Man am I ready for some May flowers!

Hey look outfit photos! I think this marks one of the first times in a long time that I just threw on some clothes, liked them, and didn’t feel that compulsive need to change five times. It was really nice. Also I’m ready for some flowers! We keep having such beautiful weather and I’m just so ready to start enjoying it. I’ve been looking up recipes to cook up on our grill and I’ve unpacked our swim suits. Let’s do this!

slant sipping

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Where it all started

xPiggy couple Last week I showed you the makeover I gave to my Moose, but he’s not the only thing getting a makeover round these here parts. I’ve been having a ton of fun giving updated looks to a my thrift store finds collection and it’s basically the best hobby in the world. Especially since it involves lots of coats of paint, so whenever I’m not sure what project I want to work on I can slap a fresh coat of paint onto whatever little trinket is lined up. These guys are the ones who started it, though. They’re basically the cutest, sweetest little couple in the world and they wanted to update their look a little bit. They were so polite and reserved and very very very cheap that I figured what the hell. I’d see what I could do. Eventually I’ll start remembering to take before photos, but just take my word that their looks need a little updating. And I think the glitter tie is my favorite part.

xPiggy maam xPiggy sir

Bringing back The Moose

Moose close up

Which isn’t to say I’m bringing back the joint fashion blog I made with my bestie Kels, so let’s just nip that little implied meaning in the bud, shall we? No, a while back Kim gave me an adorable moose that she found. It was a moose in desparate need of a makeover–not that he was ugly or anything, but he was just a standard moose, painted brown with lighter shades of brown and motley white antlers. He was holding a little cage that contained one of those battery-operated lights. He was super cute, but I mentioned casually what a paint of coat might do to update him a bit and Kim was immediately on board. “That’s why I got him for you–I knew you’d give him an awesome makeover.”

Moose fullMoose birdfriend

It took a while, but I did my best and I fucking love him to bits. I swapped out his light in order to give him a little bird friend, which was an ornament gifted to David. I also threw on a patterned keffiyeh because he’s definitely inspired by the Moose blog and needed to be a little fashionista. My favorite part is definitely his glasses–I twisted them myself with some wire I had laying around and felt like Martha Stewart, basically. All he needs now is a name, so if you have a suggestion, by all means. It’s welcome. I’m thinking something starting with an H, like Henry or Harold.

Frogs can teach you how to find your soul mate in a crowded room

So I know it might be weird that suddenly I’m talking about frogs, but I think this is pretty in line with the gradual shift towards musings and monologues taking precedent over pictures. Not that pictures are going anywhere. And my leanings towards inconsistent and sporadic blogging isn’t going to change, to be perfectly honest, but I think I’m refining how I want to write and share things. It’s a neat experience that you can read a little more about in my updated about me, but right now feels like a good time to talk about frogs.

Frogs. Before I go into it, though, I should say none of this is real science. Like, I’m not brave enough to even google things because I don’t want to be disabused of this particular theory just yet. It’s kind of a fun one.

Okay so frogs. We moved around for a bit after elementary school. It was one of those post-divorced things, like our family was a big fluffy hen trying to find the right batch of dirt to scratch into a bed. We kept landing lightly, but we had a hard time finding anywhere we could settle. There was one place, though, that felt really right for a while. It was this huge, multi-building apartment complex and ours was pressed right up along the back of the whole thing. Behind it was a beautiful, big pond that stretched the whole way around the back perimeter and there were these beautiful walkways through it that we’d walk our dogs along.

At night, from about early April until mid October you could hear this almighty chorus of frogs. It was like this loud wall of noise surrounding you as you sleep, and while it was noisy as hell it always put me to sleep. I’m not the best sleeper, but listening to frogs as I dozed in bed was soothing. I think it was something about the lack of a constant rhythm, but still maintaining a steady heartbeat that helped lull my breathing patterns into sleeping ones.

I forgot about that period of listening to frogs until last year, when David and I lived in this adorable little tucked away apartment. It was in the middle of a city sprawl, sure, but it had a great trail running behind it with an almost-gross standing pond area that collected mosquitos, feral cats, and a homeless man. And frogs, of course, because that’s the whole point. David and I were laying in bed, some early point in spring after living there for all of winter, and I heard a chorus of frogs. It was beautiful and we just dozed a little listening to it. We started talking about the rhythm, and how it’s a little strange that they never synchronize into one steady pulse, isn’t it? You’d kind of expect it, like how infants’ heart beats stabilize when they have skin-to-skin contact.

I picture the frogs surrounding a pond in a circle, and directly across from them is their match, the frog they volley back and forth with. Each frog has only one other match, or maybe two, but they are tuned only to their match(es). They volley back and forth their own steady rhythm, tuning out all the other matches around them, and that’s how you get such a chaotic chorus while still maintaining that steady pulse.

David and I went camping with some amazing friends. They do this annually to celebrate their wedding anniversary, inviting along a bunch of their friends, and it’s a totally amazing experience that I’m not actually going to talk about now, but needless to say there are some really great traditions, and one of them is the Frog Walk. As we were laying out on the end of a beach access road, listening to a wall of frogs pulse around us, I was thinking about how the more complicated the pond dynamic, the harder it is to find your frog match. When you’re really relaxed, though, in that moment before you fall asleep or when you can concentrate meditatively, then you can piece apart the different frog voices and you can almost hear the private volley of frogs croaking to their matches.

Things are trucking along nicely, I think.

lifecollage

David loves me so much. He loves me the mostest and I know it because last night, after we tucked ourselves into bed and were in prime sleeping position, I realized I had forgotten to close up the bag of white cheddar popcorn I had been munching on and when I said that out loud, he immediately popped out of bed to go take care of it for me. He’s such a sweetie that I don’t even care how mushy I’m being on the internet. And so I don’t sound completely selfish, every morning I wake up hours before I need to so I can tie David’s long locks up into a manbun because he just doesn’t want to figure out how to do it himself. Whenever I tease him about it (usually when he’s wincing because I snagged a tangle) he tells me he’s planning on practicing… tomorrow. I think he just likes having me take care of it, and that’s something I’m okay with.

My hair is still growing out and looking at how short it was over the past year makes me never want to cut it again. That buzz cut was an intense decision that I’ll be very happy to never repeat, even if I’m happy that I can at least say I did it once. Right now my hair is about two inches away from it’s final resting place, I think. I’ve been thinking about my hair a lot (don’t I always? I have quite the internal struggle with my hair, don’t I?) and about how I deserve to enjoy the way my hair looks. I’m tired of always having it in some stage of a grow out and I want to really try to celebrate the way I look with a hairstyle I like. I’ve also been blowdrying my hair and putting on a light brush of makeup on in the morning. It makes me feel really put together in a way that feels new and responsible. Maybe it’s just shallow, but I don’t think so. It feels more like embracing myself as I get older and leave the college me behind. She’s ready for that change just as much as I am.

One of my besties invited me to accompany her to an amazing play at Seattle Repertory Theater, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. It was an absolutely amazing performance that blew us away, and it was made all that much better because the leading lady was also Arnold Schwarzenegger’s partner in Kindergarten Cop.  I mean okay she’s also the actress who plays Amy Poehler’s character’s mom in Parks & Rec, but David and I watched Kindergarten Cop a few days ago so it was in the back of my mind when I saw the play. It was excellent. Other bonuses from the night include finding amazingly close parking and I wore my tall wedges that make me feel like a drunk baby giraffe without any arthritis flaring up!

My previous date with my aforementioned friend was going to a gross, grungy rock concert. The band was one we loved in all it’s ridiculously offensiveness during high school and it was a hilarious way to “relive our youth”. We’re in our mid twenties, so I think I’m legally required to sandwich that phrase in a quotation. Our next planned date is a camping trip because apparently we just have a wide range of date ideas. I love that her and I are reconnecting.

Other than that, we spent last weekend driving down to Oregon and back to celebrate our good friends’ engagement. We’re both just ecstatic for them and it was really good to remember that Oregon really isn’t that far away, and that we can make a trip over the weekend if needed. Granted I work until 130 on Saturdays so really it should only be a trip over a three day weekend but still. The point stands and I think it’ll help motivate us to take more trips over the weekend. It was a great trip nonetheless and Sunday morning when we were all sleepy and stumbling around for coffee and breakfast, the three dogs in the house were wandering around underfoot and it made me think about babies and cousins and what our world is going to look like a few years. One of my best friends already made that jump into motherhood and it just feels like the beginning of a really exciting phase in life. And because I just mentioned babies on the internet, I think I’m require to also say I’m not pregnant. I’m not pregnant and no one should anticipate that changing for at least a year.

Summary? I want to be intentional about how I live my life. That means be realistic and focused. Steady the rhythm has been the phrase tucked in the back of my brain as a reminder of that. I want to find that steady rhythm between all the ups and downs and look for that baseline in between everything else.

I pull most of my inspiration from books

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So it’s super weird to think about, but I can’t remember the last book I finished. It’s pretty disgusting. But that’s not what this post is about–it’s about my craft book collection. It’s no secret to anyone who’s visited me in real life that I surround myself with books, and that includes books that are specifically there to inspire me. These are the books I could spend hours flipping through and where I get a lot of ideas for art projects. A couple of the books have actual crafts and tutorials in them, which is just an added bonus.

Find & Keep

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I won’t lie–I found this book and immediately found my spirit animal in the form of the author. She’s basically everything I aspire to be, and reading about how she just dabbles in a little bit of everything to produce her art made me feel so inspired. Oh and she doesn’t have a driver’s license! It’s not just me! Anyway it’s taken me a long time to call myself an artist (I still stutter, hemming and hawing, feeling like I haven’t earned the title just yet) because a lot of what I love to do is learn new techniques and try out new mediums. Not all of it sticks, but when it does, it gets absorbed into the messy, nebulous field that is my art. It makes me feel really unfinished, though, and unpolished, and this book reminded me that that’s entirely okay. While I’m still trying to shift my focus onto making solid, stand alone finished pieces, it’s a good reminder that I can still play and get my hands dirty, and to surround myself by art that makes my space feel inspiring. Also this is another book I read cover to cover, tutorials and all. Also, bonus? It has some mother-fucking stickers based on her art in the back!

Hoopla

hoopla 1 hoopla 2My newest hobby has been embroidery and when I got this book I literally read it cover to cover, going through all the artists’ different stories and crafts. The projects and art in this book are just amazing and I’m already about a quarter of the way through the conjoined twins embroidery (I think it’ll look fantastic on my wall, don’t you? I’m thinking somewhere by the entrance way).

(un)Fashion

unfashion 1 unfashion 2 unfashion 3I’ve had this book for years, and I won’t lie, sometimes I completely forget about it. Yet whenever I stumble across it, I find myself flipping through it for hours. Everytime I see something new. A lot of it shows fashion in developing countries, often made out of the modern world’s litter and scraps, contrasted with high-end photo shoots in the fashion world & advertising. It has its own beauty and is a great way to stay in touch with the world outside of my own. It’s really just pictures but I always walk away from it with new ideas.

Imagining Ourselves
imagining ourselves 1imagining ourselves 2Okay so this isn’t even close to a craft book, but it’s still super inspiring and makes me feel like an emboldened, empowered woman ready to conquer my life. The layouts also remind me of all the parts I loved about being a features editor for a school paper.The design manages to be full and interesting without being cluttered.

Sticker Doodle Doo
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I found this in the books section of a grocery store. More specifically, in the kids section of the book aisle, but that’s neither here nor there. This book is awesome. The pages are of the decorate-this-project-with-stickers variety, but the prompts are pretty good and can appeal to a larger audience than just kids. Like, it also appeals to adults who like kid-styled art projects. It’s also full of stickers and I don’t know if you’ve picked this up by now, but I just fucking love stickers. They’re the bomb.

Fashion Flip Book

flip fashion 1 flip fashion 2This book is so goofy and fun I just love it to bits. Basically anytime you need to invent someone, or indulge in ridiculous fashion, this book is perfect. I don’t know quite what to say about it, since the concept is pretty basic. Remember this style of books from elementary school? The art is amazing quality and it’s always pretty impressive how seamless the different pieces work together. Oh and the genres vary–21 outfits that you can remix together and they range from cyborg to film star to space cadet. It doesn’t take itself seriously and is a great way to just invent a new character.

I’ve never been much a cereal and milk person

I mean, I’ve never been much of a food person in general. Don’t get me wrong–I love to eat, I do. Food and I just have a complicated relationship, what with gastroparesis and allergies. Anyway though David loves cereal and milk in the morning, so we usually have a decent stock. I talked him into using almond milk for a while, and I joined him in his cereal ventures. He went back to cow milk (bleck) though so I stopped. I used to eat granola, yogurt and applesauce exclusively in the mornings a few years back but I’ve fallen off the habit of yogurt. I’ve swapped it out for cottage cheese at lunch, which is kind of weird but so much easier to eat in a staff breakroom than something packed from home. In the mornings, though, I’ve made the delightful discovery that Rice Chex and applesauce work perfectly together. You have to eat it fairly quickly, which can be rough since I’m a slow eater. Like, take a couple bites, wander off and draw for a while, come back for a couple more bites, etc. It can take me all day to drink a cup of coffee. Well, I mean, I refill it but I also end up microwaving it like seven times at least.

Rice chex and applesauce, though. Yum.

Talking about breakfast food might be a weird first post after a long absence, but I think by now it should be clear that consistency is one thing this blog probably won’t ever have. It’s May now, though, which hopefully means that the awful hellishness of February, March and April are over. Srsly guyz it’s been a rough start to the year. Still, though, happy things have happened. I’ve been scrapbooking them project life style, and hopefully soon I’ll get around the posting them. No promises, though, because you know. Consistency is for losers and awesome organized people, neither of which I consider myself.

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Things are still good, though. We’ve been walking to the park in our neighborhood a bunch, which Lyra just absolutely loves. Yesterday afternoon we packed up a picnic of cantaloupe, apples and green peppers and walked down to eat it on a park bench. Lyra immediately hopped up on “outside couch”, as David referred to it, which was adorable. She was so pleased with herself neither of us saw it necessary to tell her to get down. She just sat between us watching the park goers run around while we passed our snacks back and forth in front of her. Also David wears his hair up now in a manbun, which I think has to be the sexiest thing on the planet. Which is a bit odd, since I’ve never been a fan of long hair. It’s cute, though, because he has no idea how to put it up himself, so in the mornings while he enjoys his bowl of cereal I end up doing it for him. I use hairspray on him and everything and he just sits there patiently.

Till next time, friends.

lyraanddavid marcilyra