Promises I Make To Myself

happynewyear

Holiday time is not the best time for me to be consistent with writing here, it’s true. I’m looking forward to an eventual drop off of familial obligations and settling back into a schedule with my mister once 2013 greets us. I have so many plans for this year, and I’m really excited to talk about them. Especially since this blog will be a big part of what I want to accomplish. But don’t worry, not in a I’m-going-to-sell-out-to-every-sponsor-way. I mean, I don’t even have sponsors.

Right now, though, I’ll share that I found this website through Sillygrrl’s post. I tried two times to leave a comment about how much I was in love with the website, but her platform kept not working. Alas.

Seriously, though, it’s awesome. Bowling score style rewarding how much writing you’re doing. Daily journaling. 750 words a day. It’s one of my new year goals. I desperately need to get back into journaling away from art pages and for the last two days, this has been my key.

I’m going to continue eating my weight in homemade cookies from my mother-in-law-equivalent while getting ready for work, though, so if you’ll excuse me…

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What to Wear on Christmas!

what to wear

Marci 12-27-12 Standing

Sweater, Skirt & Shoes: Thrifted | Necklace: Gift, David | Shirt (actually a dress): H&M | Tights: Gift, Express

Seriously guys I’ve been planning this outfit for months. As in, I wanted to wear this outfit months ago but everyone (David and my mom) told me to wait until Christmas. True story–upon hearing the first part of that story, my brother in law was all “yeah, it’s festive, but I can kinda see you wearing that any time of the year”.

That’s why he’s my favorite brother in law, guys.

Marci 12-27-12 Face Jewelry

Marci 12-27-12 Textures

Marci 12-27-12 Necklace

Marci 12-27-12 Sitting

I would love to be one of those people who stays in pajamas all day, but that doesn’t really happen anymore. With divorced parents you know you have to go to at least two places, which pretty much means clothing. It was a ton of fun this year, in large part because David got to come with me. It was our first Christmas together and it was amazing! We carpooled with my sister and BIL to make our rounds and I loved how grown up and festive the whole thing felt. It was an amazing day, and this outfit lasted the whole way through! Granted, I didn’t actually take a single photo of it so this is my Thursday-morning-Oh-crap-I-forgot-it’s-What-to-Wear-Thursday rendition, but the elements are all still the same!

Marci 12-27-12 Surprise

Oh and for those who say human anatomy isn’t Christmas festive, I would remind you of The Grinch–it’s a metaphor about how big my heart was! And be sure to check out what all the other lovely ladies are wearing, too!

Sondra: Abhaya Yoga
Katherine: thinkin’ outloud

If You Can’t Replicate It, Doesn’t Count

EPSON MFP image

First off, I suppose, I hope everyone had is having a wonderful holiday season! This Christmas was the best one I’ve had in a while, and I’ll probably have to do a post about it. Granted, I went the entire day without taking a single photo, but oh well!

This is the first rule because it’s one of the biggest traps I fall into. Like I’ve mentioned before, I have no training when it comes to art. This means the best way I have to learn is through experimenting. One of my weaknesses is going to the art store, getting a new medium and search-engining how to use it properly. Or skipping that last step and just diving right in to see what happens! This means that whatever I end up with is often something I can’t easily replicate, which means in my head, it doesn’t count. Also, it means if I have one piece that doesn’t look like it belongs in a set, it doesn’t count.

EPSON MFP image

My mom and I had just dived into the crazy world of gesso when I made this and we spent the day designing artist trading cards with magazine cutouts and stamps. The end result is almost as cherished as the process itself, but I immediately forced a brainstorming session in my head about other images I could apply to the same technique–bold silhouette layered under a frame layered under a collaged picture. I never made any of them, and that lack of a series made this picture worthless in my head–it didn’t count.

It’s a silly rule and there’s no reason why I should be proud about a piece. Even if it’s lonely. So really, am I alone in this? Anyone out there with one amazing poem they’re proud of, but refuse to consider themselves a poet because they’ve only written one?

Merry Holidays From Mine to Yours

EPSON MFP image

 

This was our holiday card–our first holiday card–and I’m so happy with it! I found the stamp at Hobby Lobby and just printed the photos out at a drugstore. It was pretty simple to cut up cardstock in the appropriate size and cut little snippets for the card to slide in. We mailed them like postcards, so I used 4 x 6 mailing labels on the opposite side to seal the photos on, and that’s where the message went. My sister snapped the photo when we were all in Hawaii for her wedding. That’s my maid of honor bouquet.

I hope your holidays are nice and quiet and peaceful and full of love.

[Art] Rules I Need to Forget

EPSON MFP image

I thought of this series when I was having a conversation with my mom about all the ways in which I limit myself by arbitrary rules I keep for myself, particularly as an artist. I want it on the record that even calling myself an artist breaks the rules–I’m not a professional, I don’t make my living that way or any money at all, and I didn’t go to art school. Apart from one community college class on screen printing, I have absolutely no professional training beyond elementary school. I was a band geek.

That feels like the whole point, though–to share my perspective as someone who isn’t a professional. I hope you share your feedback and your experiences as well. I’ll keep this post updated with the links for each rule as I post them, starting with the last week of 2012.

Rule Number One If you can’t replicate it, it doesn’t count.

Rule Number Two If your art spends its entire life in your sketchbook, it was a waste.

Rule Number Three If you can’t draw something nice, don’t draw anything at all.

Rule Number Four If it can’t fiscally sustain you, it doesn’t count.

Rule Number Five If it has no purpose beyond aesthetic, it doesn’t count.

And just like that

David woke me up at 4:30 AM to tell me to look out the window. He has to be up that early on some days for work, which is the lamest grossest thing ever. I knew what to expect because we had a conversation about it the night before.

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It was snowing. Not a lot, but enough to make me really excited. And it stuck. The photos are not from 430 AM, since I took one glance out the window, kissed him and told him to drive safely before going right back to sleep. They’re from my morning time and it’s such a pretty view.

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It’s a view made even prettier by my mom agreeing to let me tag along to my work while she drives to hers.

Rumors Of Snow Are Tightening Their Circle

Snowless Trees

Like wagons protecting themselves from the cold, the rumors of snow are drawing nearer, huddling closer together with my town in the center. The whispers are beginning to rustle, spreading from one corner of the state and radiating outwards in a spiral. Sometimes there are independent accounts springing up in the shadier regions, tucked inland away from the salt.

An update online of a snow sighting from one friend quickly results in non-scientific calculations by friends in neighboring regions concerning probability, averages, and expectations. The announcement of a snowy weather forecast leads to snow dances, to rituals both exacting and precise. Those who have never before bothered with obsessive counting find themselves trapped by the time-tested behaviors leading to the desired weather outcomes.

It’s still green here, but if you listen to the furious updating of facebok statuses, it won’t stay that way for much longer. I have no snow yet, but two nights ago it was so cold on my bike ride home that my arms felt like they fell asleep and it took pounds of blankets and hot tea to melt them back to normal. We are without snow flurries, true, but the air outside looks blue from the cold and I’m pretty sure that puddle is frozen over.

After the Moment of Silence

Of all the quotes, Lisa Congdon picked the best one for her daily handwriting post

Of all the quotes, Lisa Congdon picked the best one for her daily handwriting post

The horrific events of late have tend a portion of my brain into a whirlwind of unrelenting thought. The nightmares suck you in and I’ve been fairly persistent in avoiding the inevitable media suck surrounding what happened. That being said, I don’t want to avoid looking for the solution. There’s a lot of different voices being raised right now, and there’s no reason why my voice has any particular value to add.

Someone with a very important voice shared her story, though, and this is a voice we should listen to. George Takei shared the article on his Facebook account and it’s been the most valuable thing I’ve read in the wake of all that’s happened.

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.

A lot of people have cried out in protest against making this political, against using what happened as a justification for political agendas. Schuyler’s dad Robert is an amazing blogger that I lurk on and he said it better than I could–

Are there two sides? I don’t know. I do know that if there are sides, one of them has dead children, perishing in public schools very much like the one my daughter attends. I’m just not sure we can pretend that this is a political issue anymore, or that there’s truly an “appropriate” time to have this discussion. I suspect there are a great many families in Connecticut tonight who are wishing that we as a society had figured this out a long time ago.

I have nothing independent to add to the body of conversation surrounding what’s happened, except the wish to continue that conversation. I want people to keep talking, to keep remembering. Don’t let this become just One More Horror. Eventually one of these awful acts needs to be our country’s breaking point, the catalyst for real action. And it needs to be action not just towards gun laws, which need to be stricter, but to how we treat our fellow members of society. How we address mental illness. How we approach healing. How we approach those who are different than us.

Set On Repeat

Wednesday was a normal day. Somewhat boring, but fine. I ran a bunch of errands with my mom, including taking my bike to the shop again, as well as work a quick shift. My sister called in the middle though, with a brilliant idea.

Today is December twelth

Marci & Carol

Yes, Carol, I know. It’s pretty cool, huh? But why are you calling me on your lunch break to tell me the date?

It’s the last repeating date we’ll ever see. We have to do something.

A quick brainstorm session, mild amounts of planning and some extra supplies around the house later, our idea was born. Carol made the cookies, I made a banner and we rounded up our men for a fun photoshoot! There is a beautiful storefront with an ampersand and the letters L-O-V-E which made a perfect backdrop!

Marci & David

Carol & KyMarci & David blurry

Marci 12-12-12 Cookie