Entries from: September 2007

Wellness Wednesday: Dance

September 26th, 2007, Comments (13)

I've decided to participate (on a semi-regular basis) in Lunar Musings's wonderful new project called Wellness Wednesdays!

at my brother's wedding

This week, after dancing at two different weddings (above the fiansor and I slow dance at my brother's wedding) I was thinking about how good dancing makes me feel. I'm not a great dancer by any means, nor do I know any dancing styles like swing or latin (though I'd like to learn someday.) No, I just like to shake my booty from time to time. Dancing is good for the soul. So, where do I dance?

I like to car-dance (dancing in the car to good tunes on the radio...bound to get some weird looks thrown your way, but that's ah well.) I like to dance in the shower (just be careful not to fall on your ass, it can get slippery in there!) I like to dance in my apartment with or without the fiansor or the cats (the cats don't really love to dance with me I'm afraid). I like to make little playlists on my itunes of good dancing tunes and then dance around my studio.

I'm afraid the first dance at my wedding won't be anything fancy, but it will be lovely all the same. And then later, I'm sure we'll be getting down and having fun with friends and family. Isn't it amazing how dancing can make a wedding so much more fun?

Need some dancing inspiration?
-Check out NIA, a fitness and expressive movement practice that combines dance and yoga and martial arts and is loads of fun. Jaime teaches NIA and there are classes all over the place that you can check out.
-I loved reading Gabrielle Roth's Sweat Your Prayers. Roth writes, teaches, and makes music based around the idea of combining spirituality and movement. She has developed a practice involving 5 different rhythms that are fantastic to dance to. I got some of her music online and it's a wonderful way to sweat out whatever is going on with you.
- There are also loads of cool places to check out Freestyle Dancing, which is usually a gathering of people who dance barefoot to live music and can be quite fun.
-And there's even expressive movement therapy (sort of like art therapy with movement) that can be done one on one or in small groups. I've had one experience of this in a group and it was pretty powerful. So much is stored in the body, it makes sense that movement would help us connect to those stuck areas.

So, go shake your booty. :-)

Ooo, update: I made this button thingamabob for the Wellness Wednesday crowd. So feel free to save it to your computer and put it on your blog if you're doing this project too! I've got it so it links to the intro to Wellness Wednesday.


Creepy Crawlies!!

September 26th, 2007, Comments (7)

Gah and double gah! I was lying in bed, trying to drift into sleep when I felt something on my face, I thought maybe it was my hair tickling me or Emma's tail and went to brush my hair out of the way when I got the distinct feeling of crawling legs. Quickly brushing whatever it was away, I lunged for the lamp, scared the pants off poor Emma, and then turned to find the largest spider I've ever encountered crawling around on my pillow. Ahhhhhhhhh! I didn't scream, but I did yell. Ack!

Sorry to the spider lovers out there. I know they're not out to get me, but gosh darnit, they give me the creeps. I will usually hush them outside whenever possible, but I didn't know what to do this guy. He was too big. I grabbed my pillow with him scrambling around the sides and ran into the kitchen where I dropped it and yelled for the fiansor (who is loving Halo 3) so that he could see the monstrous spider that was just crawling over my mouth. Gah! Ew! Double yucko!

Needless to say, I have a serious case of the creepy-crawlies. I'm itchy all over and am wondering if there are spider friends lurking in my bedroom ready to crawl into my mouth while I'm asleep and drooling. Waa. I went back to the bedroom to investigate and found a weird insect lurking on my curtains. I don't even know what it is, but I'm not to keen on getting into bed right now.

I think I need to take a shower.

Mawage, Sweet Mawage…

September 25th, 2007, Comments (6)

In all this wedding mania, sometimes it's easy to forget why I'm making myself so crazy over what is essentially a big party. So why this big, romantic, event? Why the public declaration? Why the fuss and muss? I hope this helps to explain.

I'm not the mushiest person you'll ever meet (except when it comes to babies (human babies, kittens, puppies, etc...). I'm not quick to shower a person with compliments or dole out hugs with abandon. It's just not how I was raised. It's not that I don't care, it's simply through my life experiences I've learned that it was safer to keep one's emotions tucked away, to remain calm and neutral. I've had to learn and practice how to be more outwardly affectionate, to express my gratitude and love. I learned much of this from the fiansor. And sometimes it's not so much that I've learned from him, but that he's encouraged me to grow.

I met the fiansor over six years ago. I was looking for a room to rent and he was looking for a roommate for his apartment. I answered his roommate ad online and we talked on the phone. I'll never forget that first conversation. I remember where I was and what we talked about. I remember how we instantly clicked, how our sense of humor matched up, and how we both laughed easily. I didn't take the room, but a month later he sent me an instant message saying that he was sorry I didn't take the room. We started talking and talking online for hours and then on the phone for longer and then he asked me out for drinks. On our first date we sat in a cute little pub and drank kamikaze shots (of all things) and talked. Then he sat with me for at least an hour outside while I sobered up. Among the highlights of our second date, were our first kiss and a long walk and talk that I totally loved. We held hands walking down a city street and he told me about his dreams and goals and I was hooked. On top of all that he loved my cats and had a cat of his own and he had the most beautiful eyes. :-)

We've come a long way from where we started.  There were times when things got rocky, but I know we're more in love and stronger all the time. The fiansor is a wellspring of creativity. He has encouraged me to see my weaknesses as strengths and to expand the idea of what I think is possible. From me he's learned more patience and a quieter way of communicating (not everyone likes to talk as loud as they do in NYC!) Together we work at understanding each other. We're both quite different and have enjoyed learning more about what makes the other tick. We've even read books (or he's read pieces of them and I share highlights of the rest, as he can't sit still for long!) about introversion and extroversion and Myers-Briggs. The more we understand about each other the better we are as people and as a couple, much like Megan has written about recently. We're a work in progress and that's a beautiful thing. Being engaged has really hit home the sense that we're a team now and we've really grown in the last year and a half in learning how to work together as a unit, to look out for each other, and move forward together.

So, all that to say, that despite my various bursts of excitement about wedding shoes or complaints about rsvp's, we're both still taking time to remember what this nuttiness is all about, our commitment to each other, a celebration of our love, and the beginning of a new family. And I'm just thrilled to pieces about it.


Above: The fiansor and I at the end of my bridal shower when he came to make an appearance and got to check out the cowgirl hat and bouquet decorated  with ribbons from my gifts by my talented sister-in-law. Hehe. Oh, and by the way, I was careful to only break two ribbons, so only two kids for me! ;-)

More wedding updates

September 25th, 2007, Comments (2)

At the end of the weekend, I felt drained, exhausted, and low, but I'm doing my darndest to lift my spirits. I took a nap when I got home yesterday, I've been drinking lots of water, eating healthy, and doing yoga and it seems to be helping. That and some time spent with the best friend was essential in brightening my draggy mood.

Worked on some computer stuff this morning and early afternoon and then headed off to meet the best friend and her cute lil baby and we drove up to New Hampshire, hoping to stop by the gallery in Portsmouth, but traffic was icky and we had to go straight to my fitting appointment at the dress shop. Best friend was there to see how the bustle would tie up and oh my, it looks so beautiful. I felt so beautiful in my dress. I was all grungy in jeans and beat up shoes when I got there and in a few short minutes I was transformed. Amazing. I was so excited. The best friend got a quick shot of the bustle with her phone and I would post it, but I don't want the fiansor to see! :-) The seamstress there totally rocks. She's super sweet and she's done an amazing job with the dress. It fits like a glove and I'm so pleased.

I'm also thrilled with the sample necklaces that Maria of Believe Street sent me. I picked them up from the post office today and took them with me so I could show the best friend. It was really hard to choose our favorite one, but I think we have. Now I just need to check with my sister and see if she wants the same one or something different. We took them out at the bridal shop and all the women working there were oohing and ahhing over them. I even wrote out her website address on a piece of paper for them! I hope it leads to some sales, Maria!


Last minute r.s.v.p.'s are coming in and I'm about to delegate to parents a list of people to call who haven't sent theirs in. Our favors arrived in the mail today. I went with the Maple Trees in a box. They're super precious in person and come all boxed up in a pretty little package and ready to go. I could put a sticker on them or something with our names, but eh, not important. I love this company because they provide loads of great information about trees and part of the proceeds of the purchase goes towards planting trees. And if people are able to plant the trees outdoors, what a wonderful way to remember us!

Tomorrow we meet with the venue to hammer out details, Wednesday another hair trial, Thursday a meeting with the photographer, Saturday is my bachelorette party (we're going to paint pottery! yay!) Busy, busy. But I'm feeling excited again. Little moody? Yeah, but I'm ready and all the pieces are falling into place. Looking forward to fitting in some art making this week as I think it would be good for me. We shall see what comes out. Maybe just doodles, maybe more.

Smile, smile, Weddings, Smile Some More

September 22nd, 2007, Comments (4)

My little brother got married yesterday. Very sweet. Things went wrong as they do (my brother had an infected tooth and couldn't eat), but everything was beautiful and lovely. And now I'm tired and I have another wedding to go to. I'm so wedding-ed out!

My own wedding stuff is kicking in to high gear now. Lots of meetings and such this week to attend to. And I only got asked about five thousand times last night if I'm ready, excited, nervous, etc...I'm definitely ready already. Excited? Well, maybe when it gets a little closer. (Like someone I know who happens to be getting married today (good luck sweetie!) my mother is excited enough for the both of us, plus a million more. oy.) Nervous? Sure, but mostly about little stuff. Anxious, yes, but not too much yet. Oh, I so wish I was cuddled up with my kitties right now instead of putting on a pair of heels. Damn you heels!

Art and cats…what could be better??

September 18th, 2007, Comments (14)

I started this piece awhile ago and then I finished it up in Maine. It's 8"x8" with collage, paint, caran d'ache, and bronze powdered pigment. And I'm calling it, "The Key to These Roots." The roots and the bird came in towards the end and I'm liking them.

All in all, I'm keeping my sanity in the midst of weddingy stuff. I'm not being as good about food and exercise as I'd like, so I'm not going to be the most svelte I've ever been for my wedding. Ah well. I suppose it's better that I don't look the best I'll ever look in my wedding photos, so I don't have to worry about it all going downhill after that and never being that skinny or beautiful again. Geez, lovely the way my mind is working, eh? I'm being generally healthy and exercising here and there, had a great yoga session yesterday. So, I won't beat myself up and I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. I can't seem to motivate myself to be the most fit girl ever for my wedding. 10 years ago, I would have been totally obsessed about this, but today, well, I want to look my best, I want to be healthy, but I'm not going to kill myself over it either. I've got a lot of other wonderful things to attend to.

Helping to keep me grounded are my adorable kitties. With the weather getting a little cooler, they're ridiculously snuggly with me and with each other. Ack, the cuteness! Can't resist!

I've added a new print and a new piece of art to my store and wrote about it all on the Blue Tree Blog, so go check it out!

I’ve been working on the railroad…

September 17th, 2007, Comments (10)

Ok, I haven't really, but that's the song that popped into my head after a productive day. Started off a little slow, but then I started in on tackling and finishing up some loose ends. Phew, that feels good! And then more good news from Nahcotta. I sold all eight of my pieces from the show! Hooray! Two were sold right off the bat to the lovely Tammy Vitale who owns the first in the Subway Stories series. And then one to someone else I don't know. And then the remaining five to a man who plans to put them up in his Boston office. It feels great to sell a nice group all at once. So, I'm doing a little happy dance for that. And there's an interest in more, so if I can get some more out before the wedding, great and if not, well I'm not going to kill myself over it. There's a lot going on.

Plus, I haven't even begun to dig through all the goodies I picked up in Maine, I need to take pics of some finished art, and I have some serious organizing to do. See that organization book in my sidebar? Yes, I'm actually reading it and it's slowly (slowly because I'm reading it a snail's pace) helping me sort through all the stuff I seem to hold on to.

Speaking of books, I got an interesting email today from an assistant of Kimberly Wilson, aka Hip Tranquil Chick, offering to send me a free copy of their book in exchange for reviewing it on my blog. Isn't it funny how the internet works? The only time something similar happened was when I wrote a nice review about a book I discovered and was sent a free signed copy when the author found my review. That was a nice treat! I actually own a copy of the Hip Tranquil Chick book although I haven't read it yet (it's on my to read list), but I've heard good things about it and I do enjoy Kimberly's podcast. So, I was going to write back to the assistant and tell her that I already had the book, but then I thought, hey, maybe some of you would be interested in reviewing a free copy? I thought I might pass on a list of a few other blogs that might be interested in reviewing the book to Kimberly's assistant, so if you're interested in this, send me an email or comment here and I'll put together a list of other blogs for her to check out.

Weekend Inspiration

September 16th, 2007, Comments (8)

Patrons at the Nahcotta opening

Loads of artsy inspiration this weekend. Friday night was the opening of the Tiny Enormous Art Show at Nahcotta in Portsmouth, NH. There was a great turnout and lots of beautiful art to see. I'm already a fan of Cathy Nichols's art and now I'm also smitten with the art of Amy Ruppel, Jennifer Judd-Mcgee, and Tara Hogan among others. There's my art below and you can see more pictures here.

My art at Nahcotta

Saturday we did some shopping around, getting the fiansor fit for a tux and suit for my brother's wedding which is this Friday. Then getting all mesmerized by the fish at a tropical fish store. We saw a baby shark still in it's egg sac, craziness! Last night, spent printing things out, writing thank you notes, and recording rsvp's that have come in. Stayed up far too late and then slept a bit later than I wanted to, but oh well.

Sunday I went into see the open studios in the South End, visiting the open market and as many studios as I could before my brain was overstimulated and my legs were overtired. I especially loved viewing the art of of Julie Shaw Lutts, Cheryl Warrick, Janet Bartlett Goodman, Jessica Burko, and Yuko Adachi. I also enjoyed the art at the Jules Place gallery, especially that of Karen Tusinski and Lisa Occhipinti. So as you can see, I've seen lots of beautiful art and I'm full up with all the artsy inspiration I can take for awhile. It was nice to have a bit of a break this weekend and I feel refreshed. Ahh.

Wedding Veil Ordered – Check!, Crazy Relatives – Check!, Wedding Mania – Check!

September 13th, 2007, Comments (10)

Oh, I'm so off! I feel completely discombobulated. This cold is kicking my butt. I'm so over you, cold! Take a hike! I've got one of those racking coughs goin on that makes my brain hurt and sleep difficult. Despite that, I'm attempting to find my rhythm again.

Saw a great movie last night with the fiansor. If you need a good hearty laugh and you have a silly sense of humor (and you don't mind a little bit of over the top violence...there is a bit of gore in it, but it's not scary at all, it's all in the name of comedy), you might just love this movie, "Hot Fuzz." It's from the makers of "Shaun of the Dead" which I found to be funny, but also scary and I think it did give me nightmares. "Hot Fuzz" didn't give me any bad dreams. It wasn't scary, just ridiculous. It starts out a little slow, with silly British humor and then all the sudden it shifts into complete mayhem. I don't want to spoil the story, so you'll just have to go rent it yourself.

Had some more wedding discussions with the fiansor last night. Trying to figure out the shape of our ceremony, which is a little stressful and then all these little pieces like where we're having a rehearsal dinner (there's not enough space for that in our apartment), do we need a limo to pick up parents and grandparents?, and why won't the coordinator at our venue call us back?? (grr) Too many details to keep in my head and this is just the tip of the wedding iceberg. I always found the image of a Bridezilla to be a truly ridiculous image and even though I definitely haven't gone to that level of nuttiness, I am beginning to sympathize with women who lose it momentarily. Because when that woman flips out about place cards, it's so not about the place cards...it's about their cousins who won't tell them what food choice they want before the venue's deadline, and their parents bugging them about what tie color they should wear when she couldn't care less, and the friend who insists on bringing their baby even though it's an adults only reception, and the coordinator who hasn't been returning her phone calls in a month, and their mother is flipping out because they didn't see every single fitting and choice made in person, and some relative who is upset because they heard there will be bacon in one of the appetizers, etc...So, when she starts crying and yelling about place cards, you just have to give the girl a hug and not tell her that the place cards don't matter because she knows that and she's just super overwhelmed. I mean, getting married and saying your vows is a big enough life event to have to deal with and then having to plan this huge monster of a party on top of that is enough to make any girl, except maybe the martha stewarts among us, a bit batty. And oh boy, do I wish I had more Martha Stewart in me right about now.  However, after chatting and laughing with the fiansor last night, we both know that the day itself will be perfectly imperfect and fun and romantic and a whirlwind. My brother is getting married next weekend and then there will be only 3 weeks til my wedding. O.my.god. And so, posting may be erratic to say the least. Bear with me. :-)

And how bout some fun links before I head off to my mom's for a make-up trial? Sure.

-Thursday, September 27, Marisa of Creative Thursday is having a one-day Creative Thursday event where she's encouraging anyone who is interested to do something creative. Read more about that here!
-I was telling all the girls in Maine about where I got my fantastic purse. I picked out the fabric and purse design at a purse party/bachelorette party last year for my best friend. A rep from the company who makes them, called 1154 LILL Studio came out to the house with bags of fabric and purse styles and we got to spread them all out and play and design a purse (which was then made in Chicago and sent back to us.) It was so much fun and I use that purse nearly every day. You can go on their website and design your own purse online or go to one of their stores and do it in person. Much fun. And today I got an email from them saying that they're now selling their fabric alone which could be great fun for making curtains or a pillow or your own style of purse. The name of the company is from the address where they started out in Chicago and it was all started by a woman with a great idea. Their fabrics are great and if you've got one of their stores near you, I'd definitely check it out.
-This website for a cat cam invention absolutely cracked me up. Apparently, the camera attaches to the cat's collar and then takes pictures at regular intervals. On the site you can see examples of the inventor's cat, Mr. Lee's, travels. I love the pics of him coming upon a cat friend and then the various adventures they go on. Too cute!
-Anthropologie just opened a store nearby and now I can much more easily spend time browsing their super fun way of arranging a store. There stuff is expensive, but every once in a while, I do enjoy shopping there for a special occasion dress or fun knick knack. I happened to get many tea pots and accessories for my bridal shower from friends and family and I am just loving my new collection of tea pots and cups. I need to get some shelves to display them I think. I decided I had to have this cup and saucer for my collection since it is the one featured in the painting I bought from Jessie! And I bought one new fall outfit including this adorable sweater which I'm loving to pieces.

Ok, that's all for now folks. Have a wonderful evening!

Plenty to Do!

September 12th, 2007, Comments (9)

I've got so much catching up to do! I'm way behind in emailing people back, so if you've written, please don't think I'm ignoring you, I'm just way behind in lots of things at the moment.

The barn at Jes's "Plenty to Do Farm"

I had a wonderful, wonderful time in Maine at Jes's mini art retreat. It was really just what I needed...a wonderful getaway in a beautiful location with an amazing hostess, spending time with great new friends, lots of art-making, good food, antiquing, and laughing. It was so much fun spending time with the super sweet and talented Jes, Tammy, Mindy, Heidi, (and Susan briefly!) We did a fun art exercise by starting with a canvas and creating a background and then passing it on so that each of us did something on everyone else's canvases. In the end we turned out 5 collaborative pieces of art that were completely different and lots of fun!

Mindy and Tammy hard at work

Saturday night we had plans for dinner at a nearby restaurant. We all changed out of sweaty art clothes and headed to dinner and when we got there, we walked into a dining room with a table set for five and at each place setting was a pot of mums with a pretty fairy wand stuck in it. For a moment I thought, "It looks like this place was decorated just for us! What's going on?" Well, these lovely ladies had planned a lovely little surprise wedding shower just for me. I was so incredibly surprised, I nearly cried. What a wonderful gesture. I'll be forever grateful for it! We ate dinner, played games that Tammy had put together, had dessert, and I got some wonderful gifts: art from Tammy and Susan, a super cool picnic basket full of goodies from Jes, a beautiful set of chopsticks from Mindy, and a delicately decorated container with candles and matches from Heidi. It was such an unexpected treat.

My fairy wand, made by Jes!

The previous night, Jes and I drove out to Tammy's restaurant and enjoyed a delicious dinner on the water. It was a wonderful evening. Jes and I got a little mixed up on the way back (because I can't read directions backwards...doh!), but we did get to see a couple drunk guys playing rock, paper, scissors in a parking lot! :-)

On Sunday, Jes, Heidi, Mindy and I went out and did some serious shopping at a flea market. I think I got enough paper goodies to last me for a year! hehe... I'll share pics of those later on. Besides the fun paper goods (books, pictures, etc), I also got a collection of old keys and clock parts, a funky old button, some lace scraps, and a rhinestone brooch (maybe for my hair for the wedding?) After we'd worked up an appetite we lunch and shopped around some more before saying our goodbye's and heading home. I had such a wonderful time, ladies. Thank you again! There are certainly more photos to share, so more later...

I had a bit of a cold over the weekend and it's gotten a little worse, so after taking yesterday to try and rest and get better, I'm a bit frustrated that I'm not all better today, but what can you do.

Tomorrow is my second hair trial. Hopefully that will go well! Oh, and I bought my veil online. I found someone who makes them online and I hope that was a good choice...seems like anything but the way over-priced salon veils would be a good choice at the moment.