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!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Smoke & Steam

Purification rituals have always spoken to me. I love burning a sage bundle in a new space or sitting in a steam room to purge the body. The sight and smell of circling smoke or the look of steam that rises from a bath or a cup of tea is such an evocative sensory experience.

As I enter into some big life transitions like coming up on my 40th, changing the dynamic of my work life, and simplifying my financial obligations, I've been engaging in these purification practices. Hot steamy cups of tea in the morning, burning incense sticks in the evenings - it all points towards ritualized transformation. At its most basic level, its a way of honoring where I'm at in my journey.