inspire me

Snaps shot


OK. We're a week+ into the new year. And we're still not ones to participate in the annual making and breaking of resolutions, or the subsequent failure-induced chocolate binge. My over-consumption of chocolate, for the record, requires no anomalies in self-esteem. But I did quietly inaugurate a little photographic project with the advent of the new year that may have left you wondering if I'd abandoned my usual verbosity for a bit of a different format. That last doozy of a post should have settled that point. Still, I'd like to offer up a brief-ish explanation of my intentions here. 


They're two-fold. 

One. I like this blog. Maintaining my presence here makes me happy. When I'm gone for extended periods, I start feeling like the absentee parent neglecting her once-lavished child. I gotta do something that will keep me thinking about Lovelihood, even when, as these days, I'm doing a lot less making. So even if the daily posts are a bit off-topic and stray a tad from the long-winded gasbag format I'd built my presence around, I think they'll round out this space nicely. 


Two. We have that newish fancy camera that's been languishing from disuse. It gets some play during freakish weather events, but that's pretty much it. And we frequently comment, in the car on the way to appropriately photographable events, that we should have remembered to bring the camera. That stops here. Not every shot has to be good or in focus or, God forbid in this sunlight-poor region of ours, properly lit. But shots will be taken Every. Damned. Day. I will remember to take the camera out with us. I will play with new lenses and shots. And I will annotate them with clever little observations. 


Another thing about these dailies… Because they actually originate from my Flickr account and get sucked into Lovelihood via Interweb magic, you can't really access the post and comment like the regular ones. I may have my tech department change that at some point. For now, it works for me. If you feel inexplicably compelled to comment on a photo post, you can do so by finding the original at Flickr.

That is all.


Tags: 365, photos

Boarded up


Here's something telling about us. In our new home, by leaps and bounds my favorite of the roofs under which we've gathered our family and myriad of useless tchotchkes and less useless pets and supplies for happiness and craftiness, the room Mr. New Media and I allotted ourselves for sleep is the smallest. A grand Master Bedroom, with areas for dressing and lounging and letter-writing, 5-piece baths with nooks for floral arrangements, headless busts and cavernous shoe and purse receptacles… not in the cards for us, my friends.  And truth be told, my shoes make up a pretty modest quartet. One for busing to work and walks to the library and longer walks down to the really good park . One for days when I'm wearing more brown than black. One for running. And one for when it's rainy. None sport zebra stripes. None require the masochistic determination of a Cinderella stepsister (I'm talking Grimm stepsister, here) to don.

So when, on the eve of our shipping container's arrival, we came upon the conclusion that the little room in back that could fit little more than our queen sized mattress would, in fact, be our bedroom, it was the quintessential a-ha moment. Our first happy decision in this place (after, of course, our decision to actually move into it), was to take the largest room in the house, the one designated Master Bedroom (though without an attached bath its claim to masterliness is dubious at best), and craft a work space out of it. That's the large airy room we spend a good deal of our non-sleep hours in. It's the one whose french doors we cavalierly throw open on sunny days to entertain a bit of breeze and fresh air while plugging away at computer code and ripped seams, allowing the cat to wander in and out, curmudgeonly snarling at the birds who heckle her from the trees. It's the one whose previous owners saw fit to build in two additional closets spanning the entirety of the north wall, flanking a bank of drawers that The Boy will one day discover can be pulled out in a gradient to fashion a sort of staircase to the ceiling. The room fits desks to hold our adult computers, a small table to support the much larger, toe-crushingly heavy, kid-designated computer, my beloved orange table covered in thread snippets and deciduous leaves and coniferous offshoots gathered from our latest playground-excursion, cabinets and chests to secret away fabric purchased surreptitiously on my days off from work, a pile of blankets and pillows not put away after recent overnight guests, now suitable for the rumblings and tumblings of a four-year-old and his sister.

And it's got walls. A simple thing, really, but, while our last home-office space, the one in our rented Houston house, was loaded with custom built-ins, walls of windows gazing out onto our Stepfordian street, and a murphy bed to handily collapse back into its frame when not in use, it had no wall space. None. No space to pin a simple photo to the wall, let alone an entire board for writing on and drawing inspiration from. Not, that I've got such a board, mind you. And the starkness of one of those ginormous expanses of cork don't quite appeal to me. But those fussy, tufted numbers with diamond grids of silk ribbon and glassy buttons eyes aren't quite my thing, either. Something middling that continuum, perhaps. 


I started with an assortment of frames picked up at our local emporium for all things second-hand. Not requiring the glass to be intact nicely opened up my options here, but where the frames did come complete with glass, I just put those panes aside for another day (I don't think I need to mention here that those ample closets have quickly filled up). I happened to have one can of spraypaint in black laying around, so that's what was used to get all the frames started on the page. Then, the fun part. Taking those cork tiles you can get at office supply stores, I cut panels out to fit the frames and attached swatches of fabric to the cork with some Heat n Bond. Would've used a simple spray mount, but didn't have any of that sitting in a drawer. The iron-on adhesive worked nicely, though, creating a nice, tight seal, and still pierce-able by your typical pushpin. Hung the frames up on the wall, and called it good. Give me a couple months of unchecked snippet-hanging. Undoubtedly, I'll need more pin-able space. But this is a good start, one I can always augment with more frames.


Mr. New Media's got a serious thing for white boards. And while he's still making his case for a  be-hammocked man-cave lined with white board walls, there's little I find less inspiring than that slick white surface grimed up with foul smelling markers. Sorry, Babe. Sorry that you had to hear it here, but I hate whiteboards. Chalk boards, on the other hand, I can do. Chalkboark paint, which sits in permanent residence among my crafty supplies (in that drawer designated for painterly pursuits), I can always rely on to transform something simple, say a standard-issue clipboard, into something more multi-taskworthy. Hung those in a grid, and called that good, as well. And I'm already thinking more of these are in order. I've been using them to anchor down wayward thoughts and to give unfinished projects a forum from which to nag at me and to keep of-the-moment swatches at inspiration's reach. And off the floor. Which is important, because that's where the children are happily wrestling.



maps1.jpg  maps2.jpg

maps3.jpg  maps4.jpg

Long before I had ever heard of Sisyphus, or even seen that Red Bull commercial, I had the recurring dream in which I'm tasked with counting a valley-full of rocks and hauling them up a steep hillside. The stress in these dreams was palpable, and I'd wake still feeling the weight of the endeavor. I was nine.  I don't know what gives a kid that kind of anxiety, but I'm sure that had I been faced the sisyphean science of cartography it would have triggered a full-on panic attack. 

There is something so comforting, though, about these maps. I mean look at that quilt. Gorgeous. I'm a huge fan of juxtaposition. And I don't know if I've seen a better pairing of science and art than what these people have done with streets and boundaries and city blocks. So very cool. And I'm beginning to see the appeal. There's so much to be found in maps, their fractal outgrowths at once ordered and organic. They convey history and sociology and politics and, of course, a sense of place. And the idea of taking a map and making it my own now seems oddly comforting, a nice respite from a long day spent satisfying the unfocused energies of small children.

Note to self: definitely do something with maps. Something, perhaps, with thread and paper and fabric, and maybe Spoonflower. Or maybe just spend some more time with this song.