Archives for the month of: February, 2014

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After what has turned out to be a very mild and dry Southwestern winter, I really have nothing to complain about, but I am still craving flip flops, drooping wisteria, and open windows. Looking around my house this morning, I saw that, though it’s still a few weeks away, I’ve created my own interior version recently. Fuchsia, gold, and orange are in everything from my quilt, to the flowers I bought yesterday, the book I am reading, and the skirt I will wear later.

Outside, my pear tree and lilac are on the brink of blooming, but I hope they can wait a little longer. March can bring unexpected frosts and snowstorms, zapping blooms. But, like me, they are impatient and ready.

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Dipped in butter, lemon, and mayonnaise. With a glass of red wine.

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I imagine blogging to be a bit like being a radio DJ. A DJ at a cool, independent radio station with the midnight to 6am shift. You speak and write, wondering if anyone is out there listening until, in the end, you realize it doesn’t matter. You do it for yourself and if someone gets something from it, that’s a bonus!

I started this blog one year ago today, having never really even looked at a blog before. It was begun as a way to entertain myself between jobs and possibly to document my life while on a job, when I tend to drop off the radar.

Setting up the blog, I chose the tag line “finding beauty in the everyday ” without any thought beyond “oh, shoot, they want me to have a line that describes what it’s about under the title.” I figured I could change it later when I decided what it was about. Looking back now, I am so grateful that that’s the line that popped into my head.

During what has been a somewhat topsy turvy year, that line has served as my assignment. On days when I was having a hard time finding the beauty, I simply made myself look harder and there it was.

Beauty is clarity after confusion, the color of Campari, the greys between black and white, the journey, imperfections, checking things off the bucket list, the roses on my counter, visiting with those I love, gratitude, presence, postcards from afar, grace found within the lessons, laughing on the phone with friends, a home cooked meal, and trust. I could go on and on. It’s everywhere.

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Sitting at my dining room table with coffee, scissors, glue, paper, listening to NPR, making.

Unpacking a box of paper, rubber stamps, and cards, I realized it had been almost two years since I had glue on my fingers. These items were boxed at the beginning of 2012, as I packed my entire house in preparation for my home renovation. I think the surprising part was when I realized I’d made it all the way through 2013 without opening it.

As a child, my mom frequently had valentine making parties at our house. Adults and children sat around the table together; drawing, painting, and collaging.

Then, as a teenager, I filled notebooks with images from magazines, poems, drawings, and stories. These books evolved into items made and sold in my apartment in college and then later on my Etsy site. Whether making items of paper or fabric, the common denominator was a collaged, layered, handmade feel for each of the items.

Over the past couple of years, my creative outlets have been more dependent on the digital world than the tangible one. Instead of cutting up magazines, I pin items on Pinterest. Instead of printed photos and stories, they go straight from my iPad to this
blog or through email to a writing instructor. I haven’t actually touched something I’ve made for a couple of years.

It was with this realization that I sat at my table yesterday, unrolled scrolls of printed paper, and started cutting and pasting, in the old fashioned sense.

Check out Fresastudio.etsy.com

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There was a book I loved as a child, about a gypsy caravan. Though I have forgotten most of it, including the title, I still remember the line “gypsies only come to go away”.

I was enamored with the idea of traveling with ones tribe and house, always waking at “home”. It was the beginning of my love of Airstreams, Volkswagon campers, and it apparently led me straight into wardrobe trailers. But, after spending the better part of a decade living out of suitcases and hotel rooms, the allure of the road began to wane.

Instead of feeling that I always woke at “home”, I found the opposite was true. Even when I was there geographically, my routines and habits were a confused jumble. I took this as normal until last year when, after taking several months off to try to develop a routine, I realized that jumble was a choice I was making.

I’ve spent the past six months slowly unraveling the knot and am just now able to see the progress I’ve made. Maybe it took heading on the road recently, staying on couches, and in friend’s apartments, to become more certain of my need to create a grounded and stable life that doesn’t depend on that excitement to keep it afloat.

Over the past few months I’ve worked to develop not only daily routines, but closer relationships with people who live near and far, and a stronger reliance on my own inner compass to keep me grounded. For years, I used being on the road as an excuse to not do the work all of this entailed until, one day, I looked around and realized my laziness was helping to create a life I didn’t enjoy.

I know that there is some type of adventuring free-spirit inside of me that certain parts of my career and lifestyle benefit and I know that I am not cut out for a 9-5 existence. But, I also know that gypsy needs to take a backseat for a while, look for an Airstream to park in the driveway as a guesthouse instead, and unpack the suitcase.

As I sit in LA, I dream of the snow falling at home, of the first smells of spring when that snow begins to melt, and of the routines I’ve developed well enough in the last few months to miss.

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