Thursday, October 20, 2016



Remember me?

The blogger who used to write here?

I'm back! This has been possibly the busiest two weeks of my life. The first week in October, I planned and ran an auction benefiting a local Title 1 school. Then in the second week of October, I planned (for the past year) and attended a national theater conference on gender parity and racial equity in the arts. And this week? Well... this week, I'm moving.

Somebody shoot me.

Yes - we're moving. After seven years in our beloved home, we're downsizing and scaling back. As many of you know, our son Charlie has a host of medical issues. And to be honest, he's an expensive kid. We moved into this house before we had our second child. He has so many upcoming needs and our family needs to be light on our financial feet in order to meet those needs.

Additionally, I'm feeling overwhelmed by the size and scope of our Texas ranch house. Don't get me wrong, I have loved every minute of it. And if I wasn't stretched to the limit with multiple jobs and two kiddos - one of whom is very high need - then perhaps I might be happy to maintain a home and garden. But at this juncture in our lives, we need to simplify our lifestyle and minimize our output. So, we've sold our home and we're moving a few blocks away into a two bedroom apartment.

What does that mean? I'm saying goodbye to 1500 square feet of living space, selling 2/3 of our possessions and paying off all our debt with the proceeds from the house. BAM. It also means that I don't have to replace a roof, or repair a hot water heater, or mow my lawn. Instead, I'll call the super, enjoy the pool and wipe down far fewer surfaces every day. It means I'm in much closer proximity to my kids and we can focus on the things that really matter. Am I sad? Sure. Am I happy? Yes. I'm both. But most of all, I'm grateful. I'm grateful to even have the choice to down size and change things up to better meet the needs of my family.

So stay tuned! I move on Tuesday the 26th. Of course I'll take photos when I'm in the new place. Until then, I'm making ruthless choices about what to take and what to keep. And at the end of the month, I'm hosting an estate sale. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Bar Stools

I suddenly have need for a couple of bar stools. But I've never really liked sitting at bar stools. They're usually too small, or at a weird height or my butt gets tired after a while. In my estimation, every bar stool needs two things: a wide comfortable seat and a cross bar for me to place my feet. So I've been looking around at possible options. Here are a few I like:

The Berry Bar Stool

Grant Gibson

Tessa Collection

West Elm

Cassie Kelley

And if money was no object, I'd go with these:

Hive Modern

Monday, September 26, 2016

House Tour | San Jose Craftsman

Check out this sweet little Craftsman home on Apartment Therapy! I'm a suck for bungalow living, but this little San Jose rental, which is only 1300 square feet, is especially charming. The Midcentury pieces, the abundance of wood, the musical instruments hanging on the wall - its all calling my name. See more of this home HERE.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Marrow | A New Commission

Here's a look at my newest commission. My client is a pathologist and wanted some evocative artwork for her windowless office space. She came to me with some inspiration photos - these were images of bone marrow and fungus under a microscope. It was the perfect fodder for abstract art. I delivered her piece today and I'm very happy with the final results.

Marrow  -  72 x 36 inch acrylic on canvas

Detail of Marrow

Here are the microscope images that served as inspiration.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Artist and Wood Carver Giles Newman

I am in awe of these wood carved spoons by Giles Newman. He resides in northern Wales and makes individually designed and hand crafted wood spoons using only traditional hand tools. Find his work on his Website, on Instagram and also on Etsy.

And here is the man himself... 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Simplicity = Freedom

The rebellion has begun. I've said YES until I can say YES no longer. Now, its time to scale back and figure out how to become un-tethered from all the volunteer obligations and meetings, web-devices and engagements. I never wanted to be busy, but I said YES because there was work to be done and no one seemed to be doing it. I said YES because it felt good to give and to see my work change the scene. I said YES because I was the only one able to say YES. But now, it's time to dial down the volume and listen. Optimal, soulful, joyful, simple living. That's what I'm after. Its what I've always been after.

I'm giving myself the next year to seriously scale back and take stock. Here are the 10 categories in which I am going to simplify the SHIT out of my life.

My Possessions – objects and things only complicate my life. They suck energy, time, money and attention. I'd rather be spending time with my family.

My Debt – Nothing good comes from debt. I'm starting TODAY. My student loans, the huge car payment for my son's handicap accessible van, the medical bills from the last five years of life with a special needs child... it's all got to go. I also no longer want to be in relationship to large corporate lending institutions that SUCK the blood of our citizenry.

My Goals – I feel like I'm trying to accomplish too many BIG things at once. Building school gardens, writing a book, opening an art studio, hosting a charity auction, planing a national conference on gender equity in the arts. WHAT? This is WAY too much. I think one or maybe two big goals at a time is plenty.

My Multi-Tasking – Multi-tasking isn't a real thing. I'm either doing one thing well or I am distracted and trying to do many things at once. Focus on the task at hand. Take the time it takes to finish it. Then move on.

My Time – I don't know about you, but I have packed my life with work, kid’s activities, home care, a CRAZY amount of unpaid volunteer work, community events and more. I need to sit down and decide what is of the greatest value and slash all the rest.

My Words – People, I need to use fewer words. I need to keep my mouth shut and my ears open. Plain, simple and honest speech is the best way to go.

My Fake Food – I am simplifying my food. If its not a whole food, it's not going in my mouth. Artificial ingredients can kiss my ass.

My Screen Time – I'm turning it off. The screen will only be available to me during "work hours". Otherwise it's off. A technology diet was instituted in my home three weeks ago and we've ALL been happier for it. (Even the 8 year old).

Simplifying my life will be a rebellion. To do it well, I'll have to buck the system that continually tells me I need to HAVE certain things, BUY certain things, SAY certain things, WEAR certain things, LOOK a certain way, FEEL a certain way. I've been dancing on the edge of this kind of change for a long time. Urban homesteading, gardening, backyard chickens, capsule wardrobes - it all points towards simplifying my way of being. But now, I'm ready for the big jump. I'm ready to be truly free. You heard it here first! Let's see where this takes me!