downtown

This was the song I sang (quite poorly) to myself today while I was trying to figure out what to do with that extra hour we got from Daylight Savings time or as I like to call it…the “the only reason I am on-time for work this week” time.

Since inktober ended I’ve been catching up on sleep and (finally) brushed my hair. I sketched a little over the weekend and thought about creating a series of wonderland works…maybe including prints/printables. This is the time of year I usually start thinking about diy (giftable) projects, calendars and my holiday cards. We’ll see, still feelin a little sleepy.

Went to Target yesterday to peep the Hearth and Hand collection by Chip and Joanna Gaines (Fixer-Upper/Magnolia Journal). I loved everything, I’m such a sucker. I’ll probably get this Galvanized Metal Tree Collar and a couple of their mugs – I’m still looking at moving out of the tiny townhouse (away from downtown) by the end of December though. I’m focused on getting rid/editing my belongings – trying not to add to the mess, you know? Some of the other Hearth and Hand seasonal items I loved I’ll include below for your perusal. ♡

 

the sparklies

Just a few short weeks ago I ordered myself this ring from Feather Oak and have been checking every day since for a delivery date! I’m usually not very spendy when it comes to jewelry because…if the tangled ball of bracelets and necklaces that live in my top dresser drawer are any indication…I don’t take very good care of my jewelry.

holidaynails

I’ve also been doing glittery nails for the last couple weeks – glitter is everywhere, especially my hair, because curls are glitter magnets, apparently.

I’ve got a serious case of the sparklies. I see twinkles on the lake in midday and I get out my phone to record them…I’m wearing shimmery pink or gold eye shadow pretty much daily and yes there are sequins on the sweater I’m wearing…rose gold sequins. After I design and print my Christmas cards maybe I’ll dust them with spray glitter.

Whether this new twinkly habit is a distraction or a balm, I can’t know for sure. It’s probably a little of both, but a little sparkle is never a bad thing so I plan to sparkle on!

Have a shiny weekend!!!

 

 

 

 

 

unstoppable

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that! I’m always gonna love you, no matter what. No matter what happens…But until you start believing in yourself, you ain’t gonna have a life. -Rocky Balboa

Decided to get “off my bum.”    ❤ you.

 

joie de vivre

rifleco-tattly

Glad we made it to Friday and that tomorrow my time will be my own. I planted two mini magnolia bushes (shrubs?) the other night. YES, night. Tuesday night I was feverishly digging in the dirt and the dark, planting shrubberies, little purple flowers that I don’t know the name of and blindly spreading mulch all over like wooden confetti.

It wasn’t until I tried to get to sleep later that night that I worried I was covered in spider bites or worse, actual spiders (shivers). I dosed myself with two benadryl, just in case of anaphylactic shock plus anti-histimines knock me out cold – which is always helpful in these situations.

My neighbors think I’m insane, no doubt. Regardless, they complimented my work the next day – which was nice. Being nice to the most-likely insane is always a good idea.

When I was leaving for work this morning I spied one chunky white magnolia flower. After a quick inspection of both bushes I am betting that tomorrow there will be five more. They are my absolute favorite and they really do smell like magnolia when they bloom.

Counting all the little things.

Happy Earth Day and have a peaceful weekend, everybody.

image © Aimee McEwen, temporary tattoos by Tattly and Rifle Paper, Co.

bloom

I’ve never been great with plants. That’s what I tell myself, anyway. Last weekend I went ahead and got three separate potted plants and much to my surprise they are thriving. I bought a rose bush, impatiens and some other mix of purple and white flowers. It was a bit daunting for me to choose from all the plants at the nursery…so I just got whatever I thought would be hardest to kill. My mom said not to be afraid of the roses…just don’t over water them. They are looking really pretty right now. The pictures show the very first bud that came out a few days ago…from bud to full bloom (and now in my living room). It didn’t occur to me until today to give it a sniff. It smells amazing!

I’m working hard at remembering to water and not over-water and also to check for BEES before reaching into the planters, moving the planters…I swear the last bee/wasp/stingy thing I saw was robotic or on steroids…it was giant and pointy and I imagine it having angry eyebrows, wearing a derby and smoking a cigar (shivers).

image credit: © Aimee McEwen

pen friend

I woke up in a cheerful mood this morning, in spite of myself. I’ve had some pain the last few days and I was feeling a bit loony but I’ve taken ibuprofen every 4 hours for the last 2 1/2 days and I’m at least mobile. I’ll start my next Whole30 tomorrow. After 2 relapses in the last month, I was beginning to feel like a science experiment. I’m glad to go back to restricting most problem foods and by August I should be feeling pretty awesome again.

pen-friendI’ve been hunting down a lot of (inspirational) quotes lately. I really like Pinterest for that. I found Sharna Martorello’s work through instagram though. I LOVE SWOOPY BLACK INK HANDWRITTEN ANYTHING. Seriously, it could be a grocery list… and I would still love it. Ms. Martorello’s print shop, Pen Friend, has something for just about everyone.

My Mom’s handwriting is my favorite, though. For the home office reboot I plan on taking some of her handwriting and blowing it up to hang in a frame.

I always go back to one particular letter she wrote me when I was struggling at college (anxiety issues and I have a habit of being a bit “stormy”)

Mame:
I don’t know what’s bothering you and it probably is none of my business, but I do wish things or whatever is upsetting you was over.

Life is too short to let things bring you down. Now is the time in your life that you should be enjoying yourself, experiencing new ideas and putting them to good use.

We want you to be happy and have a good time in college but it sounds like you’re not. Just be yourself and try not to let things bother you so much. If you take a positive outlook on what is going on around you, you might see a lighter side of things.

I’m not lecturing you, I just want you to be happy. Everything may seem dark to you now and you are down on yourself but there is and will be a brighter day only if you want it and accept each day as it comes.

You are bright, talented and a very giving person. Live each day with a positive outlook. Also, you are a beautiful girl who has a lot to give– if only you would allow yourself to. Please be happy.

Love You,
Mom

– I should read this letter every day (sniff, sniff… love you too, Mom).

credits:
Sharna Martorello images via Pen Friend

when the saints

Maya AngelouOne of my favorite poets and authors, Maya Angelou, has passed away. She was 86.

Maya Angelou spoke at my college graduation in 1998. I was much too young (read: starving and ready to get a real job) to appreciate her speech, her presence. It’s always bothered me that I “wasn’t listening closely enough” then. I have followed her and read her works since that time, though. I was able to find an article about her commencement speech (Savannah Morning News). So, at least I have these words from that day to appreciate almost exactly 16 years later.

…Standing at the podium, Angelou belted out a few choruses from “When the Saints Go Marching In,” comparing the graduates who walked two-by-two down the aisles moments before to saints.

“Congratulations, saints,” she said, applauding them.

The author of such books as “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now,” received three standing ovations from an audience who listened closely to her every word.

She spoke of the importance of knowing the sacrifices that have been made for each of us by our ancestors.

“Every person in this auditorium, this building, has already been paid for,” she said. “Someone has marched in for you.”

She spoke of looking inside oneself to find the contributions one can make to others in life.

“All you have to do is recognize your one gift, which is a combination of many gifts, and see yourselves as saints to those who are yet to come,” she said.

She illustrated her message through a story about an uncle in Arkansas who had been a strong influence on her as a child. After his death, she returned to Arkansas where she discovered that he had been an inspiration to many others as well. The students, she said, also could have this kind of effect on the world.

“It is upon you to see yourselves as saints with a delicious future, an incredible mission,” she said. “When you see where you come from, you can see where you stand today and envision your future.”

A profound thank you to Ms. Angelou for all she was and will continue to be for those who find comfort, love and strength in her beautiful words.

credits
image via

unsplash

High resolution photo resource, unsplash, has some really lovely images available.  Free to use, according to the site, for “whatever you want“. I will definitely be taking advantage of this in future posts. Since, you know, I probably won’t be making it to the mountains anytime soon… probably.

sylwia-bartyzel

My reboot week was a general success, by the way. Save for the email newsletter subscriptions (I read them all), I did a very good job of abstaining from social media and general internet wandering. I had time on my hands to think about how I want the rest of this year to play out and even outlined a modest editorial schedule for the blog. I will share more on that next week, but in the meantime I’ll post a new desktop wallpaper for you this weekend and another printable “love note to self“.

credits:
photo by Jonas Nilsson Lee via unsplash

making christmas :: candles

photo 4

Actually this should be about soy candles, sachets and soap, but I got the flu last week and I’m still not quite right (cough, cough). I did make a few things before the germs hit, so that’s good. Candles are NOT hard to make. People have asked me this a few times… and I suppose you could screw anything up if you tried hard enough. I melt the wax until it’s at about 180 degrees then add fragrance (mind the flashpoints!), stir for a full 2 minutes and pour into warmed and prepped containers. That’s it. I also made  a few batches of soap and I have to say… definitely not as easy as candles. For the sachets (pictures coming) I stamped fabric with metallic black pigment ink (stars and polka dots) sewed them into cute little “sacks” and added a generous amount of balsam fir needles before sewing them up and tying with twine. I have terrible allergies but I don’t even care because CHRISTMAS!

photo 5

and here’s a pic of the sachet:

sachet