Sunday, May 31, 2009

.today's list::05.31.09.

  • Got a copy of the new summer issue of Boho magazine.  LOVE it!!  Chock-full of awesome finds and wonderful reads!  You can almost feel that summery sunshine beaming off the pages!  
  • Fell in love with a pair of earrings by this talented gal!  Too cute.  
  • TOTALLY blown away by the fact that the new Selvedge magazine is $30!  Bummer.
  • Finally picked up the HUGE and heavy table that we originally used for displaying merchandise at the bookstore.  Unfortunately, the massive fixture was too wide, no matter how we maneuvered it, to fit through the door frame.  With some tweaking, some how, some way, this bad boy's gonna be my new craft table.  Yay yay for free stuff!!
  • Craft room is ALMOST done.  Thank god!  Finally, a place to let loose!  Woo hoo!
  • Really intrigued by this new craft printer called Yudu that I saw at Joanns.  
  • Reading The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule.  I truly enjoy and appreciate the fact that she helps us, as parents, to realize that these wonderful beings we call our children are the best examples, teachers, of the creative spirit.  
  • A card I had purchased a couple of years ago fell out of one of my journals as I was reading over some of my older entries.  I remember buying it because I adored the playful watercolor design on the front.  Two bees hovering over a flower of red, pink, and coral.  I flipped it over and saw that the artist, Masha D'yans, has a website.  Her unique, whimsical style and sheer talent with watercolors leaves me mesmerized!  
  • Quote of the day:
A large part of nurturing a spirit of creativity
comes from being mindful, slowing down, 
observing, and looking at the beauty
and inspiration all around.
~Amanda Blake Soule

Hope all of you have had a splendid, sunshiney weekend!  Let's hope it carries on into this coming week!  

Friday, May 29, 2009

.today's list::05.29.09.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful start to what we hope will be a wonderful weekend!!
  • Got two new mugs on clearance at the Starbucks down the road.  I made sure to get a nice single, soy chai latte to go with it. . . dirty chai. . . yum!!
  • After watching Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley, I've come to the conclusion that I much prefer the original BBC version with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.  Is it just me or is there a HUGE difference between Knightley and Ehle in their portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet?  Any Jane Austen fans out there?  ;o)
  • Speaking of Jane Austen, there is a new book out that puts an interesting spin on the classic novel.  It's titled, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  Yup, zombies.  Hmm.  Probably not my kinda reading, but still, intriguing.  
  • AND, speaking of books!  For those of you who love getting great deals on vintage goodies, you need to check out Goodwill's online store here.  Not many people know about it so the chances of you getting something for a great price is very likely.  I won a 2nd edition, US printed copy of Jane Eyre for $10!  The book is well over a 100 years old and in excellent condition.  I had my eye on a 1st edition copy of Ernest Hemingway's, The Old Man and the Sea.  Lost it in the last seconds of the auction!  Bummer.
  • I've been thinking about hacking off my hair, but the hubby is not too thrilled with that idea.  So then I thought, How about a perm?  Yikes!  Just the smell of burnt hair turns me off to that idea.  I have what the hair stylist likes to refer to as "virgin hair."  It's never been dyed, never been permed.  It's never even been dunked into a bowl of Kool-Aid.  I began to think I should nix the curls idea until I saw this post.  Is my hair naturally curly?  I'm not sure.  Maybe I should find out by getting this book.  
  • There are plans to get the spare room done this weekend.  Hopefully that will mean craft projects will be in the works!  I've been wanting to make a handmade doll for my little girl, just as my Tutu had made little bunnies for my sister and I.  When I saw Zee's post about one she made for Craft Hope, I was inspired!  I know I won't be able to make the deadline for this project, but I'm anxious to see what new one will be posted on the 14th.  
  • Quote for the day:
Hope is the thing with feathers,
that perches in the soul, and
sings the tune without words,
and never stops at all.
~Emily Dickinson

Thursday, May 28, 2009

.a place to breathe.

Nature.  There is no better place to breathe than in amongst the trees, the open field, surrounded by a symphony of birds chirping and frogs croaking.  Ha!  Sunday, we decided to take a day trip somewhere.  We headed west on Hwy 70 and after driving through a few towns, we took a detour and headed up towards the Land Between the Lakes.  I had heard about this place, this large strip of land that sits on the  Tennessee and Kentucky border, formed by two rivers, the Tennessee and the Cumberland.  It is ENORMOUS!  We didn't drive through the whole thing as we had not planned to be up there, but it is definitely a weekend trip we're going to make, fishing and camping gear in tow!
On our drive back, heading to Nashville, the sun had pretty much dipped behind the horizon.  We came upon a prairie, one we had passed by earlier, only this time the gathering of bison were closer and surrounded by a low lying mist.  These beasts are massive.  The scene was so surreal.  Like an image pulled out of time.  Every passerby slammed on their breaks as they approached the range, each one enthralled by the peaceful, yet powerful image before their eyes.  You could hear the animals' grunts and snorts, their mouths gnawing away at the grass.  After several snapshots with our cameras, we slowly began to pull ourselves away.  

I don't know what it is, maybe it's because I grew up surrounded by mountains and the ocean that my soul feels the need to escape back to nature every once in awhile.  Fresh air and beautiful landscape is always good for the soul.  

One touch of nature
makes the whole world kin.

.music to my ears.

I love, Love, LOVE music!  If you were to ask me what is my favorite, I really couldn't answer that.  My music selections are so diverse that to pick one out and call it my all-time fave, well, it just wouldn't be fair.  It would be much easier to ask me what kinds of music do I NOT like.  Rap, Hardcore Heavy Metal, and modern Country.  I know, I live in Nashville.  So forgive me.  Hey!  But I'll take Bluegrass any day!  Yesterday, a gentleman that I work with (who is by far the most knowlegeable person I know when it comes to World music, which is probably why he has his own radio show) told me about a website that he frequents called  EVERY country you can possibly think of is on this site!  Very much like iTunes when it comes to the cost of the downloads.  Of course I was thrilled with this new find and so I had to share it with all of you!  During my search for Romanian music, I came upon a video of a little girl named Cleopatra Stratan, the daughter of a Moldovan-Romanian singer.  I had never heard of her before, but apparently, this little cutie with a voice has broken many world records, one of them being the "youngest artist to score a #1 hit in a country."  That very song can be heard, and viewed, below.  She also did an English version you can see here.  Although I have no idea what she's singing, you can't help but love her outfit and adorable voice.  The tune's kinda catchy too.    

For those of you reading this post, let me know what musicians and types of music YOU like to listen to.  Here are some of mine:
Yeah, I think I better stop there.  That's seriously the tip of the iceberg!  What about you?  

Monday, May 25, 2009

.cake for breakfast.

It was about 8:30 this morning when she woke up.  The first thing she says when she looks at me is, "Mama. . . aykeem."  I, in turn, say "You want ice cream?"  She smiles.  A big, sweet, dimply smile and answers, "Aykeem. . . mmm. . . cake!!"  This was her first breakfast request since turning the fabulous age of two.  Two.  Already.  For a few moments, I couldn't help but to just simply stare at her.  I would sit there on the bed, sheets still tossed about, gazing into the beautiful face of my not-so-baby girl, her eyes beaming with delight for she knows, today, Mommy will give in.  Okay, so having a slice of the ladybug adorned cake (the ladybug in honor of her favorite book, Ladybug Girl) may not have been the best breakfast of choice, but we'll overlook that, just this once.

The days leading up to her birthday were rather stressful.  Our original plans were to head out to Savannah, Georgia, see the coast, and enjoy some Antebellum architecture.  However, with it having been Memorial Day weekend, we decided at the last minute that traveling was probably not too hot of an idea.  Instead, I had to whip up a birthday party real quick!  As I went down the lists of things to do, purchase, and yada yada, I suddenly found myself wondering where the time had gone.  Two years.  So much had happened in that time:  I said 'goodbye' to my job as a store manager for a craft retailer, a company I had been with since I was 20 in preparation for becoming a stay-at-home Mom, and to pursue a more "artistic" lifestyle; moved into a house from a 2 bedroom apartment a month before she was born; then, our beautiful baby arrives; just a few months later, her Daddy loses his job; I go back into retail management to help make ends meet; we move back to Nashville to be closer to family.  And here we are.  Two years, since she took her first breath.  The little baby is now a little toddler.  Let's just say, the floodgates burst wide open!  Time truly does fly by, especially when you don't want it to.

The little gathering of family and close friends made for a wonderful time!  When you ask her how old she is, she holds out two fingers, one resting on top the other, and quickly says, "Two!"  More and more, those tiny miracle moments pop up on a daily basis.  Little things like feathers that tickle your heart when they happen.  Sweet bubbles in time that too quickly escape us.  These are the moments to bask in.  This is the time to love being Mommy.  
~Journaling on May 25, 2009.

Friday, May 22, 2009

.kids with cameras.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I wanted to return with an entry about a documentary film I recently viewed.  Born Into Brothels, an award winning film by Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski, documents the photographic experience of eight children living in the red-light district of Calcutta, India.  Under the tutelage of Briski these resilient youngsters find themselves behind the camera lens, documenting their own lives, their own environments, and in some cases, their destiny.  

Zana Briski, a photographer based out of New York City, originally came to the red-light district to capture the lives of the prostitutes living in these brothels.  During her time there, she became a friend, an "Auntie" and eventually an advocate for some of the children of the very women she came to observe.  Their curiosity about photography is what inspired Briski to form a class, teaching these children to see their surroundings through that of the camera's viewfinder.  Using 35mm point-and-shoot cameras, the children were able to embark on a journey behind the lens, recording bits and pieces of their lives.  It is from these images that money has been raised to help provide them with an education, in hopes of living a better life from whence they came.  After filming this project, Zana Briski created Kids With Cameras, a non-profit organization whose mission is to help teach children, from ostracized communities around the world, to embrace art and self-worth through photography.  This is a film that I absolutely adore.  For many reasons, I recommend you to watch this film.  Preview the trailer below.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

.today's list::05.20.09.

Before I go on with today's list, I wanted to thank everyone for their comments to my blog.  It means a lot to me that you've taken the time to actually say something.  It's rather nice.  So thanks again!  Okay, on to the list!
  • Found out today that the Lilith Fair will be back on tour in 2010!  There's really no more detail about it at the moment, but I'm THRILLED that my favorite musician, Sarah McLachlan, has decided to bring it back to life!  
  • I watched a brilliant documentary lastnight, one that has truly touched and inspired me.  The film is called "Born Into Brothels," a documentary film created by Ros Kauffman and Zana Briski.  My next post will be about this remarkable documentary so stay tuned!
  • Enjoying the sounds of this album!  
  • Concerned about the fact that Walmart is running out of Polaroid 600 film.  The stock in their stores is all that there is.  Target has already stopped selling them.  YIKES!!  Going to have to stock up soon!  Still learning to use my SX-70 Alpha camera.  Somewhere in the garage, there is a box that has my scanner in it.  I've been wanting to scan the images of some of the shots I've taken so far.  But  I STILL can't find it!  Double ugh!  
  • I've already decided the next book I'm going to read is When the Elephants Dance, by Tess Uriza Holthe.  
That pretty much wraps it up for today.  Hope everyone's week is going well so far!  Have a good one!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

.a resolution list revisited.

When I decided to go back and look at my list of resolutions for this year, (you can see the original post here) I realized just how quickly the days have already flown by.  Maybe not flown, but rather HAULED A** on top a speeding bullet!!  With the half way mark into the year just being a few weeks away, I wanted to see where I stood with my list.  Honestly, I am cringing in my seat as I know, I'm not DONE.  Yes, I know, I still technically have a little more than 6 months left to work on these things. . . and I think that's the point.  To work on them.  So let's take a look at this list, shall we. . . 

~ Pursue my artistic desires with much more fervor & focus.  Make it happen!  I'm still working on this one.  There is a website being built.  I just need to work on the "fervor" and "focus" part so that I can get it done! 
~ Don't sweat the small stuff.  Honestly, I think I have actually done really well with this.  Stress has been such a horrid monster in my life (as I'm sure many of you can relate) and I've determined that I didn't want it to transform ME into that same monster.  Perhaps we can go as far as to say "Don't sweat the big stuff" too.  And I say that because I believe that it's worrying that clouds our rational thinking and suffocates our bodies.  Breathe. . .   
~ Love more. . . gripe less.  (Yes, sweetie, that's directed to you! ;o] )  Without going into too much personal information, this is one I know needs more attention.  I've been griping less, I think, but I know that the romantic side of me needs some revival!  More kisses, more hugs, more "I love yous."   
~ Read more.  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  This I have been doing!  Helps that I work at a bookstore!
~ Drink more water.  I think I've been drinking more coffee than anything else lately!  Still working on this one.
~ Save more. . . spend less.  Doing better, but also could be much better.  Especially in the SAVE MORE aspect.  Thank goodness for the change jar!  
~ Stay in touch better. . . even with those who are close by.  When I wrote this, I had "snail mail" in mind.  And although I have reached out and communicated better with close friends, this can always be improved!  I'd like to get some handmade notes out there.
~ Finish the unfinished.  There are several things that can be categorized under this line.  None of which are "finished."
~ Mend spiritual relationship.  This has been an extremely hard one for me.  One that I am slowly, but surely working through.  I am trying to tear down the thick walls of anger, fear, frustration and sowing seeds of joy, peace, and contentment.  There's a communications barrier and I think it's called my ego.  
~ Lose weight.  (You know I had to throw that in there)  I've been ignoring this one for months, until recently.  I feel so uncomfortable in this body.  The weight that I've gained the last several years due to high stress, then pregnancy, has really altered who I perceive myself.  I don't like the face that looks back at me in the mirror.  I wonder, "Who are you and what have you done with Kathy?!"  It's as if the "real me" is trying to so desperately be seen again that I finally made the decision to not "lose weight" but to eat better.  I wanted this to be a lifestyle change, not just for me, but for my family.  I've gone down a dress size so that's good!  Still quite chubby but my focus is on becoming healthier!  So, yeah, it's still a work in progress. 

So how about you, what resolutions did you have for this year?  Where do you stand on accomplishing those goals?  

Saturday, May 16, 2009

.gimme some java.

The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.  ~

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Friday, May 15, 2009

.wild ones.

None can have a healthy love for flowers
unless he loves the wild ones.
~Forbes Watson

Thursday, May 14, 2009

.today's list::05.14.09.

Good day everyone!  Not too much going on today.  Just a lot of errand running with the wee one and her Gran.  Popping into shops and popping right back out!  Ha!  Alright, so let's see, what made it to my list today...
  • Daisies!  Is it just me or does it seem like spring is ushering summer in much sooner than normal?  It's me, isn't it?
  • While in the car, I sat behind a van that had a bumper sticker that read, "got milkweed?"  This caught my attention as I had purchased a book recently for a teenage friend with the title Milkweed.  Apparently milkweed (also known as "butterfly flower") is a vital source of pollen for bees and food for monarch larvaes.  Very interesting.  
  • I have been in a mood to sew.  Not that I have started any projects yet, but I want to.  There's been such a big boom in the desire for and making of handmade items just these last few years that the shelves in bookstores are spilling over with instruction and inspiration of all kinds!  I skimmed through a few today and it brought to mind an article I read in a Home Companion magazine (which I just found out, is no longer in circulation! Argh!) that came out exactly this time last year.  It featured designer Heather Bailey and some of her cute ideas.  Her look is vibrant and playful, just like a tall glass of cool, pink lemonade on a warm May afternoon!  A wonderful source of inspiration!  Of course you'll have to go and check out her website and her blog now.  :o)
  • Wondering where I can get a decently priced, and fully working, vintage Singer sewing machine.  
Hope you lovely folks are having a lovely week so far!  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

.today's list::05.13.09.

"Keep it fresh," that's been something I've been aspiring to do with this blog since day one.  My desire has been to post an entry every day, but here lately, I'll do good to get one in a week.  This bothers me.  A lot.  I've been trying to figure out ways to keep the pages of my blog from becoming stagnant.  Well, on my way home from work, in between red traffic lights, I found myself making a list of things that I wanted to write in my "random" journal just for the sake of documenting it.  Nothing important.  Just tidbits of information I felt I needed to jot down somewhere, before I forget them.  Kinda like making a grocery list, only without the butter and milk.  So, I thought, 'Hey, why not put them in my blog?'  Well here you go.  
  • They say you should never judge a book by its cover.  Sometimes, I do.  Especially when there's a fantastic photograph of a pair of worn, red shoes on the cover.  I purchased the book Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie and so far, I'm loving the read.  Great insight to what life was like during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.  The book was turned into a movie which was adapted and directed by the author.  Guess I'll need to check that out when I'm done with the book!
  • The photographer responsible for the wonderful image in the above book is Kate Shermerhorn.  
  • New words to add to my vocabulary:  crestfallen (to be sad, ashamed); sesquipedallian (using long words); and euphonius (pleasing to the ear).
  • Read a cute children's book about relationships called Enemy Pie.
  • Listened and loved some awesome tunes by Irish singer, Lisa Hannigan.
  • Hoping to watch the movie Slumdog Millionaire tonight.  
  • Curious about this book and movie, Sweet Land, by Will Weaver.  Anyone read or seen it?
So what is on YOUR list for today?  

Saturday, May 9, 2009

.a reflection.

I wonder if the feet 
in my reflection
would have walked
the same paths
that I have taken.
If not,
I wonder where
they'd go. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

.driving with my eyes closed.

Have you ever wanted to fly?  Not by means of an airplane or glider.  Just you, flesh and blood.  I have.  If I believed in reincarnation, I'd hope to come back as a bird.  Perhaps an eagle or hawk, with enormous wings that can carry me upon the wind, soaring between earth and sky.  On my way home today, I popped Sigur Ros's album Takk into the CD player.  Something about the first two songs makes you want to stand on the edge of reason and leap out into the open air, knowing that you are about to see the world, life, in a whole new and exciting way.  The rush of wind accompanied by the current of music filled my truck and for just a moment, surged with a feeling of elation, I closed my eyes.  Now before you run off to call a shrink and the suicide hotline, know that is NOT where this is going.  Ha!  Meditation.  I miss it.  I've been so far removed from my spiritual self that I don't even know where to even tap into it again.  While reading Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way during my lunch break, she touched on the subject of spirituality and the artist.  Spiritual electricity.  I'm still reading more about it so I can't elaborate on it much, but what I have read is quite interesting and valid.  Maybe the reason why I have struggled with my creativity is because I have made myself so distant from the Creator.  There was just something about what happened in the truck today that made me feel more alive, more in-tune.  I think it's about time that I stopped fighting with the spiritual me and allowed her to communicate more.  Only this time, not in a vehicle, eyes shut, going down the interstate right before rush hour traffic.  
P.S.  If you'd like to see a phenomenal music video featuring the song Glósóli by Sigur Ros (the song I was listening to) you can watch it here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

.rain. a busted pipe . and minnie driver.

So far, it's been a rather, oh how do you say, interesting week, putting it mildly.  It has rained and rained for days.  Honestly, this soft, gentle downfall is my favorite as it reminds me so much of the kind of rain we had back home, only minus the tin roof.  But, it was not this much needed precipitation that had me so angry to the point I seriously considered signing up for anger management classes.  No, it was more like the underground drainage pipe that collapsed and caused a major, odorous mess in my basement garage that had me on the verge of going postal.  Ha!  Okay, so maybe not that upset, but enough to push me over the threshold of calm.  That problem has been fixed, thank god, but then as soon as the plumber was about to leave, we found a new leak under the bathroom sink, and a wasp nest in the process of being built in the window.  Lovely.  Needless to say, I so could've used a margarita for Cinco de Mayo!  Anyhoos, the larger issues were repaired and maybe life can move a little bit like normal the rest of this week.  I hope!

So today, I came across an album that I was quite skeptical about at first.  After listening to a few songs, I picked up the album again, nodding with approval.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.  There have been many actors and actresses that have hopped over the fine line from thespian to musician, only to come out less stellar than their original personna.  When I first saw Minnie Driver's name and face on the album cover to Seastories, I couldn't help but think 'Oh geez, here we go.  Another actress who thinks she can sing.'  Well, she can.  Quite beautifully actually.  With sultry vocals and folksy melodies, the London-born Ms. Driver has captured my ears and my pocketbook.  I truly applaud her for proving to me and to many other skeptics that yes, even great actresses can rock out some awesome tunes!  Here's a video of Minnie Driver's song Beloved.  Wouldn't it be lovely to sit in the sunshine amongst that field of Queen Anne's lace, strumming away on a guitar?  I would, if I knew how to play!  ;0)  Check out her website here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

.may day is lei day.

May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii
Garlands of flowers everywhere
All of the colors in the rainbow
Maidens with blossoms in their hair.

Flowers that mean we should be happy
Throwing aside a load of care
Oh, May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii
May Day is happy days out there!

Today is May Day back home in Hawai'i.  Everyone is most likely wearing a lei, a garland made up of fragrant flowers and foliage, sporting aloha shirts and pretty mu'umu'us.  As a kid, we celebrated May Day each year with festivities in our schools, commemorating the Hawaiian culture and monarchy.  A complete royal court would be selected from amongst the students, usually by the students.  The court would consist of a king and queen, a prince and princess from each of the eight islands dressed in garments of a color specific to their island, ladies-in-waiting, and torch bearers.  Before the celebration would take place, a kupuna, or priest/priestess, would enter into the arena, chanting in Hawaiian, asking for blessings from the gods.  Once everyone was situated, the dances would begin!  Each grade level would practice a specific dance, usually the hula, and perform it on May Day for the royal court.  One of my personal favorites was dancing "Rocka Hula" by Elvis Presley in the third grade!  I loved it!  May Day was and is a wonderful day to celebrate the diversity and beauty of Hawai'i. To see a tribute video to lei making go here and an amazing hula performance here.