Can't seem to shake the blues today. Feel like i'm wearing a foggy coat of blur and sadness. And slowness. We had some swirly snow today, little cyclones of wide airy flakes forming patterns on their way down to the wheat colored grass and almost blooming daffodils. I miss my mom, and family in general. Sometimes it just feels like an itch that can't be scratched, one that sits deep inside. I just want to reach in and pull it out, bit by bit like a long cotton rope. Or shake it off the way Ollie does. Shakes that start from his nose, go through his middle, and finish at his tail. One at a time, but in fast forward motion, an energetic flutter that seems so effective.
Something I'm really glad I still have; the starts of emails from my mom. I found a lot of love in those greetings today, love that I feel like I might have missed way back when they were originally sent. Or at least the weight of that love could not have been felt. The weight and the lightness both.
Hi, honey bunny.
Yesterday I sat on a bench at the edge of a window display at Anthropologie...
Hey Cutie, glad you are happy with the flight times...
What a day.
Too funny!!! I wish I did have teflon in my ears.
Good morning sweet thing, just want you to know how much I love you.
You are too funny! I miss laughing....
Happy Monday :)
Good morning...Hope you're warm and cozy.
Good morning...I just got online to write you a note and there you were!
Someday I'm going to walk into YOUR shop and want to buy everything there.
love you more than all the stars......:)
Sometimes I wish so much that she could have seen the town where I live, where I moved to when I moved across the country away from home, where I found love, where I'm beginning to feel home. I wonder if it will ever completely feel like home. There is this small part of here that feels like it doesn't really exist, because she never saw it, and I wonder if everything new will feel that way forever. I have been thinking maybe I should write more letters to her, write of all the new things she's missing. Today I would have started the letter like this: Hello Mom, It snowed here today, but we have daffodils.
Hello, hello! How has March been treating you? I hope very well! It's been busy, busy here. Lots of work, which is something to be so grateful for. It's all sort of happening at once, so I have no photos to share yet, but will soon. The last few days I've taken a break from deadlines to work on some new things for the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, which is this Saturday. I've had a great few days in the studio mixing colors and printing.
I decided that for this fair I would make a pledge to myself to keep it simple, use more color, and most importantly that I would have a good time. So far, so good! I've had a wonderful assistant these past few days, the sun! It's been warm, and bright and very cheery on the fourth floor this week. Fingers crossed the sun comes out again today! I'll take some snaps of my progress to share here with you again tomorrow. For now, here are a couple of shots of my inspiration wall at the studio, complete with color swatches!
Thanks so much for all of your thoughtful comments about cutting back and weeding through blogs. I really enjoyed reading what your thoughts were on the topic. My rule has become so effective that this week I'm only looking at flickr. I may sneak a peek here and there at a couple of links from photos of friends, but it's been very easy to be away, easier than I thought. It's helped me be so much more productive with my time, and I feel a tension has left my shoulders as well.
Ollie is happy too, because it means during little breaks for tea here and there I'm no longer staring at a screen, I'm playing ball with him! I have missed many of you though, and know I will return. I told myself that the next rainy day in that I take off will be full of netflix movies and catching up with you, sweet friends.
I have a hangover (not that kind). I'm sitting here listening to Kentucky Rain by Elvis Presley and still, at 2:30 in the afternoon, after I don't know how many cups of tea, I am still so woozy. I'm creaky and awkward and in a half-stupor of sleepiness and smiles. I'm trying to eek a workday out of what's left after a handful of wonderful telephone conversations, a game of fetch with Ollie outside in the warm sun, and some bumping into chairs and tables for good measure.
I stayed up nearly all night reading Molly'sbook, and then woke up early to finish it. I can't really put into words just how much all those words and sentences and paragraphs and moments and memories mean to me, so I'm not even going to try. Also, that's not what it's really about, is it? You should just read it for yourself, it will mean something entirely different to you, I'm sure.
I thought to myself that perhaps I'm not alone in feeling a little bit connected, or a lot connected to the patchwork family we've all sort of become over the last handful of years. And so, some phone calls were in order. I wanted to share with some of the friends I've made here just how great a feeling this is, and they were very much in agreement, I found. This feeling comes, ironically, at a time when I've actually been trying to pull away a little bit. Well, pulling away isn't really the right way of putting it. Let's just say I'm trying to be a little more purposeful, a little more deliberate about what I put in front of my eyeballs each day.
It can get sort of overwhelming around here, can't it? Like it's just all way too much of everything. Way too much inspiration to actually be inspirational, way too many ideas multiplying from that inspiration than could ever be possible to bring to life, and way too tempting to be lead in directions that lead far, far away from the path you intend for yourself. Like my friend Blair said today, after the avalanche of images we can expose ourselves to during an afternoon tour of blogs and websites, sometimes "it feels like you have to lay down and take a nap." I agree, and well, I don't want to feel like that anymore.
So, in the last couple of weeks, coinciding with my new weekly menu plan and shop (which is going so well by the way...more on that later), I've implemented a new personal rule in an attempt to make that feeling go away. I don't want to feel tired, or distracted, or wasteful of my own time. As I've been working on the watercolors, and some other new work for a beautiful shop in Brooklyn (more on that later, too) as well as some new things for Hygge & West, I've been trying to focus on reaching deep down inside. I'm hoping I'll find a way to express what's at the core for me right now, what I really want to say. Of course, I don't want to be so deliberate as to lose an opportunity that may arise to arrive at an idea gracefully. I just need a selective pair of blinders. Blinders that serve to reinforce my ideas, rather than distract me from them.
One day, I stumbled on the idea that I could choose just what I want to be influenced by. Obviously the idea is not a new one, by any means, but I hadn't been thinking in these terms at all for a really long time. I mean, I use Bloglines. And I have made efforts in the past to cull the list down to my very favorites, but after all my efforts it is still a very, very long list. Really long. Embarrassingly long. And a lot of the places on my list were un-bolded by me every. single. day. The madness had to stop if I was ever going to find my core, it was getting to the point where I was wishing someone would screen print me a map or something. Ridiculous.
So I don't use Bloglines anymore, except on Sunday evenings. After dinner and the dishes (well maybe before the dishes) I sit down and choose 5 sources of online inspiration I'd like to give myself for the week and a couple things from my own shelves too (poetry, craft books, fiction, cookbooks, catalogs, music, whatever). This doesn't mean I can only look at 5 entries from Sunday to Saturday, it just means those will be my only stops throughout the week. No Bloglines, no more endless scrolling, no more avalanche. I guess it's similar to the idea that the music you listen to while working on a specific project might seep into the work itself in some way. As inspiration goes, it will always have a mind of it's own. You never know when it's going to come, so it still swells up naturally, just from a very particular place, if at all.
It's working. My mind has quieted down (*with room for improvement), I'm feeling grittily satisfied after the end of a work day, and grateful that I'm getting close. I'm on to something, I think. What I'm trying to say is starting to bubble up a little bit. Ideas are pulsing, thoughts seem to be in a holding pattern, almost ready to land. And it feels so good, woozy but clear, like a hangover. The good kind.
* Flickr doesn't count as one of the five quite yet.
It's March already, can you believe it? It was a quiet weekend. A cold weekend. There's not much about this last stretch of winter that I'm loving, try as I might. There are the evenings making warm, hearty dinners as darkness falls upon our little cottage. A sense of pause, a reprieve from a busy life. I do love that. I don't think I will ever tire of that. So I try to soak it in before the long days come. The days when the sun shines long past dinner, the days when dinner is really more of an afterthought. Lunch becomes the main meal, so to carve out time for long evening walks in the woods, walks that end by flashlight, lingering visits to the farmer's market, time with friends. I can't even imagine that now, on this 10° morning.
I did manage last weekend to plan a week's worth of meals, shop for them and actually cook everything on our list, and then some. What a difference that made for me time wise, sanity wise. I'm sold. Some minor improvements on last week: I made the list and then sent C yesterday to pick everything up! Also helpful, spending a little time throughout the week combing through recipes, finding inspiration - enough to make all the ingredients for six days worth of meals fit like a puzzle. This was much easier for me than trying to come up with a grand plan the day of the shop.
For now, while deadlines loom, I'm appreciative of the extra handful of hours I've gained in a week not making so many trips out for supplies. But soon, I hope to squander some of it away on myself. Reading something perfect by a friend, or going to the movies with a friend, or writing a letter. Or possibly shopping for some sandals, in an effort to tease spring out of it's hiding place.
Happy new week, happy clean slate to you!
P.S. Later this week I'll share a larger peek at the watercolors I've been working on. I'd love some feedback, if you're willing? I also want to talk about inspiration this week, I'm hoping you'll join me!