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

22 October 2008

hope? HOPE.

barack obama has the national playing in throughout the video?
you HAVE to watch this.


los sueños, sueños son

what i'd really love to be doing is laying on a hammock somewhere serene, no mosquitos, no ipods, no noise, just natures sounds and my heart beating. perhaps the heart of someone i know and love beside me, a close proximity to water, and m.ward playing acoustic off in the distance (but close enough to hear).

20 October 2008

that little voice, says...

to host or not to host.
I'm suffering from an internal dilemma at the moment. it involves the throwing of a party.
who knew hosting could provide so much stress? so much inner struggle?
the problem is the host, me, my lovely beau, Paul, and our home, which is actually my grandmothers.

we have toyed with the idea of hosting a pumpkin carving party. we have a beautiful indoor dining porch and enough space to have some friends over to gather and celebrate the season. Paul found a recipe last night that involves a simple but stunning "entree" and I have a few fall food oriented tricks up my own sleeve. but...

the dilemma is this: I am a giver by nature. I am the party thrower. the people gatherer. the friend seeker-outer. I love this about myself but often it becomes a mode of operation that I use to protect me, and advance me on a straight and narrow path. the one I've *essentially* laid out for myself. I will write a list and say, I will invite these people, I send out invitations, I do all the necessary cooking and cleaning and preparations, I give and give and give, then I'm spent. completely and fully exhausted, and admittedly, hardly satisfied.

let me explain. I love to reach out to people, but often times, I reach, reach, reach and never consider that I'll be OVER-stretched and under-SATISFIED. it's a tough call, to KNOW when to stop talking. I'm a talker. I'll ask you 1,000 questions about your life. but sometimes, often I'm realizing, I will hang up the phone very dissatisfied with a conversation I just had. or I'll leave a friends house feeling like I hadn't once been tapped into. explored. navigated. questioned. searched.

my mom always told me I'd make a damn good lawyer. I'm analytical and interrogative. I'm hardly afraid of asking questions, though sometimes I admit I am for fear that I won't be able to handle the response and adequately respond to it. this is challenging. all of it. it's handfuls of information, very little having to do with hosting a pumpkin carving party. sorry. getting back to my point.

the giver in me wants to throw this party. make & send hand-made invitations. plan and purchase and prepare food to delight my friends' bellies. decorate and clean and purchase a pumpkin.

but there is a quiet voice inside of me, scared and hardly willing to hear her own words for fear of not knowing what to do with them. she is brilliant, but wading along the sea side, afraid the waves might crash her down. she's wondering if she ought to speak up this time, tell Stephanie to wait this one out. plan this party for next year, if you really want, take some time to take some time. respond to other people's invitations this fall, even the small ones they offer to you. instead: throw a you & Paul pumpkin carving party. host and delight him. instead of always giving, refocus on receiving. "drink other people's milkshakes" (the small voice loves Wally lamb)

but I'm still torn. I still need to listen to the clear call. to sit with it and discern a bit. I like the idea of hosting friends, laughter and jack-o-lanterns. I don't like the idea of seeing everyone leave and feeling empty-hearted (because I'm sure I'd have a pumpkin to hold).

I say all this hoping that the reader understands I'm not that black and white. I do get a little even when I give give give. I give a little even when I receive all day long. it's just pressing on my heart. this pumpkin carving party list in front of me. the idea of having the energy for it all and not having love and friendship restored unto me. or having it, but having it because I had to ask for it. that's a huge step in and of itself.

my birthday party this year was magical. hardly expected was the ease and delight that came with it. the only missing piece (the would have made it complete) was Emile---but his close presence these past few months, getting to know him and delight in his presence---that was a gift I could hold onto not just at my birthday party but all my life through. I don't write this to express a burn about party throwing, or a lack of receiving of attention and invitations and love, but only to juggle the weight of this action, what it means in the friendships I'm hoping to build here, and the future of those relationships.

a few final thoughts:

*Michele had her birthday party over the weekend and it was delightful. at some point during the party (probably when I requested another glass of wine), I had to almost demand that no one call me her "life coach." "too much responsibility," I stated. well yesterday she and I were running up dog hill @ Cherokee park and she said to me: "I've decided you're not my life coach and I won't call you that anymore. you're my personal motivational speaker."

*a while I told Paul last night that I finished a conversation over the phone and felt very empty, totally untapped into, and almost passed over. he so easily formulated this response: "well I know that leaves you feeling poorly, but you have to recognize that you have built these friendships to be this way. Friends expect your advice, your calls, your concern."

The little voice is sounding much more clear, after all.

19 October 2008

wake up and go

so much wonder to celebrate this week---esp collected wonder from these past few weeks. oh my goodness. long weekend, i love you. you were so nice. i am wanting to dive into my days this week FULL of energy and thankfulness. how do i continue to live from that place???

inspiration seems to be EVERYWHERE for me these days. i have been obsessed with skeletons...i find awesome images everywhere and i'm using them all the time. not inspired by halloween, though that sounds like a cop-out.

seeing the friends was balancing and refreshing. annapolis was stunning. i loved the faces of these women. i treasure you in deep and meaningful ways. p.s. contact me if you're looking to use photographs by victoria wall.

here are some of ash's shots of the weekend:

i have been making so many cards and journals and notes to be sent off throughout the week. feeling really blessed by inspiration and companionship; by the ebb and the flow. avoiding the PILE of clothes that need to be put away in an effort to call forth just a bit of effort for my blog, which i've shamefully (but not intentionally) avoided recently because i don't have time. *lame excuse, i know* this is one of my fave journals in the bunch!

paul and i made DELICIOUS pumpkin pancakes this morning. thank you treat yourself and your lover(s) right, make these this weekend!!!

also made a big pot of chili for the week ahead. the air is brisk and we're moving into hibernation mode. i am insanely excited about another winter with paul. he is a man of all seasons, but he is a dream in the winter. love this man, just love him!

also, onto the political campaign. two folks i seriously admire stood up for obama today. tOOK a staNd. one: Colin Powell, phenominal. the other (and equally as admirable): louise doire, mdiv. love her. a snippet of what she wrote in her piece, "the road to obama"
"But then, the Presidential debates were held and I saw in Barack Obama an intelligent, genuine, classy guy. He is brilliantly articulate (a characteristic I long for in a President following eight years of numb-skullness). I sensed in him a commitment to ALL Americans; a concern for our concerns and a sincere desire to act upon the best motives for seeking public service, to serve the public. And I no longer wanted Obama as my President merely by default. I wanted Obama as my President, period. During the course of those Presidential debates there were two moments in particular in which Obama won, if not my heart, my political sensibilities and my resolve."

so these are the inspirations of my days. these are the things i wake up for and go to bed dreaming about. there are and will always be things i desire to change, work on, strive towards. but this life, the one that involves a beating heart and the ebb and flow, this life is the stuff dreams are made of. its full of old dictionaries, soft beards, shimmering hope, warmth, and big, big love.
off to start another dreamy week. xoxoxxxxx

09 October 2008

what would you say [thursday]

surely you didn't think i would forget about you just because i'm going on holiday...
it's what would you say [Thursday] and i am in some serious need of your help with this one!
below are the imaged for a card that's been in progress for SOME time now.
the front: (original watercolor)

the inside: (text will be posted in pink space) (happy birthday can be removed if you convince me!)

*if you don't remember the rules for What would you say [thursday], see last week's post!

OFF to annapolis, SO SO excited though i will be missing my love face.
he may have some little pieces of me to look forward to though: you just never know.

LOVE to all. Winner for this weeks contest will be announced ASAP.

07 October 2008

one more thing

thank you FOREVER to katelyn kelly and to my parents for fornication in 1984---and not a year earlier.

"light is always in season" beirut

i am making a point to celebrate the spontaneous & lovely life that surrounds me throughout the day: it takes MANY forms and i'm taking note to capture it!

some examples include:
- the pug roll i ate this morning for breakfast. thank you blue dog bakery. thank you paul for inspiring this moment. i love early mornings and every morning with you.

- the incredible gift i received from my grandma carlton, packaged in gold (she knows me so well) with this note:

- the woman in a wheel chair with an OBAMA sign secured between the handles, and the smile that spread across a black man's face as he caught sight of her. he raised his fist, and smiled at her, rooting: "Go-Obama"

- a letter from kate marks. goodness, she is so cool. she lives in paris & she even has cool postage stamps.

- now that i am officially an employee of UofL and i will now campaign to make this the official logo. i love history and women and the beauty this captures.

- recently i've been making some new cards---i swear----and some journals thanks to victoria wall. here's a peak.

and what is inspiring you? what did you see/hear/encounter today that you'll never forget.

remembering *you with great love.

06 October 2008

like phoenix, we rise

what would you say [thursday] was a humble success. thank you everyone who participated. a heart piercing package will be on it's way to crystal tomorrow for her many creative ideas. crystal please contact me for info.

still waking up today, "rising like a phoenix" as i was so reminded before i was even out of bed. made me think of maya angelou, and her words in one of my favorite poems: and i still rise. made me think of hallie: stretching her body and her soul these past many days in new york, creating flow in her mind and corpse, allowing flow and the beauty of everything that exists. she is a net for these kinds of things. i am so so so excited at the thought of seeing her brilliance on Thursday! that's, like, tomorrow! (but not exactly, tomorrow is Tuesday) the pink house ladies reunion is this weekend and i am certain it will be spirited and so sparkling with goodness. it's victoria wall's birthday and we are going to be blessed in ash's new home; the only missing piece will be our dear e*waT, who will most certainly be a) missed b) there in spirit c) celebrated because we love and cherish her every ounce. sending blessings of certainty & solid, unwavering love to you today e*. also missed: kate marks, sarah andreozzi, michelle john, megan marshall, jane buchanan, markthomp, joe, and the many, many folks who visited and frequented and neighbored and blessed our pink house in charleston.

i am working on a art project to guide while we're all together. really hoping for success* thank you KeLLy RaE roBerTs for your amazing instructions in TAKING FLIGHT. hoping hoping hoping we will be able to make something fabulous to treasure.

well: lots to look forward to this week but lots to get done in the mean time. wishing everyone blessings in abundance & magic discovery throughout the week
Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

02 October 2008

What Would You Say [Thursday]

alert! alert! contest! contest!

every week, on thursday, i'll be posting a contest up on my blog called: What Would You Say [Thursday]

This is how it works: I'll post an image that is part of a card in progress, you'll comment with a response that tells me what you would say---essentially you give me a PHRASE or some words to go with the image--- and then I chose a winner. You have 48 hours. Winners will be announced on Saturday Mornings.

The winner gets a HEART PIERCING CARDS package in the mail.
And if you've ever gotten postal mail from me, you know it will be good.

let the fun begin!

What Would You Say...

01 October 2008

go! go! go!

how fun...

SO much GOing on it seems like its going to be a windy fall.

LOVING paul weldy and the companionship that comes along with his tender presence. we should all be so fortunate to find someone who perfectly compliments us and perfectly calls our truest self out to play.

LOVING design blogs and inspiration from ALL angles. starting to think i will be more active on my own blogs per their WONDER. few things make me stop dead in my tracks but some things i've been reading recently do. that's a beautiful feeling.

LOVING my horoscope this week, thank you Rob Brezsny.
1. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Talk back to those annoying voices in your
head, Virgo -- I mean those nagging little chatterers who are second-
guessing you ten times a day, who are trying to undermine your faith in
what you started in recent weeks. And as you respond to their agitation,
do so with poise and grace -- not with defensiveness, not with bitter
complaint, but with a quietly aggressive confidence that the lucid
intuitions you relied on to launch your new projects were basically sound.
The annoying little voices are trying to convince you that you should go
back to square one, when in fact you're on the right track but merely
need to do some tinkering.