31 December 2008

champagne and celebration!

hi! so many holiday festivities and paul birthday activites that i've been m.i.a. for a while. don't fret: before you know it, i'll be displaying some creations made/given during the holidays. soon i'll be posting photo of wrapped gifts, my favorite! i love some gift wrap and some bows. i salvaged lots of wrapping paper this year. in fact, i have a project/contest that i'll be announcing very soon concerning the idea of saving found paper.

after all the champagne is opened, after the welcoming of 2009, you'll be hearing more from me. wishing you a celebratory day! love!

22 December 2008

paper playground

i am tired. been playing on the paper playground all weekend and back to "real" work tomorrow. so pleased with myself and my life this holiday. merry and bright takes on a whole new meaning! love to you, wherever you are, whatever you're doing. be well.

20 December 2008

friday feature

hooray! yesterday i was featured on the EtsyGreetings blog as the Friday Feature artist...

i am totally thankful for this-what fun.
i am working on lots as christmas rapidly tumbles towards us.
*be back soon with more*

big spirited love!

18 December 2008

getting from point a to point b (the quarry)

so family is family. they welcome you on cold winter days and feed you schnitzel. they pick you up around town because you can't figure out a better way from point a to point b without asking for help. they rub your back when no one else will stretch out their hand and even touch you. they are your source, your support, your strength.

but at some point, each individual within a family gets the opportunity to create their own family. babies are had and sister becomes mama becomes great grandma and crazy aunt. and now that's "her side of the family." as if she made a bad choice, as if she didn't try her best to chose to make the kind of family she wanted. its as though high cholesterol and rapid anxiety is a choice: it's more hereditary.

i listened to a man on the bus last night talk about the 300,000 genes that each cell in our body carries. he is an aging cancer cell researcher, and he put cell research like this: think of it as a quarry. we do lots and lots of work for little or no outcome, but what we find as a result of all that work is momentous. i said, that is a great analogy for aging cancer cell research but even for life.

we dig and dig and dig.
we stretch out out arms and point in a new direction, wondering, what could possibly be there.
then one day, we take our tools, the ones we love, and we go there.
we dig, again.
we work hard and rest our bodies, everyday. thankful for the discoveries today. hopeful for what tomorrow will bring.
but at some point we have to scale out of the quarry, perhaps only in our dreams. and in that scaling, that stretching of the mind, the heart, the spirit, we are lifted above it all. we see our terrain, we see the heights and the depths of our existence. we see the places we've come from and we can pinpoint some places we'd like to go; and then, we wake up. it is a new day.
shoes on feet (we're so blessed), coat on body, lunch in pail, out the door.

into the quarry we go.
hoping for discovery.
300,000 opportunities to do good.
really hot coffee from jacksons.
a familiar face.
the dreams we carry, lingering in our mind with each minute.
the call, the action, the task at hand.
our courage to try.
the setback.
the overcoming.
our own way through.

"a way out of no way will be made for you." virginia crutcher

15 December 2008

in the changing you will ___________ (fill in the blank with your dream outcome!)

sitting in the middle of our clean bedroom floor, i'm really extremely thankful for the ground i have to walk upon, for the [very] strong legs that hold me up, for the roof that leans over my head, for walls and warmth and winter.

we are people on the move. our bodies are constantly in motion and our minds, without a doubt, scaling mountains and crossing oceans and braving the elements to learn just a little glimpse of what tomorrow holds. we are the stuff, though. we are the stuff dreams are made of; we are glitter and gold, or if you like, we are warmth and shining. we rise, out of ourselves, to greet the day and claim the land in which we have been planted. we toil and labor this plot. we rest and take hold of our many blessings. we live from a place of constant gratitude.

at least i do. at least i try to. late saturday night, walking up the driveway, complaining about something to my saintly beau, Paul stopped dead in his tracks and said to me: "you do know rome wasn't built in a day." oh. yeah. that took time. great things take time. hours and hours, spinning and ticking away, minutes. take your time. care for and work on and mindfully give what is at your fingertips your utmost attention. take an extra five minutes for your self or your art or that poem you're secretly working on. it might be your masterpiece. you might love yourself a little bit more. you just might...

or like most days, you might not. you might only try, but in the trying, you will grow, and in the growing you will change, and in the changing you will ___________ (fill in the blank with your dream outcome!).

stay focused on your blessings.
stay thankful for your your dream
stay close to your courage
build your own rome with great love.

13 December 2008

they loved to decorate!

i have been reading this book and practicing some techniques learned from within the pages and LOVING it. my art teacher let me borrow before our winter break. (haha that sentence makes our time together sound structured) i have been wanting to send her some kind of a holiday card to thank her for her many borrowed books and creative techniques she's been teaching me, and thanks to Claudine Hellmuth, I came up with this.

what do you think??

{sidenote: i never liked decorating for christmas as a kid, so the thought of being a mother and having children excited to do so is, like, totally a fantasy for me. i loved the faces on these children and could never figure out to do with their photo and i think it just works great!}

i woke up dreaming about Mollydooker's wine that i find myself constantly coveting--even in my sleep. Velvet Glove Shiraz is a prize jewel among wines of the Aussie land. At least, that's what I say. This is what Mollydooker's website says: "This awesome Shiraz is superbly complete and complex, with stunning beauty and power. It wraps your entire palate in a velvet glove of amazing fruit flavours that seem to last forever." Yes, please.

So I woke up dreaming about Mollydooker wine's, mind you I'm on the straight and narrow path of trying to lose weight, and I went to sleep watching "Then She Found Me," which left me feeling very "I need a drink." What is it about love that can be so rough? What is is about me that is so rough? I want to walk and stride and run and skip and play in great love, love that overcomes, love that has the final word, love that reigns in my queendom. (Words derived from Jill Scott & MLK Jr.) Anyway, turmoil of the mind, and a spirit of peace.

i have been working a lot this week, on myself and on my direction in life. i have so many heart piercing cards works in progress, and i need to buckle down and get a few things done before tomorrow. lots of crafting and creating today--- i'll be back soon with more; more dreams. more stories. more creations. more love.

09 December 2008

i've been saving all these inspirations for the "perfect time" to scan them in and post them up on the blog. butttt isn't that the tale of time? it's here and's gone! so instead of waiting for the just right moment or the blog-spiration, i figure, scan them all together. inspiration is right here, all around, open those eyes of yours.

so this is what i see:
wine foil that comes in all colors, textures, weights, styles. stamps from ethiopia. france, too. banners celebrating birthdays and hovering over individuals with love, great love. hearts on fire. hambly screen prints letter transfers. crowns & bikes. my old india ink drawings of naked models. ric-rac. action!

sigh {deep breath, deep breath]

the magic of place cards. we catered a dinner party for a lovely lady named Anne and she is so tasteful and sets a BEAUTIFUL table that i asked if i could make place cards. i always do this for family dinners and fun events around the house, but this was a bit more of a heart piercing cards endeavor. well, the short story is that she loved them! they were BEAUTIFUL and matched her dining room perfectly. the backcolor of the cardstock (yankee blue) was the exact color of the walls---totally not planned! and the very best part is this: on each place card was a silver bee image, and (NO JOKE) Anne's place card holders were silver bee hives! magic! absolute magic

paul is the cutest cook ever. this is the best picture of him: patient and oh-so-happy; such a companion!!! he makes every occasion special, a Saturday night dinner party, a cold Tuesday night with a warm pot of soup, a long hike through the woods. i am: lucky, lucky, blessed, blessed.

Anne has these amazing silhouttes in her hallway. i am totally in love with them. please Santa? george and martha washington are up the street at the antique store and they are so on my wish list.

great packaging, no? my anniversary treat from pw. we layed low, ok, actually we went to jack fry's and had a fabulous time. this little treat has been laying around the desk, peaking through piles of paper and wine books, calling our names here and there. there is lots to say about this first year of love, but mostly this: it has been wonderful and will certainly continue skyward with that same root.
another day, another dollar my friends. or another day, another million moments to catch the spirit. or another day, another creation. more magic. more love. less toys more play. less talk, more action. definitely more questions, more curiousity, more courage. listen to the sounds of your day, the pace of your heartbeat as you move through it. connect.

02 December 2008


::::go your own way:::::


go this way-----> ::::grits::::

[kate you are totally loving that, aren't you???? i am totally loving you and my parisian treasures! thank you so so much. can we talk now that you're in america? love love love you]

love love love you all
and esp: my grits man.

01 December 2008

nurture. and nurture. and nurture some more.

babies grow up. mama's and daddy's love them into being. they are human though. they trip and fall and grow their hair out just the way they like it. they have races in the barn yard with all their friends in their sunday best. they save scraps of paper to make a masterpiece. they are their own being: growing, learning, and becoming. grandma's and friends and people who touch the life of that being nurture and nurture and nurture that being into its fullest existence. we are beings grown by love.

[barnyard girls]

last week, before paul and i went eye glasses shopping, we stopped into an antique store near our house. i found the above postcard that was addressed to Miss Wilma Daurning but never sent from Roy Daurning (whom I will assume was her brother). i think Wilma would've loved to get this postcard. alas: it ended up in my hands, and ever since i laid eyes on it i can't seem to stop hearing the story it tells.

we all grow up. we are once babies and we become who we are today. once i was walking the streets of the district of columbia (or was i at a nightclub?) and a beautiful black man stopped me and said: you look just like the actress from "Live and Let Become." first of all, a beautiful black man can stop me any day. second of all, thank you! thank you for seeing me as someone who allows life to become of me, to become because the day calls me to; someone who actively leaves her house everyday if only to become more of who she is before she returns home. who races her friends in the barnyard. who frequents nightclubs and bookstores and the bus line and the classroom just to let herself become.

you cannot find yourself in one place, or limit yourself to one center of existence. you must live and let yourself become. you must grow: organically; seek: a broad horizon; chase: the chance that you will love your life; nurture: yourself and the true self of others.

[a card made over the weekend. the inside reads: grow where you are planted. image transfer technique taught to me by marilyn. card to be seen soon in my shop]

i was so incredibly blessed with the privilege to help care for my grandmother this weekend while i was home for thanksgiving. talk about giving thanks. wow. thank your grandmother's for their constant commitment to love you (and your parent) just the way you are. and thank life for it's cycles. for it's faithfulness to nurturing our lives. i will never forget the hours and hours that my grandmother spent scratching my back growing up. you could always depend on sitting beside her and getting just a little bit of extra love. her soft hand was quickly attracted to your stiff back; the back of your exhausted body was so cared for by her. i am quick to tell you of the blessing it was to give back a bit to her. to get her ready for thanksgiving day. to help her maneuver around the busy household of her children (she has seven... and their families. to have her tears during grace pull at my heartstrings. she is a beauty: humble and graceful and still so nurturing. even when you're caring for her she is fully caring for you. nurture. and nurture. and nurture some more.

so off i go into this week. strong and smart and fully stephanie, but soft, and learning, too. asking and knowing and trusting. settling in and gearing up for change. celebrating love. nurturing. and nurturing. and nurturing some more.

22 November 2008

winter terrain (or love for all season)

to my dear friend hallie, i wrote: i have been busy in the process of healing and mending relationships in light of these past weeks.

it's no wonder to me that peace has to be such a priority in the front of our minds. we must choose peace, moment by moment; gather gratitudes wherever we go; live on our knees, thankful for the ground we are given to walk upon. this is the place i want to live. this is the terrain of my heart.

so this is my winter terrain, or, more accurately, this is love for all season. this is praise and prayer. this is growth and stillness. these are, my friend, days that we will remember, if we chose to do so. if we live and breath this very day, aches and pains and delights and all.

i've been totally missing my moments of the soul this past week-BUT i have been working with my art instructor/"teacher" marilyn and delving into crafts and creativity on my own. meeting miss carol for a bit of sewing and craft cocktails this afternoon. i've got some ideas in the works, too. (even ones that are only manifesting themselves in my mind!) my love to you where you are and my hope for you that you find time for yourself to create, create, create, and give some love to others and send out some inspiration to those who are in need. isn't that each one of us??

18 November 2008


as* inspired* by* kate* marks*
and the words of rob breszny.
i need inspiration. delight. wonder. uplifting. strength. vision. encouragement. sunshine. hand holding. smiles. adventure. clarity. the call.

13 November 2008

the four ladies!

i am getting to spend the weekend in atlanta with my four lovely friends.
can i get an amen?
i am so very excited.

thank you for this chance to reunion with these ladies.
putting all my energies into a blessed and inspired time away.

so SO glad for what i have here in louisville.
so SO glad for the chance to dream in the midst of so much hope.
so So excited to be with the ladies!!!!
and so SO going to miss the paulper.
LOVE to all!
be back monday

12 November 2008

wake up. stay sleeping. sit with your train of thoughts.

at some point this morning i woke up feeling as though i wouldn't be able to go to sleep. i resisted the urge to hit the indiglo button on my alarm clock, instead i got up to pee because i'd drank a 16 ounces mug of hot delicious tea before bed. woke up, no lights, bathroom, got back in bed. sleep, steph, sleep. but no luck. so i stopped trying. i let my train of thoughts roll, eyes closed. mind totally working.

something i love about living in st matthews is that i can hear the train at night. when the whole world is silent and it's just my mind in the darkness, i can only hear the chatter in my own head. but the train that runs through the small part of town where i currently call home and is a steady reminder to me during those dark moments. tonight i let my mind go. i let it think about what it needed to think about.

i thought about traveling and dreaming and creating an existence that i love. i thought about st. augustine. i thought about heart piercing cards. i thought about quito. ea. friendships. distance. love. kindness displayed at random. irene. warmth during the winter. service. fine paper. gifts. i thought about loose ends i am desperate to tie up. i thought about indian food. (dakshin, the restaurant, mainly, and chaat) prayer. paris. and the day ahead.

i thought about how if we resist thinking about what we desire to think about, then all we do is end up thinking about thinking about something. let me describe:
take saint augustine. 4th century theologian. "confessions" ring a bell anyone? anyway, so i was remembering Doire and her constant meandering mind (as she says: "tangents) that was so teaching me for in regard to his work. i was thinking though, as much as he wrote about sexuality and not being attached to the flesh and on and on concerning this topic, his writing was deeply sensual and almost confusing and sexual.

when we work so hard to forget about something, to cut ourselves off from it, whether its little debbies or our life's work or our family or sex-- we actually just connect ourselves to it over and over again. with every thought to disconnect we connect again. count your blessings. seek wisdom in the work that is your life. distinct to who you are, your dreams, your desires, your wellness and your walk; take claim of that which you are working with and working through. "seek peace and pursue it"----that is a word to nourish your soul and spirit through all seasons. don't cut yourself off from your dreams and desires, work with them. knead out what you won't use and don't benefit from. make claim to what you love.

sit with it: hear its roar, in your darkness and in your light.

09 November 2008

enjoy the journey

I won't waste inspiration, promise! I always remind myself of that when something turns out different than I plan. "There is no waste in nature," so how could there be in the creative process (or for that matter in the process of our lives)?

myself slandering myself

[our whispers tell our stories.]

the person you believe you are is often created through the stories you tell (& hear) about yourself. i haven't had the best weekend in regards to myself slandering myself. it hasn't been good: the stories are defeating, the swords are swift & sharp, the wounds aren't healing. no nurse has soothed my aches, no elixir has healed me from within.

what? to? do?

dream. sleep-in. make pancakes. read blogs. drink wine. play with markers. scroll through old journals. grab your old planner and play "one year ago today." job search. hide and seek. hike. rest. wear your hoodie. wash your hair. take photos. sing.

it may not heal you to your bones, but what it will do is inspire you to travel on. wake up, again. put your shoes on, again. greet the day, again. surely, you are not too much. not too heavy. not too weird or too wide or too without. you are only being asked to believe: in today, in grace, in what the world offers to you. peace, friends. peace and love and contentment and stories that lift your spirits. xoxooox

08 November 2008

ancient journal notes & imagery that inspires

from 01. october. 2007
i am learning so much its incredible. mason taught me that i multi-task other people. gram 9-a taught me that i ought to be present, she said:
"you add just a little something special and fancy to life."
dreb wished i would stay: life is just so good with me there. meghan, stewy and elizabeth reminded me that it will be tough---tough to find a man who will rise up to the heights where i live, and who will challenge me there, calling me to rise. ash reminded me that i am my greatest coach, i know myself, my limits, my dreams--and only i can call myself to a greater existence. chris riley gave me a word of encouragement of course people desire me as a part of their plan, i am an asset! and i need to chose wisely what i give my attention to. mrs. kaye reminded me i have a home no matter where i am, and i have pure potential. virginia crutcher reminded me a way out of no way will be make for me. the paper source reminded me i have a gift: hiding, dormant, waiting to be called to life. m.a.c. reminded me beauty is skin deep, but you have to love your face! my mom reminds me to love others without ceasing---there is no limit to our ability to love and move onward at times, too. daddy dave hopes i am refreshed, filled with new energy for the tasks ahead. tanner loves me---yes!---he said so many times. gram 9-a shared a secret with me: hug & kiss people as often as you can. they love it and come more alive because of it. our bodies and souls are encouraged and touched by this small gesture. bell hooks sums it all up with this:
{as we leave behind the stuff of the past that is mere burden, the relationships that bind rather than set us free, as we experience a change of heart, we develop the inner strength necessary to journey on the path of love, to make our search for love be a grand life adventure and a profound spiritual quest}
and so with another end comes yet another beginning. a long awaited, much anticipated "oh i hope i've changed" spirit stirs from within...i've just witnessed and learned so very much, and i am ready to walk blindly, patiently, courageously forward.


xxxxoooo julie {photo by john nation}

don"t let these days pass you by. capture moments, let it floW.

05 November 2008

a horizon of hope

the day came and we captured it from start to finish!!!

off to bellarmine to vote:

my man who supported THE MAN from the beginning

casting his vote (and mine via absentee! YES! virginia went BLUE)

close to midnight: the announcement we'd been waiting for! YES WE CAN!

and the celebration begins...

the people of kentucky didn't bleed blue like they said they would, but obama and all of his supporters worked hard to get to the heart of the issues that are essential to the american people. last night was a heartening reminder that this entire country is indebted to public servants who work among us to achieve a greater good. thank you for your faithfulness to the cause, your continuous showing up, and thank you barack obama, our new brave leader. we welcome you with great applause. yes. we. can.

02 November 2008

first treasury feature

i was featured in my first treasury on etsy! that's really exciting!!! now-certainly wish i would've crossed pathes with it on the front page, but i'm keeping the faith that that day will come!

off on a run!
5k in two weeks and need to get moving!
love love
excited esteffi

01 November 2008

take command, take care.

simple things that you, even YOU, can do to save our lovely earth:
1. ride your bike.

2. recycle those obnoxious wire hangers. (i asked today at my dry cleaner and the woman helping me said: "oh yeah, bring 'em aLL in here, girl")
3. leftover yarn? wrap a present. recycled giftwrap? makes a wonderful card.

4. too many pictures laying around? grab an old piece of cardboard, tack them up there with everything else you can find. leaves. magazine rip-outs. old receipts. ta-da! inspiration board.
5. call your friends. do what you said you were going to do with them. crafts. cooking. collages. good crys. community is the core of relationships. stop putting off acting on good intentions for later. act now! march. sing. clean up. in YOUR community.
6. take a load of books to a used bookstore. that beautiful top that you love but squeezes your armpits? goodwill bag. (then actually drop the goodwill bag off at goodwill.) pull out your old watercolors and paint inside one of those books. send the painting to a friend. take command of your days through action.
take care of the earth the same way, too. it's november first two thousand eight.
changing the calendar. changing my life. one day at a time.

31 October 2008


i see so many people posting about their blogs' birthday.
i just missed mine. 11.oct.2006, the first day of my blog.
i love this space. i just read my first entry and i think this is precious:

that was a bad story. but you have to start somewhere with these blogs.
seeds of hope.
being planted continuously in my life.
you watch.
i will grow.

two years later i am so grown. so grown and so growing. love it.

lists of loves

a few lists of loves.

movies that make me love my hair:
1. The Dutchess
2. Marie Antoinette
3. Pride & Prejudice
4. Elizabeth
5. The Other Boleyn Girl
(notice a theme?? also note here that Paul has watched all these films with me and LOVED them. he is a trooper of a man)

places/experiences that i dream of:
1. South America
2. Hot Air Balloon as a hobbie
3. Living on the west coast
4. A community of crafters
5. 18th century existence (i really wish i was born royalty in 1784)

totally coveting right now:
1. ladies who are out dressed like marie antoinette for halloween.
2. people whose craft is their life/income/job/central joy.
3. some new adhesives (sick, i know)
4. the idea of vacation
5. the fall weather, i want it to stay for weeks!

1. heart piercing cards business growth
2. a fuller, clearer vision for these next months
3. healthy body, mind, spirit as i ease into winter
4. the ability to receive during the final months of 2008
5. to bring dreams into action.

just dreaming away over here. of satin bows and gowns and crafts and castles and journeys to other times and place. wearing cotton and yoga pants and making away at my desk. hoping to hold onto inspiration. hoping to life from that place. hoping...

30 October 2008

chinese translation

waiting outside in the fresh air. finally. done with work for the day. finally.
m.ward singing into my soul. finally. the open window on the TARC. finally.
"chinese translation" is exactly what i needed today. a word spoken into my fear.

"I once was a young man just like you,
to do the things that
I knew I had to do.
So I played an escapade
just like

playing an escapade. that is so perfect for me in regards to my work right now. i'm truly just filling a role, and it's certainly causing me to disconnect from the parts of me that i love MOST. i understand and value the role that i play, it fulfills some parts of me, but i LOVE the part i feel like i'm losing, and i value them MORE. so i'm constantly trying to hang onto them as much as possible. i LOVE moments like this afternoon when i can feel my WHOLE universe holding onto STEPHANIE STEPHANIE, not stephanie in disguise; i am reminded and blessed and so lifted. thank you thank you

first thing i did when i got home this beautiful fall afternoon is make emile & maria's anniversary card (to M from E).

i love it, turned out BEAUTIFULLY i think. i love them- i just love love love them, and living .5 miles away from them has been wonderful beyond my understanding. i trust them both and know our friendships will be so much stronger for this season of closeness. they LOVE paul. i LOVE paul. it works out SO so great. happy third anniversary to you all!

29 October 2008

and i still get kisses

it's been a bit gray, a bit sinking, wavering, slow in my world these past few days. i am a pendulum swinging between enthusiasm and boredom. between goodness and frustration. between highs and lows. between love and discontent. between.
something about between has always bothered me. it's never quite given me the drive to advance, or the signal to quit. growing up, when running for sports, i made this incredibly accurate observation: i've always been the back of the fast group and the front of the slow. sO in BeTween, i am, i always have been. i float. i flail. i fall apart. i am still between.
but eventually i realize i'm still up to something. i still drink my coffee every morning and take the 19 downtown to UofL. i still make cards and doodle and my mind still rolls along it's merry tracks. i still send off birthday packages and call my mom and send photos when i have a chance. thank goodness, i still get kisses, even when i'm crabby, even when i throw myself MAJOR pity parties. i still CREATE, i can't help but create, even when i have no internet access and no etsy updates and no convos or sales to account for.
what have you been working on?
i have been sending off personalized cards these past few weeks while the internet has been down and the inspiration (feedback) has been low. here are a few peaks at the pieces i've made/sent:
[for auntie barb, to whom boopy sent a cd]

[for lm & ml; friend's of paul's who just got engaged. we are so thrilled for them]

[for aunt sandy, who send boopy some clothes they'd bought after a weekend in st louis---where BARACK OBAMA was talking 150,000 people.]

AND most of my free time has been weighted in the direction of this HANDSOME CHAP:

biking and visiting and playing and yardworking and cooking and parent-hanging-out-with-ing and loving thru and thru!
{what about you? what have you been up to these days?}
what's inspiring you? what's sapping you of your energy? what's your momentum going into the darker, winter days? what's your praise? what's your prayer?
"earth's stuffed with heaven." e. barrett browning)
my love to you and this day AND what possibility it holds in this season of your life.
P.S. we carved pumpkins tonight after a FABULOUS meal paul made: hainanese chicken. it was AMAZING. here is the barack o'lantern report from the 603