31 May 2010

dream cat

Yesterday, I was visited by this cat.  He was a dream come true.
I had been getting a little blue with all the rain, all the changes, the transitions, all the processing.
Deciding that a cat would solve my problems, I began lamenting to people about how my little house was just oh-so perfect for a kitty, and I how I wished I could just borrow one for the day.
And then, yesterday, I opened my door...
And this furry little guy came running inside.
I was so caught off guard that I only managed to snap this off kilter and dimly lit shot of him exploring, because then he was upstairs, curling up on my bed.
I let him hang out with me for about a half hour before sending him on his way, giving him lots of treats... perhaps enough persuasion to visit me again soon?
  
I'm working on the Etsy shop this week, editing some of the stuff already there, and getting some new things ready to go.  Stay tuned because next week, I'll be having a special offer for all of you lovely readers.

I hope you've had the most wonderful long weekend.  May was turbulent and powerful, but I'm so excited to see what June inspires...

28 May 2010

a few scenes from today

It's still raining.  And it's still suiting my mood, my demeanor, my day's activities.  The soft sounds of water falling from the sky has been comforting as I process everything that needs processing.  Feeling slightly cabin feverish this afternoon, I bundled up and went for a long, meandering bike ride.  Got completely soaked in the process, but it was so invigorating.  I didn't bring my camera in fear of it drowning, but of course I saw scenes that I wanted to snap - a little boy standing in a puddle in his driveway holding a cat almost as big as he, the pockets of fog snuggled in between the mountains, an older couple dipping their toes into the bloated river holding hands.  I did venture out into my soggy yard to snap the droplets on the plants, who seem to be utterly invigorating by all this moisture.
As I mentioned, my roommate moved out and I've rearranged the house so that it's me, not us.  This is a little corner of my new space - a space completely designated for creative endeavors, and all of my supplies/idea journals have their own spot in shelves.  It's much more conducive to creating when I don't have to unpack everything from boxes every time I want to paint.
I've finally caught up on all the mail and bills and saved the fun mail for last.  I had some stamps made, got a bunch of fun handmade grad presents from dear friends, received some fun new CDs (Black Keys!  Sharon Jones!  Basia Bulat!), and was given some sea glass from Israel from a blog friend.
A virtue that my mother really instilled in me is the necessity of having a full pantry.  If I just have a couple green things, a sip of orange juice, and some cans in my kitchen, I start to feel anxious, disorganized.  So groceries have been purchased, fun new meals planned, and ohh, the raspberries...

27 May 2010

The Plan

It's been a dark morning, but perfect for thinking.
I woke up a little bewildered, wondering why I needed to turn my light on at eight in the morning, until I registered the sound of the rain.  
I've been sitting at my new desk in my living room, facing out the big windows, freshly picked lilac in a vase.  Writing my thank you notes, opening mail that I've neglected the past few weeks, eating raspberries and a slice of cold pizza.
Thinking about my plan.
Thinking about my habits, my vices, what I want to change, what I want to accomplish.
I think this gift of time I have is going to incorporate being gentle with myself, but at the same time stretching and challenging myself.

So this is how I'd like my schedule to shape up:

8ish AM - Wake up, have a smoothie while doing a 10 minute journal and a 10 minute sketch.  I used to do a free write for 10 minutes every morning in high school and it helped so much in centering myself, and realizing what had been eating at me the night before, or what it was that I really wanted - needed - to accomplish.  For some reason I stopped once I got to college, but I think I need to bring this back into my life.

9ish AM - Run/hike/bike/some sort of outside exercise.  I find that when I get this over with early in the day, not only do I feel wonderful and clear-headed for the rest of the afternoon, but I also sleep so much better.  I also want to stop thinking of it as a chore, because I really do enjoy it.  I need to remember that I never regret exercising, and always feel so much better afterward.  So just do it!

11ish AM - Spend some time blogging or catching up on all of the lovely blogs out there, e-mailing, internet stuff in general.  I'm in the habit of reaching for my laptop upon waking up, and I really want to cut that out.

Noonish - Lunch!  My favorite meal of the day.  I want to eat, and just eat, not read or talk or facebook or any of that nonsense that I absentmindedly do sometimes while eating lunch.  This should be a time of reflection, or quiet, of deliberate, slow eating.

Afternoon - paint/draw/write... create!  I really want to work on some short stories that I've tabled for a long time due to paper-writing for school.  Also watercolors!  I have so much to learn.

6ish PM - Dinner.  Again, deliberate, slow, quiet... unless sharing the meal with loved ones!  Also, now that I have time, I want to cook more intricately, more passionately.  Not just eggs or beans every night.  Another hindrance of cooking the way I want to is that I have to wash my dishes by hand, a task I've always hated.  But now I have time, and there is something very hypnotic and meditative about washing the dishes.

7ish PM - A stroll down to the river, or around the neighborhood with the camera.  At home with my parents, the ritual is a walk down the long dirt driveway every evening after dinner.  It's such a peaceful act, one that I'd like to carry over.

8ish PM - Read, watch a film, or go out with friends.  I really am a night owl, which I respect about myself but also get frustrated with at times, so I'd like to attempt to go to bed earlier.  Also, every night as a child I would read for at least an hour, usually two, before going to bed, and now that there is hulu and instant netflix, and all of those other ingenious distractions, I rarely make time for a good book anymore.  Reading for school was a very big aspect of that, so now that I don't have obligated reading anymore, I want books of my choice to be reintegrated into my nightly ritual.

Phew, I hope I didn't completely bore you with that, but it did help me think about what I really want, especially when putting it all out there for everyone to see.  I make schedules like this from time to time for myself, and then have a hard time not beating myself up when I stray from it.  So the most important aspect of this time, as I said, is to be gentle with myself, but also to really try.
So, do tell me, what is your summer schedule shaping up to be?  What are you going to try to work on?  When is your special you-time in the day?

25 May 2010

regrouping

Quite suddenly, all is calm.
The cousins and aunt flew out this morning and my roommate left for Mexico.
Quite suddenly, I have a blank calendar and a partially empty house, just for me.
I've noticed that when I'm crazy busy, I crave silence and solitude and free time, but once it's handed to me, I get restless.  Today I allowed myself to stew in all of the different emotions that were somewhat postponed from all the visiting and revelry.  But I need to make a schedule for myself, fast, otherwise I could stew all summer.  Tomorrow morning will involve lots of lists while I drink my peppermint tea.
Shari's post about mornings made me think a lot about how I can choose to structure my days, now that I have the flexibility.  Generally I limit myself with the "night owl" label, and stay up later than I want to.  But this morning when I drove everyone to the airport at 6am, the sun was just peeking over the mountains and the trees seemed alert and everything was quiet, and I had one of those moments.  You know the kind.
I have seven weeks before my summer job starts, so this is going to be my time.  It really feels like a gift to have such a stretch of time for myself.  
I'm going to brainstorm how I want this time of mine to take shape, and I'll be back very soon with the plan.

22 May 2010

scenes from a saturday

This morning I took a morning walk through the sage and white flowers with a mug of peppermint tea.  I'm allergic to caffeine so peppermint is the biggest boost I can get in the morning.
My aunt, mother, and I went to the farmer's market and got blue eggs and green garlic.  I also bought myself a ginger lemon cookie that I ate with a mug of milk.
I walked the cousins down to the neighbor's farm so they could go horse back riding.  I'm not terribly fond of horses, so I befriended the lamb.
While downtown, we stopped at a vintage clothing boutique that's going out of business.  I got a gorgeous 50's dress that fits as if it was made just for me.  I also snagged a bowler hat... I'd been keeping my eye out for one ever since seeing Audrey Tautou in Coco Avant Chanel.  The balsam root are blooming so of course I had to stick one on my new hat.
For some reason I'm feeling a little under the weather so the rest of the evening will be spent curled up by the woodstove (it's been in the 40s the past couple days... brr...) with some cocoa.  I hope all of you lovely people are finding warmth and happiness on this wonderful Saturday.

Oh and P.S. I almost forgot... this video completely made my day, and I think the world might be a better place if everyone did this every morning.

19 May 2010

cousins

I've been hanging out with these goonies all week.
My cousins are here from North Carolina and it's been all giggles and goofiness.
We hiked up to an overlook of the valley.
We dressed up in fake mustaches and cowboy hats.
We mountain biked around a lake.
We made oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, oh my...
We picked lots of ticks off of ourselves.
We mooed with the cows and talked to the birds.
We discussed how adults talk too much.
We used beets as lipstick during dinner and decided beet is a good hue for all of us.
Tomorrow we're hiking up to some hot springs.
And yes, those are thigh high socks with apples.  They rock some sweet kicks.

15 May 2010

summer is upon us!

I have to admit, being done with school still hasn't completely sunk in.
I'm still nagged with that feeling that I should be working on something, I must have some homework to do, I need to study.
Knowing myself, this feeling isn't going to vanish overnight, so I've decided to channel it toward positive things.
The past few weeks involved a lot of sitting... in classrooms, in cafes studying, at my desk studying... So I'm getting back into a workout routine.  And it's all fun - hiking, swimming, biking.  It feels so good to move again.
I also am so excited to start actually cooking again.  Beans or eggs for dinner happened so many times this last semester it's a little bit ridiculous.  Who has time for cooking when they have to figure out olde english??  But now, I have things I want to make!  I've been feeling inspired by the versatility of pizza lately, and how many healthy variations it can encompass.  Whole wheat oatmeal crust, here I come.
Sometimes it feels like when I have to work on mandatory things, all sorts of creative ideas come flooding in, which is exactly what was happening over finals.  So I'm very excited to revisit those scrawling pages full of projects waiting to be worked on.
Today was the farmer's market and localfest, a big celebration of all things Missoula.  It got me really excited for the next couple months of freedom I have...
What are you looking forward to now that summer is upon us?

graduated.

Hello.
This picture captures this past week.
The fuzzy mess of studying and exhaustion, and just way too much going on.
BUT!
But, but!  I am done.
Done with college... how bizarre.
There's been lots of celebration and family visiting and recuperation.
I'll be back asap with a real post.

10 May 2010

stickers

Hello!
Just a quick note on this sunny Monday afternoon.
I just listed this sticker set in the shop, the same stickers you guys saw in the last post.
They're a summer set, all bright colors and full of sunshine!
I'm just so pleased with the way they came out... and have been sticking them on everything!
I'll be posting a set of these elephant stickers later this week
So keep your eye out for that!
It's finals week, so I should get back to the books...
Have a happy week!

p.s.
Stephanie's post about gin & tonics is making me so excited for this summer to start... my freedom from school begins Thursday!
Also, I can't get enough of the new Black Keys; go listen at NPR!

05 May 2010

wandering through the morning...

with a mug full of tea and a mind full of magic...
stopping to admire my new aloe plant... it was a gift from a stranger who was walking around missoula handing them out to those who were smiling...
enjoying a peanut butter spoon for breakfast... the organic, real, just peanuts kind of peanut butter...
making little 2x2 envelopes for mother's day gifts...
and cutting out my new stickers (more on this later)... 

it's been a glorious, (cold but) sunny morning, full of new projects, yummy treats, poetry, and planning...

where have your morning wanderings taken you?

01 May 2010

1 MAY

The skies have been mercurial this weekend.  
Dark, so dark the lights have to be turned on at 3.
Light, flying and firing down the hallway.
Back and forth and everywhere in between.
The dark grey sure made the budding trees pop.
And rainbows!  
The kind of rainbows that make you wish lugging along the camera on a run was possible.
This evening involved a trip to the movies, the baking of a rhubarb crisp, and Beatles sing-a-longs.
Just what was needed.
Oh, May, I love you already.