Thursday, October 25

40 Things To Do Before I'm 40

I'm not 40...yet, but I will be 38 on Friday. I have to say that getting older has been a wonderful experience for me. A few wrinkles and lumps are a small price to pay for knowing myself better and feeling comfortable in my skin. Every year I discover deeper contentment and happiness, even when things aren't easy.

I enjoyed Susan's 30th Birthday List and her original inspiration for the list so much, I decided to make my own for my birthday.

One problem, I can't seem to finish the list. So, I'll have a little room to add some things as I go.

1. See the Grand Canyon.
2. Go for more walks.
3. Learn to cook Thai and Indian food.
4. Buy a house.
5. Plant a garden.
6. Give up Diet soda for good.
7. Fall in love again.
8. Be a better friend to myself.
9. Be on time.
10. Grow my savings.
11. Take a road trip with my little brother.
12. Listen more.
13. Improve my sewing skills.
14. Dance more, worry less.
15. Complete my mom's scrapbook and make a copy for my grandmother.
16. Find contentment in what I already have.
17. Watch less tv.
18. Sing-a-long more.
19. Invest in my professional development.
20. Learn to use the weight equipment at the Y.
21. Organize my family photos and place them in albums.
22. Use public transportation.
23. Practice pronoia.
24. Have tea parties.
25. Complete this list.

Thursday, September 27

Bring on Fall

It is still hovering in the mid-80's, but I think fall is coming. Seeing all of this yellow and gold at the produce stand made my heart sing.

Fall at the produce stand

Wednesday, September 12

some of my favorite (internet) things

I'm often writing about my little adventures out in the real world, but today I am going to share some of my most visited and favorite stops on the internet.

The most hilarious ecards I've ever seen, anywhere.

The life hacks and productivity advice at 43 Folders by Merlin Mann, make me work smarter, plus he often makes me laugh. Merlin writes about productivity from a Getting Things Done framework and offers great Mac pointers as well. Less of a GTD purist and more of a "take what you want and leave the rest"gal, Merlin offers up pointers that are easy to integrate into my work flow immediately.

What would I do without skype? I wouldn't be able to talk for free (with video) to my little friend in Tokyo. I can talk skype to skype (computer to computer) for free and I bought $10 worth of Skype-out (for calls to landlines and cellphones) time months ago and I still have $8 left to call the landline in Tokyo when Keme's not on her computer. I can't imagine how useful it would be if I had lots of international buddies, instead of just one.

If you are a blog reader (and you are reading one right now) and you aren't using Bloglines, what are you waiting for? And if you are a Bloglines user and you aren't using Bloglines Beta, shame on you! I love the new look, ease of use and the drag & drop start page. It makes keeping up with all my blog reading manageable and easy.

Who doesn't love flickr? and I love many of these flickr toys from Big Huge Labs on fd's Flickr Toys (the mosaic maker is my favorite). The iphoto plug-in for uploading photos to Flickr easily is also my indispensable Flickr companion. I also love my moo cards and they now have stickers!

ReadyMade Magazine makes me weak in my knees and their website is pretty darn sweet, too.
Here's my most recent favorite find on their site: ReadyMade Shrinky Sheets. I'm imagining some very cute gift tags in my future.

I'm a regular reader of Lara's blog Kirin Notebook, and an admirer of her beautiful fabric designs. She goes to great pains to offer excellent tutorials for fabric projects and they are some of the most well-written instructions and cool little projects I've seen on the web.
Check out her tutorials for covering a lampshade or making a reversible journal cover.

I'd love to hear about some of my friends' favorite stuff, nudge nudge.

Floating on Dale Hollow Lake

lake photos
I forgot to bring my camera, which was probably for the best, since I tend to break cameras when near a body of water. I shot my pics with a disposable camera and Toni shot most of these with her digital camera. As you can see, we had a lot of fun and a lot of quiet relaxation. Not represented in the pictures are all of the wonderful meals we enjoyed. Every morning Dwight cooked a breakfast feast and every evening he cooked us something amazing over a campfire, then we wrapped up the evenings with s'mores. The weather was mild and lovely, with one gray day that gave us a little break from the sun just when we needed it.

I had just enough time to grab my camera and some clean clothes when I got home Saturday before heading out to the farm with Daisy to let the doggies out. I spent a few days farm-sitting to ease myself back into the world again.

Now fully ensconced again in the civilized world of cell phones, hi-speed internet, and television I am longing for simple lake-living. Can I please go back to the lake where I did not think once about job-searching, bills, checking voice mail or email?

Monday, September 3

What the Unemployed Are Doing

Amazing how busy one girl without a job can be. Looking for a job is a full time job (and worrying about not having a job takes up some time too) and I have been doing many assorted things to make a little money here and there. My massage table has been seeing more bodies than it has in over a year and it has been good to reconnect with bodywork and making people feel happy. I have also enjoyed doing some projects for friends, everything from building a database (I swear I'm almost done, Dave) to house-sitting.

In accordance with my uncluttering manifesto I have been in the process of brutally assessing the necessity of every item I own. I have made it through a couple of rooms and amassed a large amount of garage sale fodder (September 15, mark your calendars!). I have also had time for a few fun adventures with friends, namely the recent trek to Vanleer for the auction. Beth and Shona documented the adventure rather well and Rebekah got some great pics as well. My pictures weren't nearly as good as theirs, I was having too much fun watching my friends enjoy themselves.

Speaking of friends, I have to say once again, how lovely my friends are. They have treated me to many meals, given me many helpful job leads, suffered my grumpy moods with smiles and encouragement, and even given me sweet little presents (like this and this). That Susan is one sweet girl, I'll have to think of some perfect way to return her kindness.

Tomorrow morning I am off with some family friends for five days on a boat. I intend to spend many, many hours just floating. No phones, no internet, no tv and a very limited amount of soap and water. I had a stress-related illness flare up recently (are there any illnesses that aren't stress related?) and I think that unplugging from everything is just what the doctor ordered. On the day I return from my water vacation, I have a four day farm-sitting gig in Bon Aqua, at my friend's beautiful retreat, Soul Spring Farm. All of this floating and retreating is going to make me a new woman. I hope to return rested, rejuvenated, clear and focused.

Monday, August 13

The New World Order of Unclutter

After reading Merlin Mann's latest series of posts (I am a little behind on my Bloglines) on The War on Clutter, I realize that I have missed a fundamental concept in de-cluttering. I confuse "organizing" with de-cluttering. Just because I sorted that pile of junk into three smaller piles and it is now in neatly labeled containers, that does not mean that I have cleared significant space psychically or physically. In fact, I may have missed the whole point.

I will now live by the Golden Rule of "Never Organize What You Can Discard" (thanks Merlin).

Plus, he appealed to a newly activated neural pathway for me, the concept of surrounding yourself with the things, ideas and people that are getting you closer to the life you want to have (and chucking the rest). He says simply "If the stuff that you accumulate doesn’t help get you closer to the life you want to have, it’s simply not worth keeping." Now, Merlin didn't come up with all of this on his own, much of his recent blogging enthusiasm for living with less is inspired by Peter Walsh's book, It's All Too Much, which he has convinced me I must own.

One of my biggest barriers to getting rid of stuff is that I find infinite future uses and meaning for so many truly discardable objects. I also like to think that I am holding on to something for a short time, when I will realize who in my life needs that particular item. So, I delude myself into thinking I am "reinventing" items and that I am a thoughtful friend, when I am actually a craphound. Now, I must say that I am not hoarding or out of control with my collections of stuff, in fact most people who come to my house remark on how well organized it is. But that is just the thing I woke up to today. I look around and I see a lot of very well organized crap I don't love, need or use. I suspect that there are layers of crap under that crap too, so I am bracing myself for the task.

I am also guilty of avoiding essential daily household tasks by detouring into "organizing mode". So, at the end of the day I'll have made a trip to Home Depot for hooks, eyes & wires for my earring holders and rehung my clothes by color and style, but my dishes are still in the sink and the laundry is piled in the corner. My good friends know that at any given time, there may be dirty dishes hiding in my oven.

Not that I haven't made progress (I use the "like with like" rule and the "donate it if you haven't worn it in 6 months" rule) but now, thanks to Merlin and Peter, I can go even further. I am at a critical juncture in my personal and professional life and I only want stuff that is moving me toward the life I want to have. I am ready to look at each item and ask myself "Is this making my life better?" I am excited to temporarily abandon my trash to treasure fantasies and organizational detours for the pure joy of loving every single thing I have.

In previous attempts to bring a sense of controlled chaos, I have simply created more aesthetically pleasing organization. This time is different, I am ready to go big. I love the giant trash bags and "dump pile" suggestions form Merlin's post on The Tools to Purging Big. Last summer I hauled two truckloads of junk to the dump and earlier this summer I cleaned out the junk in the outdoor shed and I was exhilarated afterward. It is strangely exciting to just let go of stuff. Plus, at the end of the day I had some storage for stuff I love (like my fabric) and a place to park the lawnmower. And, funnily enough, a little time capsule at the very back of that closet; an unpacked suitcase from 1979 that my grandmother had left years ago, that included a Diane Von Furstenburg sundress that fit me perfectly. That one sundress and the giggles from the random contents that my grandmother packed 28 years ago were worth every bit of work to clean out that space. Unfortunately a year later, that same closet is now housing many other things that I really don't use or want, and which some people could put to good purpose. I have posted (and sold) a few things on Craigslist this week, but I am ready to get medieval on my excess stuff.

I can't help but acknowledge that this is all very much in line with my Vision Group's work on the Success Principles. My first revelation with the group was the concept of actively saying yes. I have had much life experience learning to say no (which was extremely important) but it is now yes-time. This process of radical decluttering is really about getting clear on what I am saying yes to, and making that yes louder.

Sunday, August 5


I have delayed responding to this "8 things about me" tag from Shona. I am filled with dread when tagged, but I have enjoyed Beth and Susan's responses, so I am grudgingly and guiltily responding (although I am with Susan, I'll let the tagging die with me).

1. I like jelly-belly jelly-beans, especially the sour ones.
2. I have been cutting my own hair since I was five and I cut my bangs to the scalp, because I didn't want bangs anymore. I'm slightly better at it now but I will go in for an occasional professional adjustment.
3. I hate flossing my teeth.
4. I was once the clogging champion of Northwest Arkansas.
5. When I was 12, I sewed padding into my bathing suit because I was the only girl at the pool with no bumps in her suit. My boobies didn't really come in for another 10 years.
6. I played soccer on the boys team in high school.
7. I've never had a legal alcoholic beverage.
8. I was asked to leave ballet and go down the hall to tap class.

Monday, July 23

Headboard Happiness

headboard projectI finally got around to doing something with this great fabric I found at Goodwill. My original intention was to use it as a bedspread, but it's one of those 70's fabrics with the vinyl fused to the back, which makes for a less than comfortable and very heavy blanket (how did people sleep under those?). When I tried to make pillow shams for my big square pillows, I couldn't move the fabric around on my sewing machine, it was just too thick. So I was at a loss as to how to use it, until I salvaged a teak tabletop. Once I got it home, I realized it was perfect headboard size. I had been procrastinating about getting the batting I would need to wrap the wood, but found some extra-cheap batting at Sirs. Fabric $8, board $0, batting $4, some staples, and voila! headboard happiness for $12!

Sunday, July 22


Things have been a bit rough lately. I had a break up that left me rather down and I got fired a little over a week ago. Whenever I go through a difficult time, I am always reminded of how wonderful my friends are, and how kind people who don't even know me very well can be. I have had tremendous support, encouragement, and numerous acts of kindness (like this bouquet from my neighbor). I am certain that some things are being removed to make room for some things that are even better. It is never the change that is difficult, it is the resistance to change.

Sunday, July 15

yes Sirs!

I spent Saturday on a fabric mission to Sirs in Fayetteville with some fantastic new friends (Beth and Jenn) and my old buddy Shona. We did a lot of driving, but the miles flew by with lots of good conversation, crafty idea-sharing and the kind of talk girls have when they get together. I forgot my damn camera! but Shona was kind enough to share hers with me and she documented the journey quite well on her blog. No fabric for me this time, but I did find a very reasonable bag of batting for my headboard project and some great buttons from the 29 cent bin. My surprise find was at the Goodwill in the middle of nowhere: fantastic clogs that were marked $7.99 (but were actually half-off) and old metal box to add to my collection (it will be excellent for sewing supplies).

Thursday, July 12

note to self

The problem is not that there are problems.
The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.
-T. Rubin

Wednesday, July 4

Celebrate Indie Biz In Your Town

July 1 - 7 is the 6th annual celebration of Independents Week celebrating independently owned businesses everywhere. I know that I prefer the unique businesses that make my town mine and I encourage everyone to support those businesses where you are with your dollars. Our local independent record store Grimey's, posted a great article about this very thing this week. I have to add to their list of local indie businesses that are essential to my Nashville experience: Fire Finch for clothing & jewelry, Hip Zipper for the best quality vintage (and personal styling from Trisha!), used books at Rhino, locally roasted and brewed coffee at Bongo (East, West or Fido), Grins for kosher vegetarian, Mary's for the best pork sandwich ever, the Bluebird because it has an ear for some of the real sounds of our town, and of course the Belcourt for the offbeat films and events I crave. I could go on and on, these indie businesses in Nashville make it so much more than Music City, they make it home.

Monday, July 2

Woohoo! 7/7/7 is World Hoop Day!

Whatever you have planned for this Saturday between 5pm and 7pm, drop it and come to East Park for World Hoop Day. Our Nashville community can get involved in this fun event with a worthy cause thanks to HoopRama HoopDiva Supreme, Sunny Becks. It's FREE FREE FREE and there will be hoops on hand if you don't have your own. Come to watch or come to play, just be there! All of you (and you know who you are) who have been curious about what happens at hoop class have a chance to see firsthand the skills picked up, since many of Sunny's faithful hoopers will be there. Wonder how many different ways can you really rock a hoop? You have no idea...come check it out and learn a few moves yourself.
If you want to know anything else, just ask. Hope you can all make it!

Thursday, June 21

desire, attachment, instincts and being human

“Trying to fulfill our desires is like carrying water to the sea; a never ending task and ultimately completely useless.” This Buddhist perception of attachment rings true to me as I have pursued many of my own ideas about what I want straight into the gates of frustration and misery.

But “What if your desires are holy?”, this is the question Rob Brezny asked last week. Normally I scroll thorugh the paragraphs of Rob’s writing in his newsletter and go straight to my horoscope (which is more entertainment than anything). I took a moment and read Rob’s excerpt from his book “Pronoia” on the subject of desire.

I have been doing some personal work on desire, attachment, and the inventory process. There is an artful balance between letting go of my self-limiting fixed ideas and diving into my deepest desires which feed my soul and benefit all. My evolving perception is best reflected in something Marianne Williamson has said many times “May I forgo the level of my appetite in order to receive my actual desire.”

The inventory process in recovery has taught me to be awake about my true nature...or at least rouse me from a deep sleep of denial. I have learned that I am not the sum of my mistakes and there is always an opportuntity to learn and grow. My messes are often the result of a good intention gone bad. "Creation gave us instincts for a purpose. Without them we wouldn't be complete human beings. If men and women didn't exert themselves to be secure in their person, made no effort to harvest food or construct shelter, there would be no survival. If they didn't reproduce, the earth wouldn't be populated. If there were no social instinct, if men cared nothing for the society of one another, there would be no society. So these desires...for the sex relation, for material and emotional security, and for companionship...are perfectly necessary and right, are surely God-given." (AA Basic Text)

Nothing brings as much pain and misery as my own warped instincts or misguided appetites. The inventory process helps to identify warped instincts, develop awareness of my role in my misery, and heal the thing behind that warped instinct that creates my unhealthy compulsion and frees me to pursue my most sacred desires.

Psychologist Carl Jung believed that all desires have a sacred origin, no matter how odd they may seem. Frustration and ignorance may contort them into distorted caricatures, but it is always possible to locate the divine source from which they arose.

James Hillman echoes the theme: "Psychology regards all symptoms to be expressing the right thing in the wrong way." A preoccupation with porn or romance novels, for instance, may come to dominate a passionate person whose quest for love has degenerated into an obsession with images of love. "Follow the lead of your symptoms," Hillman suggests, "for there's usually a myth in the mess, and a mess is an expression of soul."

Taking a personal inventory is likened to a business taking inventory, to discover those things in stock that are unsaleable and rotate saleable goods to the front of the shelf. After reading Rob’s Pronoia essays I will also now think of this process as becoming a master of my desires.

"To become a master of desire, keep talking yourself out of being attached to trivial goals and keep talking yourself into being thrilled about the precious few goals that are really important. Here's another way to say it: Wean yourself from ego-driven desires and pour your libido into a longing for beauty, truth, goodness, justice, integrity, creativity, love, and an intimate relationship with the Wild Divine."
—Raye Sangfreud, "Black Market Orchids," Underground Pronoia

So, perhaps this process will help me become a person who is no slave to appetite but who honors their sacred desires.

Thursday, June 14

sometimes there's nothing else to say

Wednesday, June 13

letting go

If you realize that all things change,
there is nothing you will try to hold on to.
If you aren't afraid of dying,
there is nothing you can't achieve.

Trying to control the future
is like trying to take the master carpenter's place.
When you handle the master carpenter's tools,
chances are that you'll cut yourself.
-Tao Te Ching

Tuesday, May 29

Where the hell have I been?

I have not been blogging, that's for sure. I have been extremely stagnant in almost every area of my life for weeks, maybe even a month or more. I've started plowing through the backlog of "stuff I'll do later" and just doing it. There's no other way, just start where I am. I got thrown off track and out of my routine with some out of town work, a crisis of sorts, and a couple of weeks of sinus stuff that made me feel really bad. I missed out on my Vision Group meeting twice because I was out of town and and a third time because I wasn't feeling well. Meeting with those ladies really helps me stay on the path; not being in contact with the group has a definite effect. It is so easy to get out of my routine and good habits, and so hard to get back on track. I've historically not been one to consistently stay on course and be in balance, but that is becoming more important to me as I get older. It's so much easier to maintain than to catch up. I find when I'm trying to catch up, I can also miss the beauty of the process. Doing things in a mad rush is no way to live, not anymore.

Other things...
I broke my camera during a trip to Seattle to see my sweetie. Photos often inspire me to blog and so I haven't been as inspired to write. I have replaced my camera and hope to make more regular installments for the blog.

I have a new haircut and it makes me very happy.

My sweetest little Kemeko-san is in Japan right now, studing facial expressions and such. She sent a box chocked full of Japanese goodness this week. I have already eaten most of the candy and I am enjoying each and every little thing in there!

I found some fantastic lawn furniture on Craigslist and had to have a cookout to celebrate. I left a lot of preparation to the last minute and didn't have time to take pictures until almost everyone was gone... but it was a good party.

Soooo I'm back, I'm getting it together and I'm going to try to balance a little better. Wish me well!

Monday, March 26

Wall Happiness

sugarloop collection
I love my Sugarloop prints, and I finally got them on the wall.
They make me feel happy.
I need a little happy right now.
I've also gotten back into the groove with my photoblog.
That also makes me happy.

Saturday, March 24

Nashville Craft Mafia

My friends Shona and Rebekah had booths at the Mafia show so I went to show my support. I got a little carried away, there were so many really neat things. Beth Howard had the most amazing handbags, I will have to get one this spring. I love her giant tote bag, I wish I could show you a picture, but it's not up in her etsy store. I think she sells them faster than she can post them on her store, but she will make one to order out of a variety of shapes and her fantastic fabric selection. Mary Ink's booth made me absolutely insane. I wanted every single thing in it. All of her silkscreen designs are so great and she makes excellent shirt choices and color combos. I loved her votives, and her birdie dishtowel is brightening my kitchen as we speak. I really must have one of her sewing machine screens on a shirt and one of her aprons.

Wednesday, February 28


It's been quite some time since I posted, but I promise I have some excellent reasons.
First, I got an opportunity to move into a new role at my company and have been busy doing both the old & new job for awhile.
Second, I have a sweet fella in my life and he's been in town a lot recently to spend some time with me (I'll be there in a few weeks).
Third, I have started assisting my hoops teacher at hoops classes on Saturdays.
Fourth, I have joined a vision group with some women based on principles in The Secret.
Plus, all my friends seem to have February birthdays and I just got a new computer and an iPod (thanks mr. fella) that I have been playing with! Whew...there is massive goodness in my life and there just aren't enough hours in the day. These are my favorite kind of problems.
I am getting a little bit better at balancing it all, so plan on hearing more from me and seeing daily pics on my photoblog.

Friday, February 9

Thursday, February 8

taking the plunge

After taking a little break from blogging last week, I'm back and ready to officially commit to the Wardrobe Refashion challenge.

The Pledge
I, Heather, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings!

The Rules
1.No buying new! (handmade is excepted; So this allows for Etsy purchases etc!!) All clothing must be Recycled, Renovated, Preloved or Thrifted, or Handmade only for the term. Employment related and special needs clothing (ie sports, school), shoes and undies are excepted from the rules, although you are encouraged to have a go at making these.
2.In extreme circumstances, maybe a special event, or the worlds greatest and most amazing never to be repeated sale that you simply can not pass up, you may use the Get out of Refashionista Jail Free card. You are able to use this card once during the 2 month part of your contract; ie 1 for 2 months, 2 for 4 months etc. Of course you need to fess up on the blog and display the button!
3.You must post on the blog at least once a week to let the community know what you've been up to. This will not only give you brag points, but inspire and encorouge others! Of course you need to display the button on your blog and have copied the pledge in at least one post, and provide a link to your pledge under the button.
4.You need to be honest and admit when you've fallen off the Refashionista Wagon! Go directly to Refashionista Jail, do not pass GO and do not collect $200! Apply for parole once there.

Monday, January 29


It's tax time, deadlines at work are looming, and my personal bizness to-do list is growing. So I'm going to take a break from posting this week and give these areas of my life some attention. I hope to return next week feeling very accomplished and having cleared some space on my internal hard-drive, fresh for blogging.

In honor of my own current battle through resistance, I am posting one of my favorites from the War of Art.

R E S I S T A N C E' S G R E A T E S T H I T S

The following is a list, in no particular order, of those activities, which most commonly elicit Resistance:

1) The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting, music, film, dance, or any creative art, however marginal or unconventional.

2) The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profit or otherwise.

3) Any diet or health regimen.

4) Any program of spiritual advancement.

5) Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals.

6) Any course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.

7) Education of every kind.

8) Any act of political, moral or ethical courage, including the decision to change for the better some unworthy pattern of thought or conduct in ourselves.

9) The undertaking of any enterprise or endeavor whose aim is to help others.

10) Any act which entails commitment of the heart. The decision to get married, to have a child, to weather a rocky patch in a relationship.

11) The taking of any principled stand in the face of potential reprisal.

In other words, any act which disdains short-term gratification in favor of long-term growth, health or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower. Any act of these types will elicit Resistance.

Sunday, January 28

A Weekend with Mr. Stearns and the Beales

My insanely wonderful package arrived a day ahead of Mr. Stearns. It contained many wonderful things, including an Eggleston book, the new Amy Sedaris book, teas from Chinatown in San Francisco, and fancy Australian salt. My most beloved item would have to be the Grey Gardens box set. I have had the Netflix Grey Gardens for over a month, now I can send it back. I really like this newly released footage, in many ways more than the original release. Mr Stearns and I have been enjoying this footage while he's here for a few days.

ps Do not waste your $8 on The Queen.

Wednesday, January 24

Antique Auction

My friend Keme is in town from San Francisco and we have been having some good country fun with her family in Charlotte. Pork Chops on Saturday night with the fun squad, breakfast at Jarman's Market on Sunday morning, and Tuesday night her Daddy's Antique Auction in Van Leer. Charlie (Keme's Daddy) let us dig for treasure at the auctionhouse Saturday night. I found some great scarves,a cart with wheels for the studio space, and an old watch, among other treasures. I also had my eye on some things that were already marked for auction: some very unique buttons and a green glass vase. I won those at the auction last night, but Charlie paid for them (he's just like that). I did win and purchase for myself a little antique kitchen stool. Keme's Momma, Sandra was working the snack bar at the auction. They were out of cheeseburgers by the time my brother and I got there, but she made us hot dogs and tater tots, brownie sundaes for dessert. If you have never been to a country auction, you should check it's a good time. If you leave anywhere near Nashville, the Van Leer Country Auction is on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 6:30. Here's a little preview...

Saturday, January 20

tales from the goodwill outlet

If you have a Goodwill outlet in your town, you should really check it out. They get all of the merchandise that didn't sell at the regular Goodwills...and it is unbelievable what you find. Clothing is priced by the pound ($1.49) and shoes are $1-$1.99, housewares start at at .25 and furniture is rarely over $20.
It's funky, it smells weird, and you have to dig through bins to find the gems, but it is so worth it.
Here's my haul from Friday...

I would have paid $20 just for the cute black flats (which are kind-of hidden), but I paid $15 for the whole shabang. I have big plans for those American Tourister bags (I'll keep you posted on that) and the antique mirror will be hanging in good spot very soon. I have been spoiled for "real" thrift store prices.

Friday, January 19

Office hoops

I did two shows at the office today. Nobody seemed very impressed. Only Gina from across the hall was interested in trying the hoop. It's ok, I don't need any outside encouragement, my love for the hoop is a deep love.

Thursday, January 18

More presents and other good stuff

My friend Shona got an extra calendar from a trade with Misselz, and oh how I love it! It is sold out, so I feel very fortunate to have it gracing the wall of my little studio.
Speaking of Shona.. have you seen her gnome shirts? They are nothing short of fabulous. I am buying one for myself and a couple as gifts. I suspect she is going to sell out of these pretty darn quick, so get while the gettin' is good. I hope this will be the beginning of a whole new medium for my little letterpress genius.
I'm thinking of participating in the Wardrobe Refashion'07 challenge. It would kickstart me into use of the dressform I got for xmas (remember I have no excuse) and it would be awfully fun. I'll just have to get a headset for my home phone so that I can still talk to Mr. Stearns while I make stuff.

Monday, January 15

I like presents and presence

My friend Vaile is so enamored with yarn, that she gave herself carpal tunnel syndrome within a few weeks of picking up needles. I'm happy to report that she has recovered and is knitting at a slightly more sane pace (and she has learned how to hold "loose"). The great thing about teaching people to knit is that they often knit you something as a thank you. This weekend Vaile presented me with this lovely mohair and wool scarf. It looks great with my pumpkin-colored coat and will enjoy many years warming my neck.
gift scarf

If you are my friend in real-life, then you know I have been spending a lot of time on the phone to Seattle lately. I hate the damn phone, but it is the only way to converse with people who are many miles away. In what I hope is the beginning of many collaborations, Mr. Seattle and I have decided to create a photo blog together. Check it out if you like and leave us a note.

Sunday, January 14

Global Warming

While 70 degree days in January aren't that uncommon, I don't recall ever seeing actual blossoms on cherry trees until at least April.

Cold front is rolling in...cherry blossoms aren't long for this world.

Monday, January 8

Pear-Shaped Girls Like Pear-Shaped Things

Ever since my twenties I have been a distinctly pear-shaped girl. Even when I was very thin, I still had my hips and my longish torso just accentuates the bottom of the curve. I don't mind being shaped like this, it's supposedly a healthier shape to be than the "apple" shape. I'm used to taking in the waist of every pair of pants I buy and reaching for the a-line skirts.

I also like the association with the fruit. When they are at their ugliest and most imperfect on the outside they are the most delicious.

The image of the pear is one of my favorites, perhaps because I am a bit self-involved. I love this pear-patterned Orla Kiely fabric on the pear-shaped chair above and her fun umbrella has been added to my wishlist.

My favorite interpretation of pear-shaped is the lesser known phrase describing a situation that went awry, perhaps horribly wrong. A failed bank robbery, for example, could be said to have "gone pear-shaped". The phrase seems to visualise the original plan as a perfect circle, and the failed execution as a distorted figure, hence "pear-shaped".

I believe I am a pear-shaped girl living in pear-shaped world.

Friday, January 5

Thrifting Booty

thrift store booty
Today I went to a thrift store that I have driven by many times, but haven't stopped in. It will be added to the regular rounds. No clothing, but lots of buttons, some pins, a little bird & a little pitcher, an embroidered tea towel, a Thai cookbook, pillows, fabric...good finds. Also found some sweaters for felting projects at the Goodwill Outlet. This weekend I am going to make some headband prototypes so that I will have patterns to work from when my band forms arrive in a few weeks.

Thursday, January 4

Live Music in 2006

I didn't get out as much as I would have liked this year. It was a busy one, with finishing up school, starting a new job and such; however, there were a few memorable evenings that deserve noting.

Yeah Yeah Yeah's at War Memorial
Fever to Tell still gets heavy rotation on my playlists, and Karen O is one the coolest girls in rock and roll since Chrissie Hynde. I could watch Karen O do almost anything, even forget the words to her songs (which she did a few times that night). This video is from the recent tour and shows her wrapping things around her head and her crazy harlequin-punk costumes designed by Christian Joy.

Cold War Kids at the Basement
I went to this show to see Figurines, and my friend went to see Tapes 'n Tapes. We had no idea that this little band of scruffy kids was going to steal the show. Highlights for me included percussion on a Pelligrino bottle and the spastic bass player. This video captures the vibe from that night and is also one of my favorite songs. They are getting a lot of attention now from their Robbers and Cowards release, it is well deserved.

Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris, and Gillian Welch at the Opry

I am a Nashville native and I've never been to see the Opry. There, I said it. When Terrance came for a visit, he wanted to see the Opry and we were both excited at the lineup. I've seen a lot of shows at the Ryman, but seeing the Opry there is very very different. In addition to Emmylou, Buddy, and Gillian, Vince Gill was there and a few Opry old-timers sang Christmas songs. The Del McCoury Band also showed up and Buddy Miller sang his wife's "All My Tears" which is ironically impossible to not cry through. It was a moving very sweet, funny, and warm evening. How can you not love Little Jimmie Dickens?

Wednesday, January 3

Full Wolf Moon

I'm feeling a little discombobulated, funky, and restless. I am going to attribute this to the New Year, the full wolf moon, and perhaps the mold in my basement. I have been taking stock of things, labeling, organizing, cleaning up, tossing out, assessing, welcoming in, and bringing order and intention into my life for the new year. This process inevitably uncovers some things that aren't fun to look at (which is why I put them under rocks in the first place). It is time to do the undone things and deal with demons before they deal with me. I'll allow myself some dustbunnies in my head, bones in the closet, and hiding under rocks again, but now it's time to clean it up.

Wolf Like Me TV on the Radio

Monday, January 1

now I have no excuse

Santa Claus completely surprised me with a dress form under the tree. Now I just need to dig up some of my sketches and fabrics, tune up my sewing machine and work on my basic skills. I'm pretty rusty, so perhaps I will start with some alterations before I launch into full-scale constructions. By spring I should be cranking out a new wardrobe.

ringing in the new year

Good fun with friends (and safely off the streets) is the best way to welcome a new year. Chicken spaghetti, salad, a bath for Little Ella and Big Heather, Penny's wedding cookies, knitting with Vaile, and another trip to Grey Gardens to see Big & Little Edie. I made it to midnight for the first time in a few years.