Does the air taste a little stale around here to you, too?

I think the theme for this year is just me wincing and ducking, asking if it’s over yet. Not the year, persay, but just whatever mound of shit is being flung my way at any point in time. Srsly guys it’s a been a rough one. I predicted that at the start, with the move. I thought that’d be it, though, and that in around March things would pick up. They didn’t. Instead the year seemed nose dive like a plane whose pilot decided to steer like a roller coaster. Fortunately, every nose dive has ended with a grand swooping upward full of answers and right choices, but sheesh.

It’s made blogging pretty nonexistent. This place was always somewhere I could vent and experiment, where I could write without worrying too much about what it was all supposed to lead to. That feels like too much freedom now, a little too unfocused. Even the name feels wrong. I admire people who could stay with one blog for forever but that’s not me, so I’m over at The Glittered Pterodactyl now. I’m excited about it, the way you get excited about a makeover that just feels all kinds of right. it’s about projects, and showing off progress as it happens and allowing all of my different hobbies to tie into longer, more complicated ideas. Hopefully see you over there?

It felt like a high school reunion, kind of

msi marci

I get a lot of well-intended and lovingly-given grief about being such a fucking hipster. I take it in stride and I’ll totally make jokes about being a hipster too because how can I not when I have two translations of Anna Karenina on my shelf and had to tell a recent visitor that yes, I have read both of them. It makes me cringe to remember, but c’est la vie. That’s french, you know. But just wait, though, because my obnoxious hipster cred is about to quadruple.

I think the story starts with my brother in law back when we were all in high school, ish. Or right after he graduated, I suppose, since he was in the Marines. He found out about Mindless Self Indulgence  from a platoon buddy, converted my best friend into a fan and then they ganged up on me and for whatever stupid reason we just found it hilarious. We even went to a show when they were in town and it was awesome. My best friend & I danced in the middle of the crowd while my BIL stood over us daring anyone to come even remotely near us. No one did.

So when they came back in town, almost ten years later, it felt like a high school reunion. My BIL couldn’t make it this time (he had tickets to the ballet, lawlz) but my bestie and I still managed to have a ball. I was amazed at how many of the lyrics I still remembered, ten years later! We screamed, we jumped, we even drank a little and it was pretty much the best (and only) way to honor my high school years 😉

msi singermsi marcijanae

This is the best outfit in the world, according to 16 year old me

hshoodie turned

I’m posting this photo first because no matter what the blog topic is, I always get at least two or three comments from family members who read the blog about my hair and how long it’s getting. I think it has something to do with how I always cut it short then grow it out, and the fact that my hair is always in some transition of sorts, but people talk about my hair a lot. It’s not just me (I swear it’s not just me), but usually it’s just my coworkers taking turns asking if I’m doing something different, or if I’ve gotten a haircut recently. But it’s just growing out. It’s getting to an amazing length and I love how straight it is when I use my blow dryer. That what I tell them, whenever a coworkers asks. I’ve recently discovered the magics that are my blowdryer and hairspray. The picture below was included solely because my hair looks like a seashell. Like a nautilus, kind of.

Okay but the actual reason I’m posting these photos is the mother fucking black hoodie. I might have scared my barista when I saw her wearing it. Well not this exact one, I promise. Just one similar. She told me she got it at H&M and best of all, she said she got in only a couple of weeks ago. That’s the best feeling, isn’t it, when you expect someone to be all “Oh I got this like years and years ago in a Goodwill three time zones away”. No, she got it only a few weeks ago. So when I was downtown for a doctor visit, it felt like the perfect after-visit treat  for myself. Yay!

It doesn’t disappoint at all and I’ve been reliving the glory days of my high school fashion. And by ‘glory days’ I mean “lazy days” and by “high school fashion” I mean “high school before I understood personal fashion”. Seriously though this is what I was all about–dark wash jeans, goofy shoes, and a black hoodie. I had three or four that I just constantly rotated through, along with my favorite five black tshirts. At one point I went a little crazy and started getting gray shirts too, but that phase was short lived. Even Lyra is part of my high school look! I think she prefers the world of color I’ve started embracing. hshoodie shmooshhshoodie bitchface hshoodie smiling hshoodie topangle

Don’t Bee A Grumble Bumble

pillowandnoteAbout four years ago, David and I were studying in a coffee shop up in Bellingham. Well, he was studying. I think I was just reading, but I remember I wasn’t actually doing any schoolwork. Maybe I had graduated? Whatever. Point is, David was studying and just in the grumpiest of moods. If you know the guy IRL, you know that he’s a ridiculously mellow person and very good natured, so the fact that he was snappy and short tempered was very out of the norm. I wasn’t sure how to deal with it so I stepped out for some air and I called my mom. We chatted for a bit, I whined about David’s grumpy mood, and then we hung up and I returned to the table. When I slid into my seat I saw that on top of my book was a note. He apologized for being such a “grumble bumble” and the phrase stuck. We still use it whenever one of us is having a rough time, and it’s our easy way of apologizing when we can’t quite rise above our mood to actually apologize.

David’s mom brought back some beautiful fabrics from France and I’ve been (metaphorically) sitting on them, trying to decide what the perfect project would be. It’s a little daunting, isn’t it, to find the perfect project for sentimental materials? Anyway turning it into a grumble bumble pillow felt like a perfect fit, and I love how it turned out. It makes me smile to think about hvaing this pillow down the line, and using it the way Megan Nielsen uses her grumpy cloud pillow*

dontbeeagrumblebumble

sideshotbackofpillownote*So I forgot? Didn’t realize? Didn’t know? How similar our pillows are and while I think I came up with my idea independently, I’m not sure so by all means–she definitely should get the credit for the idea of a grumpy pillow. Also, though, everyone in the world needs a grumpy pillow.

 

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.

I pull most of my inspiration from books

1 inspiringbookshelf

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.

familyphoto

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

Balloons, ice cream, and of course Bob Ross

bobross mejanae2Those are the three things I requested from David. He woke me up this morning with balloons floating above the bed which was super sweet and also it made me fear for my life for a couple seconds right after waking because my sleep brain thought I was being attacked by a jellyfish from space. The ice cream we bought on Sunday, when we were fetching some fun snacks for our Bob Ross night. It was funny, after telling David I wanted to have a Bob Ross night, but I had two separate friends reach out to me to set up a night for it. The first one was Sunday, with my mirror and it was a ton of fun. I’m exciting to have another one set up, too, next Saturday with my original Bob Ross cohort! Sunday was a happy day sandwiched between a bunch of other happy days, which is pretty amazing. I tend not to write blog posts when things get tumultuous in my head, which is why my posts have always been a bit… sporadic. I’m on a pretty stable upswing, though, AND I get to spend the whole day to myself and painting. So happy birthday to me! ❤ Seriously, though, it’s not even 9:00 and this already feels like one of the best birthdays I’ve had. I feel like I’m at the point in my life I was always looking forward to, even though I spent a lot of time thinking I’d never get here. I love my partner, I love our life together, I love our friends and I’m so excited for all the cool things that are going to happen this year, and in the years to come!

bobross david1bobross janae1bobross david2bobross janae2bobross me1bobross david3bobross janae3bobross me2bobross mejanae1