others at a really cheap price (which charity shops in our area have quit doing...) I use the money to buy books, art supplies, food, etc. i do tend to give away a lot of stuff during the sale...lol... i can't resist. and this previous sale, we had been picking up pecans while walking the yard straightening things and we happened to give away a ton of those too!

*create something... anything. just explore making something. 

*read. read. read... i'm trying to get back into the habit of reading entire books... not just bits and pcs of 5 books all at one time.

*reuse... what if there's something that you're throwing away that could replace something you buy?! like those plastic containers you get butter, cream cheese, sour cream... weird... lots of dairy in those... instead of the hmmmm plastic containers you buy specifically for storing food and random things in? paper... the only paper i haven't replaced in my house is toilet paper. i'm not strong enough and i refuse. if the apocalypse happens, i'm so screwed, but until then, TP rules... lol. however, paper towels and paper napkins are a joke on the average consumer... you're buying paper to throw away. that's crazy to me. 

  i don't know... it's 1.20am and i'm sitting here thinking through all of these things and finally feeling like the elephant that was on my chest is thinking about moving... my phone is going off and i'm reluctant to share what's up with anyone i know... i've noticed that i have some dream-killers in my midst... (does everyone have those?)

  i'm going to go do something else... i want to say 'go to bed,' but i'm not sure at this point...

xo



new...

creating my morning habit…
 when i started in Tampa at SBUX 8437, i knew that i had to be good… so good that i was above question. so i learned… and invested myself. at Hastings, when Tony quit, i knew that i had to immediately be good and learning and honest. i had to be authentic about my strengths and my faults and say i was sorry when i was wrong and admit when i didn’t know. i needed to champion my people… my team, and when that wasn’t possible, get them under the radar so we could all learn together. in both situations, i learned to breathe my work. i couldn’t do it in my sleep, but i was present. i was there. if it had been a rodeo, my lungs would have been full of dirt and sawdust, horsehair and cow manure… i would have been caught in the ass by a bull’s horn. i was present. 
AVAPU… i find myself, again on this steep slope of a learning curve, getting geared up for God knows what and trying to guess where to gain a foothold. this is so different. so free… i’m used to structure, restrictions… something to fight against. now, there’s a vast void. space to create my being… my reality. i have no clue what to do with it and it. is. painful. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I have a trade friendly shop;)

Hello;)
 I just wanted to put out there that I have a trade friendly shop;) You can click on the link to the right if you're interested;) If you see something you want, just chat me up;) I'm friendly... look at all those smilies... gah.... lol.
 I am particularly in search of:
*organic or goat's milk soap
*incense
*essential oils
*return address labels
*original art/prints
*buttons--not plastic
*zines (paper and digital)
*geekery;)

I trade everything in my shop... and then there are things I have that aren't listed... mostly little things that are destash supplies for everything I make to sell. ;) 

Thanks!

xo

Saturday, January 17, 2015

ever feel like you're caged with your own words? years don't fix this... closing your eyes to it doesn't fix it... you can speak, but no one really listens and you're left without the release of resonance.
i feel dry, brittle, and starved... caving in. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Short dreads!!! And starting the Ipsy, Maven, Swag Bucks Adventure!!!







I'm doing it... I don't care if I'm a little shy, or don't have full on make up on for these... I'm doing this...lol... and so far, it's ok;)

Monday, January 5, 2015

ShaoLan: Learn to read Chinese ... with ease!

Reading Chinese...

 so... Ted Talks are often the inspiration for things that i end up looking into or doing... and this is no exception... apparently, it is easier to learn to read and write Chinese radicals than to speak the language... and so far, it's true. in just a couple of days (since about 12 am last night,) i've been able to learn about 10-12 characters and their meanings, spot them in print on packaging and billboards posted on the internet, and guess pretty accurately on their variations.
 i'm a visual person, and i write... somehow this makes sense that i can understand these this way... if nothing else, if i were in a Chinese speaking country (btw, Japanese characters overlap,) i'd like to at least be able to read and write in Chinese... i have a feeling that grasping this would allow me to speak the language eventually... or i'd like to think so;)
 it'll be out of order, but i'll post the video for the Ted above;) and a link that I'm using for my first 4000 characters here. (Which is a huge goal imo... but they kind of build off of each other, so we'll see;)


hugs and many adventures;)
xo


Sunday, January 4, 2015

not about to post this on Facebook...

 so i get this RANDOM message on my FB messenger from some girl... not going to share her name, mostly because i don't know her... saying, "Stop abusing the '_______s' and move on bitch!" using the last name of an ex-husband... i looked at her last name and messaged my best guess for a 'friend in common,' forwarding the message and letting him know that i hadn't spoken to the ex in question in literally YEARS... nor do i have him on FB... i did send him a friend request after our son had been here for a month... my bad on trying to communicate with the other parent... gah.
but, in the face of all of it, i have no desire for ANYONE to come out of the woodwork, no one to contact me regarding that bullshit life... none of it... but it was definitely a WTF moment... and changes my perception on a few people to slightly lowered opinions than i had previously... not that it matters to anyone but myself... and now i'm definitely laughing at it... it continues... omg.
PEOPLE. MOVE ON. ridiculous....


xo

sickened by myself...

to be perfectly honest, it did not start out to be this
useless... this 'cute...' this practiced, horrible shite...
i'm going to blame learning here...
technique and such...
layering...
otherwise, i will vomit.

do you know how many books teach 'whimsy?'
and i love the artists who do it with sincerity... i do.
but i can't.

tonight is the 1st Full Moon of 2015... in Cancer, which promises all sorts of emotional things rising to the surface...
outbursts...
but focusing is the key, apparently.
not my strong suit.
so i'll do what i know...
outbursts until i get it.

 i don't want to miss anything because i'm trying to 'focus' or interpret the intuition through logic... fuck that. it's not me. i want whatever is coming and i know better than to change horses so close to the race. you don't do that unless they have to be shot... and this one is still running.

 i don't always know exactly what it is that i'm trying to communicate... nature... i can do that... even my own interpretation of nature, but i'm not being honest with this children's art... it is a softer side of me and that's fine... it does exist, but that's all it's been. i can respect it as part of the journey... a healing process... a transition, but fucking hell.

 useless fluff... useless fluff... i was in the middle of creating it... 'creating'... using learned techniques that are a great starting point as long as they are moved away from... quickly... and i started to hate it... i do hate it... thoroughly...

 wtf. i think Christmas was an eye opener... useful and use up is what i asked for... ordinary things needed for life... make them beautiful, but i still want to be able to use them... everything else will be moving on... 
 i found a copy of Aldous Huxley's Doors of Perception... for .25... incredible... i have not yet read it...
 i'm still reading Women Who Run With Wolves... I don't know if Estes condemns this kind of horrific awfulness that has cropped up and put lace doilies everywhere to hide the darker sides that i have started to love... gah, and love completely, but she speaks of two natures of woman... one hidden and the other 'outer' that is seen... neither of these, for me, is this brightly colored... neither, and that is fine...

 i planted my feet... i took a softer edge to balance a sharper one... i took a blunt edge to balance a cutting one... iron sharpens iron but you can't sharpen shite when someone is cutting off your fingers...

 gah... useless. completely useless. none of it fits my dialogue... unless you count the surface ones struck up with strangers at a bar... and those are honest, but scratching the surface... not many stick around through those... i accept my abrasiveness... it helps me dodge bullets... and yet, i suspect i condemn others for the same sin that i commit. visceral words and concepts are more offensive from a woman... even in a feminine state... it is the sexism in our expectations... 

 sigh. work to do... so much work... things to start thinking through from a practical, lifestyle/routine/habits approach... action... no mere thoughts... action... do without doing... there is still a 'do' there... i believe this is the internal integration that bleeds out into our hands and feet... out of our eyes as we see... out of hearts as we feel what must be done...

 the actual labor will not be so dramatic... so horrendous with these 'pretty' fucking words... and fuck that word... if you're going to say it, say it well... this is me. 

 i don't know what i am going to do... i guess we'll see together...

xo.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

26 days until I turn 34...
I think I had a list at some point of all the things I wanted to do before I turned 34, but I'll be darned if I feel motivated to find it... 
i don't.
i'm not going to waste this year on shite... 
so...
26 days to refocus and prepare.
to ease up and lie back on the million unseen hands that support me in this life.
and to be useful, loving, and open to the world around me.
xo