Tuesday, January 28

Infertility and Humility and Art

Here is a question I answered in an (very well put together, seriously great questions Tiffay!)  interview not long ago. I like how the interviewer acknowledges that we have to create a spiritual space inside of ourselves to be safe in our creativity. Its such an honest evaluation of how hard it is to show our deepest selves in our art, and in our lives. It made me think about living honestly and fully and of course that led me to think about humility and empathy. I really do want to help people who are afraid to show their work but its a deeper issue than being afraid to show your art. Its about being afraid to be yourself, and maybe even afraid to see yourself at all. Does that make sense? I have talked before about how focusing on being a source of positivity for others actually makes is much easier to be open about yourself (code for showing your art if thats what your goal is) because your focus is not on yourself, or your ego or your image, but on a meaningful interaction with another person. Is it so wrong to say that when you do that, you find many times that the other person you are having a meaningful interaction with is someone who's perspective, or values are not in line with yours? I think that its ok to acknowledge that, take their opinion with a grain of salt, and move on. (code for not give a fly fuck). I say this in the most respectful sense of course (sarcastic but not really). I talk about infertility here because showing my art has honestly never been hard for me, but talking about infertility was hard for me, so it makes me more empathetic toward the many who have asked for advice about being open about art, which is really about showing our true selves to the world.

Lets talk about when others are rude to you.
I can tell you that when I was talking about my infertility and struggles with that, I encountered some rudeness that I was floored by. But for the most part it was unintentional rudeness. I mean to say that it came from a person who was so self absorbed that they didn't even know that turning my problem around and putting their judgmental spin on it was hurtful or selfish of them. Perfect example: I was telling the mother of a friend at a party about my struggle and a new mom overheard me and came to say, loudly, in front of everyone at the party that I didn't really want to get pregnant anyway. That she had been sick, and fat, and in pain for nine months and it was terrible...Then I guess she felt guilty b/c she said she would do it all over again for her sweet baby....I must have had a really blank look on my face b/c she stared at me for a moment and then my friends mom gave me a hug. (Insert open mouthed speechlessness here) She is telling a woman who would give anything, and has given more of herself than she thought she had just for the chance to be fat, sick and pregnant. How could she know about the thousands of dollars I spent, the anxiety, the fact that I had already been living with the pain of Endometriosis for years and years. I wanted to kick her in her vagina. But it made me realize this:

People offer advice when you feel down b/c they want to be the one who fixes you. They want to insert themselves into your problem and be victorious in offering the solution or the perspective that will make you better, or happier. That kind of advice is motivated by selfishness, not humility or empathy. (although I still give the benefit of the doubt and think its just a lesson not yet learned and not coming from a malicious place.) Mostly in our culture living in sadness is not ok, you must always prove you are feeling better, or you must always fix other's to make them feel better. Thats our duty! I could write a whole post about etiquette for infertility in our culture, and maybe I will! But I learned that is ok to live in sadness, and that I don't have a responsibility to make others feel better about my sadness. I also learned that I can't control the negative energy that will be hurled at me when I open up, but I can control my reaction, and I can learn from it how to be better to other people. (I am not sad anymore, btw, I get over stuff fast, lucky me.) 

This leads me to think of a moment when I realized that the opinions of others don't have to mean anything to me: I remember talking to one such "friend" and seeing the look in their eyes as they reacted to me saying that I didn't want to pursue IVF and I would rather adopt (this is getting heavy y'all). She was disgusted and in that moment I realized that I didn't need her to agree with me, or to empathize with me because I sensed that she wasn't strong enough to put herself aside for me and support me. And thats ok, I took her judgment and I totally disregarded it, now when I see her face in my minds eye it makes me chuckle, no feelings are evoked. Right then and there I knew that I didn't care one shit floating in space what her opinion was. It was liberating! I wish I could burn this feeling into everyone so they could realize that expressing a deep part of yourself (like when you show your art or your creations) is for you and to just feel confident in your choices regardless of the noise of judgment from sources you disagree with anyway! Also this proves that practice makes perfect. Get judged a couple of times, and get past it! 

This post kinda went all over the place. I just wanted to express these things, I hope it resonates with you a little at least. How do you overcome judgment or fear?

Sunday, January 26

Amsterdam and other things...

Remember last year when I met up with O after his Germany business trip and we went to Brussels and Antwerp? Well I am doing it again this year, except we are going to Amsterdam!  Our trip is planned for mid March.

Its exciting cuz we get to travel and see art and hang out and have adventure, but I also love it for two big reasons. 1. I get to fly alone across the atlantic, thats pretty fun. For some reason I always like the feeling of traveling alone, I did it a lot when I was younger and living in Spain, like a bajilion years ago. I get into major efficiency mode and I love just being in my own head, listening to music, observing. Its like an adventure just getting myself where I am supposed to be, I can be a bit absentminded (everyone in my family is rolling their eyes right now). Last year I just slept the whole trip. Not real sleep, airplane sleep. You know, shitty sleep.

Check out those ceilings! Its a cute little attic apartment, how cozy is it!

2. Ok, the other reason I am excited is because I get to experience different architecture! I get to pretend I live inAmsterdam for a week and I am pretty giddy over the apartment we booked! I think that it will feel like I am living in a Dutch master still life. I am especially looking forward to hitting up a little market and bringing home some flowers and yummy things and making dinner with my sweetheart one night and then look out over the canal and talk about our goals for this year.

I want to do some cycling, and I am surprising O with dinner here (don't worry, he never reads my blog, do you O?) I also want to have some amazing food, and cheese and shop, and walk, and look at flowers and go on a boat and climb things, and look at art and have coffee and people watch and stroll and lay around on the grass on a sunny day and have a picnic and generally enjoy that totally in-the-moment time that you seem to get on vacation more than any other time. You know what I mean?

Ok, any suggestions? Things I must do? Places we must eat? A particular pair of boobs to find in the red light district? I have already been warned about the spontaneous singing in bars, which honestly sounds totally amazing. Like I would feel like I was in that part of Beauty and the Beast when the whole village sings. Right? Yes damnit, agree with me.

Tuesday, January 21

Timber Wolf

So the paint swatch coup of my bedroom continues. Although this past weekend we reached a turning point when I walked into the Jonathan Adler store and saw Benjamin Moore's Timber Wolf on the walls. I got me a sample and proceeded to make sure it worked with my floors (thank you An Urban Cottage for making me think of that). Its the very same color above and below because my room gets direct light, and the showroom above is bathed in yellow light. I love how colors pop, and I love that its cozy and modern at the same time.

Other examples of Timber Wolf, according to the internet. I love how the color changes so dramatically depending on the light.

I am pretty excited to be able to move forward with something here. Thanks for all of your suggestions.

Wednesday, January 15

Ubiquitus blogger black walls

You may remember that I have been working on making our bedroom amazing for a long time. I work slowly, I admit. I have spent about sixty!! dollars on paint sample pots so far, so many colors. I can't ever seem to find exactly what I am looking for. I wanted white, soft pink, grey, violet...you name it I have tried it. The room was dark brown (when it had carpet, and small windows,) then BM Woodlawn Blue, but I chose that color before the new doors went in, and the floors, so it looks much brighter than it did when I chose it. Its too little boy blue for me.

Then it hit me...black. All of our furniture is white in there, and there isn't really a lot of wall space anyway. Most of it is doors, or bookshelves (which we will also paint black.)!!!

Like, duh. So obvious. Of course this is ooooolllld news. Let me tell you exactly what changed my mind from white to black. Jordan's room, and Jenny's living room. Lets analyze shall we?

Jordan went with Valspar's Dark Kettle Black.  I like it, and if I am not mistaken, I think the ceiling is a pinkish wash. I plan to paint our ceilings 50% Opal by Benjamin Moore, its stunning. Here it is in full force. I found those images by googling the color after I fell hard for it at the paint store. Our ceiling is huge and we will certainly have to hire a painter for that, but I have been dying to paint it for ever.

I like how the walls recede, and that there is so much light. We have the same color (more or less) floors, the thing about wood floors is that they reflect light as well.

Ok, this shows our old bed, we have a new one now, white. But you get a sense of how large our ceiling is, its kind of like its own element and needs to be addressed. But see how there isn't much "wall space" so black would look hot. Those two white doors to bathroom, closet are being changed to oak next week, no stain, just waxed.

Ok, ew, lets move on from these photos. Oh, one more thing; the black will make the green in our patio really pop! Our bed btw.

Ok moving on to more black wall inspiration. You have probably already seen these...sorry to be so lame. These work b/c they have large windows, and a lot of white. I like how the windows are white in the below image, but I would probably have painted them black.

The room that started it all. You know there was some pretty weird sex going on in here...just saying.

Amazing black bookshelves. I am so doing this to our bookshelves. Tutorial on how to paint Ikea here.

As you can see, art looks amazing on black as well.

This image convinces me that my moulding should also be matte black.

My favorite black room of all time!

Jenny tells me that her living room is Farrow and Ball's Blue Black seen here. I already bought a sample pot, can't wait for it to arrive. Oh, and in case you are interested, this is the art going above the bed, huge, like 70 inches wide, on a black wall. I am actually so excited I could peepee!

New dresses at Graniph

I just got an email from my licensing rep over at Graniph in Japan. T-shirt dresses with my paintings on them. Wicked Cool.

My logo is on there too! Thousands of Japanese ladies are wearing these this year, If you live there and you see one, send me a picture!

Wednesday, January 8

Master Closet Masterpiece

As a home owner, few things are as satisfying as really organizing the shit out of your space. Its true. Our closet before had stained nasty carpet, urine yellow walls, shelves in danger of falling off the walls, and they often did, makeshift solutions and awkward stuffing and shuffling. We hated it, and I routinely lost clothes in there. We researched a ton of options...well actually I knew I wanted wire elfa shelves, and I let O come to that conclusion as well, sort of hinting along the way. We have to let our men believe they come up with brilliant ideas all on their own. O put this all together himself though, so I have no legs to stand on.

1. Remove all the old crap, sell the old dressers, rip up the carpet. 
2. Paint the walls, and ceiling grey. I think this is Grey Owl by Benjamin Moore.
3. Lay down the least expensive Flor tiles I could find, on sale. Sadly they turned out to be very thin, and not great at holding up to dirt. They are more like felt pads, so we layed a carpet over it that we also bought on sale.
4. O put up all the closet components and fit everything in- took only one day.

We also both went though all of our clothes and donated many, many bags of things that we don't use.

Its so strange showing you my closet, kinda like too intimate, but its not like my bras are hanging out or anything. Next we put all the clothes back in, and our storage (we don't have a garage, just a shed, so we have to be super organized, and make the most of our generous closets and tall ceilings).

This is not styled at all, just as it looks right now, we have a lot left to organize and a lot to move around still. I did buy a very bright light fixture, partial flush so that it could have four sockets and not overheat, and its great to actually see what you are doing in there now!

Ack! My shoes roll out and I can see everything at once! Its amazing. I am obsessed with nude shoes as you can see.

My very favorite area, probably in the whole house! I moved my mirror inside the closet and we added an electrical socket in there so we can use it, how clever. I can put my make up on here, and I can see all of my jewelry, and accessories as well. The drawers below the vanity have my jewelry, bags, scarves, and a ton more. 

I kept my old jewelry trays to hold makeup, and its all divided by how often I use it so I have a main tray for basic things, then one just for lipstick, and one for fancy eye crap...you get the picture. Speaking of picture I love having a place that is a sentimental and personal bank. I have so many photos that are special to me, where I can protect them from the sun, and really enjoy them in a personal space. 

A place to hang long necklaces! Holy Crap! Makeup brushes divided between face/lips and eyes. That cozy West Elm rug is my meditation station. Its very nice to have something that feels fancy in the closet. I feel so much calmer about getting dressed now that I know where everything is...funny how that works. We call the closet our tranquility room. One more update is being made this week, and I will show you guys that when its done. 

It took us four years to finally get to this project, and it was not cheep. We are absolutely taking this whole party with us when we move from this house, whenever that may be. I am not about to part with my elfa, and it can be put back together in any room, it can be used for a million things!

Thursday, January 2

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone. Do you make resolutions? also how was 2013 for you? I am not sure why but almost everyone I know is so thankful that 2013 is over, and that includes me. I have had a tough year y'all, not gonna lie. NYE was really fun though, a bunch of friends/neighbors got together for Pajamas and Potluck. All I wanted this year was to be comfortable, not have to drive, to be with people who I genuinely like, and to be with O at midnight. I got all of that, I am a lucky gal.

I have one goal for this next year and it is: Robust Health. I have been saying it over and over again. I wanna be like a ruddy cheeked Alpine milk maid, lifting buckets of milk over my head like a beast. Thats really all that I care about and I think I have figured out the missing piece in my healthy transformation: Meditation.

This is my Sevilla book from Artifact Uprising but the point of the picture is the photo on the cover. Its a park right by where I used to live in Sevilla, and a beautiful place to meditate. When I lived there it was a nice place to get mugged, but now its peaceful and looking at this photo always reminds me of how nice it felt to lay there.

Have you seen this movie? It was such a pleasure to watch and really left an impact on me that meditation is something I am finally ready to tackle...is that the right word? More like gently introduce into my life? Also learning about how meditation can actually change your brain is thrilling! I recently learned that people, like me, who have serious intestinal issues actually suffer much more from anxiety, depression and spiraling thoughts because half of your body's neurotransmitters are created in the gut. Fucking Bonkers. And, since meditation has been shown to be even more beneficial than meds in treating these issues, and I have recently had more anxiety than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs...its about time I just do it.

So naturally I am going to be meditating my my closet because its the only room where I am simply less likely to be bothered, and I can't hear anything and its dark, plus it has a cozy rug.

I am still keeping my gratitude journal and I feel grateful more often. One major time that I am overwhelmed by how lucky I am is when I go to the farmers market. I can buy fresh, organic, local food and its healthy and I can afford to buy as much of it as I want. It is a miracle when I think about it and I was feeling very thankful when I took this picture in the checkout line, then silly b/c I got yelled at by a security guard. Why? Not super sure.

Do you meditate? Has it changed the way you feel or think? This is so fascinating to me.

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