Friday, April 29, 2011

Summer Sewing

Here is my latest sewing switch up.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Take me out to the Ball game

I have been doing a little bit of research because tonight I am attending my first Birmingham Barons baseball game. Here are a few Baron facts that I found out.
  • The team was established in 1885
  • They set record attendance in the "Roaring Twenties"
  • Michael Jordan played with the Barons in 1994
  • Thursdays is $1 Beer or otherwise known as Thirsty Thursday  
  • A Baron is a title of nobility

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My First Photo Competition

Remember this picture? It was a part of my New Zealand montage. I entered it into a photo competition. The competition is to help raise awareness for Human Trafficking. The competition will be held Friday April 29th from 5-8pm at Architecture Works (130 19th Street South). Come out and support the cause if you can. 

I am really proud of myself for entering because normally I would just wish I did...maybe the Artist Way book is working.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Art Project-IPOD case

I was making my regular rounds in the blog world and I came across this tutorial. I had been keeping my IPOD in a sock and while this was functional it wasn't always the cutest thing. I had all the material to do this project so I decided to give it a go. Here were my results. Do you think the design looks more like two birds or a mustache? I have had differing reviews.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday afternoon-Claire came over for Happy Hour. I will post later about our delicious cocktails.

Friday evening we headed to Karen's house for dinner.  Karen and Ben are classmates of Will's at UAB. She prepared authentic Egyptian food for us to eat. We dined on the front lawn as the neighbors walked by. There is something about eating outside that makes me feel like life isn't moving so fast . When I lived in Seattle we would bring our kitchen table out back and all eat dinner as the sun was setting...delightful memories. After dinner we dyed Easter eggs and discovered new techniques thanks to our lovely hosts. Who said you have to have kids to dye eggs? Here are our beautiful creations.

Saturday morning- I woke up and decided that I was finally going to go get flowers for the apartment. I have been wanting to do this for weeks now, but hadn't been able. There is a wholesale florist in town that has a variety of different flowers. I wanted two of my favorites: ranunculus' and poppies. They had the ranunculus (the yellow ones) but sadly I found out that poppy season was already over. I had missed them by 2 months. So I perused the other flowers and found one that looked like paper. It is called scabrosa (the white flowers) which sounds like something you may catch in a dodgie bar, but nonetheless it is pretty. I put the flowers all over the apartment and now it officially feels like spring. I think getting flowers every year around Easter will be another tradition that I start.

Saturday afternoon/evening we went to the Allday's house for more egg dying and family fun. Will got to meet Silas for the first time. He is such a precious baby. Then Laura decided we all needed to learn how to play bridge. What we didn't know is bridge is a very complex games with many rules. I guess that is why bridge seems like such a snooty game. We put our most stuck up voices on and gave it a try. We decided when we actually learn all the rules we will dress up in big hats and smoking jackets and play for real.

Sunday-Easter morning we met our friends Mikey and Lindsay at The Original Pancake House. We all indulged in the items we gave up for Lent. Will and I headed to church which took place in the garden. We sat under magnificent old tress, with the wind blowing ever so gently, and shared in the Easter service. We stayed for lunch and then headed home. We took some time to read and relax. That afternoon we were off to book club followed by more food and more friends. It was a really great day. I hope everyone's Sunday was able to be spent with those you love.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Artist’s Way Week 2-Recovering A Sense of Identity

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose.” –Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

This chapter talks about poisonous playmates, crazymakers, skepticism, and attention.

Cameron mentions that we have people around us that cause us to return to a state of being blocked creatively.  She calls these people poisonous playmates. They are people who see you recovering creatively and it bothers them. This could be because the recovering artist isn’t catering to his/her every need anymore or because they are aware of their own blocked creativity. 

While the recovering artist is attempting to get in touch with their creativity they are still vulnerable to old ways of being or relating that keep them blocked. “As blocked creatives, we focus not on our responsibility to ourselves, but on our responsibilities to others. Blocked creatives are easily manipulated by guilt.” Can you identify with either of these people?

Crazymakers are people who want to absorb all your time and energy.

Characteristic of Crazymakers
  •         break deals and destroy schedules
  •         expect special treatment
  •          discount your reality
  •          spend your time and money
  •          triangulate those they deal with
  •          expert blamers
  •          create drama
  •          hate schedules/ hate order
  •          deny that they are crazymakers

“Creativity flourishes when we have a sense of safety and self-acceptance.” -Julia Cameron

We all have secret doubt that holds us back. For example: when we do our morning pages and artist dates we start to feel different, more alive. We tell ourselves it is just a coincidence. We are quick to discredit any change as chance.

When we are able to be attentive to our surrounding and our senses our creative self begins to heal.  As we begin to take time for our self we start to notice more and our attention leads us to delight.

Here are some of this week’s task
        1.  Ten Tiny Changes: List ten changes you'd like to make for yourself, from the significant to the small or vice versa.
              2.  List where your time goes and how much time you spend on each activity. How much of your time is spent helping others and ignoring your own desires?
             3.  List 20 things you enjoy. Out beside the item write the last time you let yourself do these things. Pick two things and do them this week.

 all of the above information comes from the Artist Way by Julia Cameron

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Polaroid Pics...Fail

I found this jewel at Goodwill when I lived in Seattle for $5.99. I recently found a company that still makes film for the polaroid land camera. I have been so excited to see if the camera even still works. Here have been my results.

It was a little discouraging. I am unsure if it is the film, camera, or photographer. I can't figure out how to set the L/D dial. There is so much pressure to get a good picture. I only have 8 chances to get a good shot. I have one more chance to capture and set my exposure. I am waiting for the right moment.  Are there any polaroid junkies out there that have any tips?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend Wrapup

We spent our weekend with these lovely people. Shelly and Jim Douglas are the ones I spoke about in my last post. They are some of the kindness people I have ever met. The weekend was really great. I don't know that I walked away with anything specific, but I enjoyed meeting other people who share a similar faith. The retreat was filled with times to reflect and meditate which replenished my soul. 

me, Shelly, Will, Lindsay, Mikey, and Jim
I went on a walk and found this beautiful robyn egg.
You can't really see the color but it is a teal color with
brown specs. I love the details of nature.
We headed to the Earth Day Festival on Sunday afternoon. It was a fundraiser for the Black Warrior River. We rode our bikes to the park (which was a big deal for me). We enjoyed music, some beer, all the wonderful weather.
proof (or did we just take a picture of
someone's bikes? It was us, you should have
seen me huffing and puffing)
There were many hula hoopers in attendance.
plenty of kids and pets all enjoying their day
And an ice cream truck. Who doesn't love ice
cream from one of these babies?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lenten Retreat

This weekend we are headed to a Lenten Retreat. The speaker is Shane Claiborne. I don't know very much about him other than his bio. I have not had the opportunity to read any of his books yet.  I have to admit I am not much for retreats. I have bad memories of Christian gatherings.  They often have felt cult-ish to me.  I associate a lot of pressure in these settings(sharing or praying with strangers). I even find myself feeling a bit claustrophobic. You may be thinking, "Why are you putting yourself through this again?" Well, I trust the people who are putting this retreat on. Shelly in particular is an incredible person. I do not say that about too many people, but her life has been different than most Christians I have met.  She said her mother gave her the New Testament when she was a teenager and said do what Jesus says and you will be ok. Shelly took this to heart. She has been striving to live in a way that is in line with what Jesus has spoken. She has been arrested several times for protesting nuclear war, her and her husband purposely make enough so they don't have to pay taxes that support war, and they intentionally live among the poor. I feel invigorated and nervous when I am around her.Her life has called me to continue to question what I believe the Bible says.

In the last several years I have found myself wanting to live out something more than the American Dream. I find this dream to lack creativity and the true teaching of the gospel. Many churches are caught up teaching a prosperity gospel, leaving the poor to fend for themselves. As Christians we are called to take care of the poor, widowed, and orphaned. We might take a few times a year to serve at a homeless shelter or participate in a work day, but we don't care anything about living in "their neighborhoods". This type of giving sets up a clear line that we the giver hold the power and you the recipient are still indebted to our kindness. This dynamic is a giant hindrance towards building relationships. We fail to see that the poor have something to offer us. They have more to teach us about the face of God and what true community can look like. There is a certain amount of dependence that the poor are acquainted with that we may never know because of our financial stability. Until we can live with each other seeing that we both possess the goodness of God then we will stay divided.

I am not sure where Will and I will end up but I hope it can be in a place where we have intentional community, somewhere we can be activists for those that have no voice.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Summer Sewing

Summer is approaching and I have gone through my wardrobe. I am itching to get some new clothes while trying to maintain a budget. I have decided to tweak a few of my dresses and skirts to better fit my body type.Here is my first experiment.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weekend Wrapup

The conference was very informative and draining. We got to see downtown Chapel Hill where UNC is located, but we weren't able to see much of the Durham/Raleigh area. On the way home I picked up a few books at the airport. I have been interested in reading more classics so I selected The Catcher in the Rye (the cool cover is how I chose my classic).Then I stumbled upon another book Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes. This book is filled with different exercise like: find a long stick, tape a pen to the end of it, try to draw something holding the far end of the stick.  

"This to me is the purpose of the book: to participate in some situations where you have limited control and venture into territory that you would not normally go with the possibility of creating something completely new and different`than what you might have done before."  Kerri Smith

waiting on our food
I thought this was fun.

Will planted some mint, lavender, tomatoes, and cilantro.
It is official we are composters.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some Time Away

I am leaving today to head to a conference in Chapel Hill, NC.  I have been looking forward to this conference for several months. The keynote speaker is Dan Allender who was one of my professors in graduate school. He is a gifted therapist who works with sexual abuse victims. My job brings me into contact daily with individuals who have suffered crisis and trauma such as sexual abuse. I often find myself uneasy or ill-equipped when I enter into these conversation.  I am still very young to this profession and hungry to learn more.
I also get to hang out with Tracy. She is a rare friend because I can laugh with her one minute and be in deep conversation the next. She loves to learn which makes conversation all the more stimulating.

The last time we were together we made a video to challenge our friend Blaine in a Friday Dance Party Throwdown.  I thought I would share it with you. Have a good rest of the week.

Gauntlet Throwdown from Tracy Kouns on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love

So I was a little under the weather last week. I got to watch several movies one of them was Eat, Pray,Love. I read this book several years ago while in graduate school. Everyone raved about how wonderful it was so I decided to pick up a copy. I will admit there were winner lines and moments but overall I wasn't that impressed. I feel like this book/movie promotes this idea that the only way we can find ourselves is to leave the community we know. Gilbert leaves to travel to these beautiful parts of the world to partake in discovering herself. She discovers these new communities while her problems wait silently by. Why do we think we need some awe inspiring moment to bring about change? 

It makes me think about an old Matchbox Twenty 20 song: Hang

She grabs her magazines
She packs here things and she goes
She leaves the pictures hanging on the wall, she burns all
Her notes and she knows, she's been here too few years
To feel this old

He smokes his cigarette, he stays outside 'til it's gone
If anybody ever had a heart, he wouldn't be alone
He knows, she's been here too few years, to be gone

And we always say, it would be good to go away, someday
But if there's nothing there to make things change
If it's the same for you I'll just hang

We have all we need in the midst of our suffering. I remember the days of broken romances clearly. I would have watched this movie and convinced myself that I needed a new adventure to rid me of my sorrow. It is the engagement of our sorrow that we find the strength to heal. It is in the midst of these daunting feelings that I need those who care for me. Gilbert spent so much time working things out on her own. We need people to walk along side of us to refresh us when I weary. This to me is the definition of community...Bearing one another's burdens.Isn't this how God has called us to love one be together?

“The mercy of God does not eradicate the damage, at least not in this life, but it soothes the soul and draws it forward to a hope that purifies and sets free.” Dan Allender 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Weekend Wrapup

Friday night we spent the evening with our niece Kate. She turned 10 in February and I am embarrassed to say that we are just now planning time to celebrate her. She is the sweetest and very gracious with our tardiness. We ate at a local Italian restaurant and even scored some free beignets because of the birthday girl. Will made her a card which was one of his best, but I forgot to snap a picture of it. We gave her a gift card to Claire's boutique.  We headed to the mall so she could get her hands on the latest accessories. I hope you had a great time Kate because we sure enjoyed your company.

Saturday morning we went to Mikey and Lindsay's house. Lindsay and I are reading The Artist Way together. We had some good discussion around creativity and how we have been affect both positively and negatively when it comes to seeing ourselves as artists. Will helped Mikey in the yard while we enjoyed the Spring day on the porch.

We spent our afternoon/evening running a few errands and watching the Semi Finals in Basketball. We had some Pacificos which always remind me that summer is near. Mexican beer is my favorite when the weather gets warmer. For dinner we had mushroom burgers that were delicious. Will gave up meat for Lent so in some cases I did too. We have really enjoyed trying out new dishes. Who knew that being a vegetarian is so much cheaper?

Sunday we woke up and went to church. Will and I got in an argument right as we were walking to church. Awesome. I can be a little anal about being on time. There are three things that I like to be on time for: church, movies, and concerts. I feel like I have missed something if I am late.

On the way to church I was feeling a little rushed and so I was annoyed that I wouldn't be able to collect my thoughts and center myself before the service. Church ended and we walked home. I kept feeling a nudging at my soul to rest. All I did this weekend was create lists of to dos but when I finished I felt even more unrested. This is my pattern when I don't want to be still. I stay busy and I end up watching the weekend fly by me. I sat on our porch and tried to take in the day with my senses. I had this internal dialogue with God about resting and being more devoted to mediation. This is a frequent conversation that I have and it frustrates me to be here again. When I create this world of mad lists I am moody and snappy. I don't know how to stop my mind from taking over my day.

The minute my eyes open most days the list has begun. I try as hard as I can to block it out. I bury my head under a pillow but nothing seems to calm my anxiety. With heavy eyes I begrudging roll out of bed to the morning's first task. I hate it. I find myself moving at a pace that I don't want but it is like I can't stop myself.
As I am sitting on the porch I began to feel my body unwinding. Will brings out breakfast and we eat and talk and I find the calmness drift back to my soul.

Wouldn't it be great if the day ended there? It didn't. I didn't want to leave the apt. because I didn't want to rev my mind up again. But instead we headed off to book club. I was excited to find that the conversation we shared was very refreshing. I often find myself excited to be a part of this community.

We headed to the Botanical Gardens to do some reading. We were able to continue relaxing in the beautiful weather.

We headed home for dinner. We cooked Lime-and Honey Glazed Salmon with Warm Black Beans and Corn Salad courtesy of Rachael Ray. It was very tasty. Hope your weekend was filled with people and things that you love.