31 October 2009

snapshots VIII

since i've been a little bit obsessed with the fall weather, i've been collecting as many of the warm, breezy moments possible---because father winter is right around the corner. staying active and engaged and inspired is my goal. i've got plans for training and tools for inspiration. so a snapshots post is certainly in order!

what i'm playing with: my GARMIN Forerunner 50
(a gift from my uncle-i'm psyched about the footpod! to track distance accurately!)
what i'm wearing: tights in every color. brown, black, grey, hot pink.
(yep. hot pink!)
what i'm making: recent custom order crush card
(image above. how cute is that!)
what i'm reading: the wishing year
(by noelle oxenhandler. thank you mondo beyondo!)
what i'm hoping for: a gretchen papka original under the christmas tree.
(the one i want isn't featured here, but lets just say there are hot air balloons involved...)
what i'm excited about: seeing all my highschool girlfriends this weekend.
(it's been too long)
what i'm cooking up: batches and batches of this soup, via @paulweldy
(best SOUP ever!)

happy fall, friends!

29 October 2009

wishcasting wednesday (but it's thursday, you say? no matter!)

a throne of love, mixed media original available here!

i wish*
i wish
i wish
i wish*

all my mondo beyondo dreams to come true. (esp while i'm letting them go)
for the healing
and the grace
for roots
and wings
for work
and play
for the tenderness
and the strength
for challenge
and ease
for confidence
and clarity
for love.
oh yes, for love!

28 October 2009

LIVE and love your life!

ornamental railing: by craig kaviar photo from a saturday stroll on frankfort avenue

hello little birds:

i can't believe its thursday already, though my body & (work) mind are ready for the weekend!! i have been wanting to do a photo recap of life these past few weeks.

1. blue dog deliciousness, 2. custom crush card!, 3. silly pw, 4. missing this chica and traveling alongside her, 5. handsome bow-tied mens, 6. cupcakes to celebrate miss sofia!, 7. uofl basketball begins!, 8. the new tabb!!! baby sofia with proud parents, 9. saturday night dinner, no big deal ;), 10. our vietnamese food kick continues, 11. feet on the trail, 12. grits:stilton & fried leeks, eggs: sunny side up, miche: blue dog bakery, 13. camera card for V, 14. we made a phenominal meal in between glue/drying/painting, 15. smoked salmon tartine: bluedog bakery & cafe, louisville ky, 16. she drinks her bourbon on the rocks

how is that for a photographic synopsis of these past few weeks?? aside from becoming an aunt (hooray!) and housesitting and cooking some fabulous meals, i've been busy making lists and knocking things out recently! I will have you know that the list involves a few things to get done here on the blog. would love to hear what you've been up to. what you're cooking this fall? what you're playing with and making the most of these days! are you missing traveling as much as i am lately?

just for the record: for every responsible item on my to do list, there is an equal or better "non-action" or fun piece. gotta get the balance thing down---its never too late to believe that you can, in fact, live and love your life! xoxo more soon! steph

26 October 2009

quiet space

i think i needed this reminder tonight. maybe you do, too. maybe we all need a dose of courage. an article about becoming the person you were meant to be {by annie lamott}. jose gonzalez on repeat. the quiet space to let our bodies guide us.

21 October 2009

this book found me

i don't have a whole load of free time these days. i am not complaining about that fact, but leisure isn't exactly my strong suite; i never have learned the art of relaxing. so this occasion stands out as monumental to a tight-pantied girl like me, but even the average person would be so lucky to have a book find them!

it all started with a need: everybody needs a good book to read.

then i decided: don't just to to the library and check out 29 books.

so i went with the purpose of bringing home one book for the bedside table.

such restrictions are tough for a girl like me. i mean, i have been known to bring stacks home from the library. i only read a page or two and return it late. yeah. i know. so i decided i was really going to take my time with this one. nurse the shelves. let a libro speak to me, if you know what i mean.

and then, after about twenty minutes spent browsing in the craft/career/food/health sections, i decided i was more interested in a fiction read that would engage my imagination. a thought bubble then popped into my head: insert thought bubble with the words "isabel allende" written inside. so i darted to the first shelves of the fiction section, and found a slew of allende's marvelous books. all good, but none of them struck me. and then, browsing a bit more, i saw Griffin and Sabine books (square so they stick out a bit) leaning off the shelf right at eye level. i said hello to the books: they are darling and i love these stories!

but then their big sister found me.

nick bantock has written a 216 page novel! and the cover art, his beautiful drawing of Ana, the main character, grabbed me as soon as i found it in my hands. oh, the whole book is gorgeous and profound. "it is an unforgettable story of one young woman’s journey to self-discovery," which is obviously so right for where i am. the book, "windflower" is my last few moments of the day, and its story is soothing and a sweet reminder that our lives are totally and fully about the story. most of us are simply somewhere in the middle. and the story so far is simply captivating.

its a really good reminder that one shouldn't shy away from the adventures that call out to them. ana might have something to teach you about dashing towards you dreams. {{{and she's not even finished with me, yet!}}} and when we take a few slow moments, we awake to the possibilities that are right before before us. or we fall asleep at night reading about them, if we're really, really lucky.

p.s. he did this amazing collages over here they are stunning images.

16 October 2009

daily rituals

{source: yoga journal illustrator: scott bakal}

you know what amazes me? daily rituals.

i am trying to reframe mine right now. (I am ever trying to reframe my existence) since being sick lately, i have been rethinking my sleep schedule, the supplements and vitamins i take, my nutrition and exercise, what foods i'm eating, my work schedule, etc. these always evolving daily rituals can often be unsatisfying for me, but i'm anxiously trying to reframe them so i can be the healthiest, most full functioning version of my self.

i found this amazing image (above) today that i wanted to share. Image by Scott Bakal. Amazing.

This article, 'perfect as is' written by Kate Holcombe is so right for me, right where I am.

Perfect As Is
"Yoga Sutra 11.6 - False identity occurs when we identify with the tools of perception instead of the true Self.

Asmita, often translated as "ego," is defined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra (11.6) as false identification. Asmita happens when we mistake the mind, body, emotions, and senses (the tools of perception) for our true, authentic Self (the perceiver). It's easy for the Self to become obscured by the whirlwind of the mind that pushes us to have more or to be thinner, the part of us that identifies with our job title, our status, or the way we look, and that keeps us from connecting with and abiding in the comfort and peace of our true nature.

But one of the foundational principles of yoga is that we are perfect just as we are, a shining light or gem that is merely clouded or dusty. Yoga is simply the cleaning process. Through the practices of yoga, we polish the brilliant gem of the Self within and are free to shine as we are meant to: living fully in the present moment, knowing that we possess something far greater inside us than the material world outside."
you know what amazes me? daily rituals. i would love if you would take a moment and share about yours. i am so anxious to hear how your true Self is glorified on a daily basis. xoxox

15 October 2009

i am one lucky lady.

you know you're pretty special when you make a snotty girl a bowl of soup on any given night of the week. but not just any bowl of soup, the best bowl of soup ever...the one that soothes my scratchy throat. and you do all this because this snotty girl is sneezing relentlessly and can't control her cough.

you're pretty special for about 12,039 other reasons, TOO. you have brilliant ideas, amazing execution, and a spirit that lifts even the heaviest of burdens as though they were feathers. you drive me to the bus and don't groan. you prepare me copious amount of hot tea, and put extra honey in because you know if you don't you'll be making extra trips to the kitchen.

you steep my earl grey too long in the morning, but that is how i love it. you know all those little things. and you make even the crappiest of weeks, less so, because of your simple, special touches on everyday things.

you know who you are. you know how you change the outcome of my day by doing the little things that i love.
i am one lucky lady. (and i'm sure you're thinking: 'i am one lucky chap.')

11 October 2009

gift wrapping 101: make the gift that much more special

in a world of a lot of stuff, i think it's appropriate to give really meaningful gifts. that is no easy task when every gift giving article seems to be about "the person who has everything." i haven't mastered that skill, yet, but the pre-requisite course to giving the gift, Gift Wrapping 101, boosted my GPA for sure.

i LOVE to wrap a gift. i love to choose decadent paper and pair it with salvaged materials, interesting images, scrumptious ribbons and classy accessories. it makes the giving of the gift that much more fun!

here are some images from my flickr account that i thought were worth sharing. good examples of how to wrap a gift and have it stand out in the crowd. a few tips and tricks:
1. i never use white wrapping paper for wedding (unless its AWESOME white paper).
2. anything that will hold a knot should be used as ribbon. paper. hairbands. measuring tapes. old electrical cords. what can you find and use?
3. paper can make or break your gift. hallmark is an institution, but that doesn't mean you have to use their paper. place mats. old dictionary pages. atlases. fancy paper from stores like paper source. interesting, quality paper goes a long way. it may sound expensive, "$5 dollars for a sheet of paper!" but the difference is that you make it part of your gift. and you begin to see and save interesting papers all around you. {{{start looking, and be sure report back with what you find!}}}
4. you can't go wrong if you give the gift "your touch." for instance, i use a lot of found paper and interesting images on the front of gifts... sounds crazy, but i guarantee that it evokes a familiar feeling because my close friends, family and coworkers know that's what makes my heart go pitter-patter. if you're a photographer, add an image to the corner of your gift. use corks in your ribbon if you love wine. even better: put "their touch" on the gift. give them what you know they love: their interests, their passions, their favorite color, their favorite place to vacation. make the gift that much more special.

but that takes us back to the gift itself...which, unfortunately, i can't help you much with. however, you're free to share your gift giving tips in the comments---and more gift wrapping tips, too!

i'm off to a baby shower for my very first niece and a wedding for a fun louisville friend. wishing you a beautiful sunday. and the inspiration to wrap and give a great gift this week! xo

04 October 2009

a {artsy!} labor of love

{note: click on all the images to see them bigger! lots of images in this post! xox}

as it goes with all best friends, you could probably spend a million years next to the one you love and the time would never get old. but time is of the essence, and when the ladies get together (we're not cosmo & gossip kind of girls), we pull out big mugs of hot tea and art projects and get to work.

a few weekends ago, i made a trip to visit my dear friend ash. last year, i went in october, but this year, the trip landed on my bday weekend. we had a chilly fall art session with all the friends last year, soon after my discovery of kelly rae robert's book, Taking Flight. i brought art supplies and we spread out a blanket in a little park near the annapolis harbour, and a grand time was had by all. here is snapshot from that session:

it goes without saying that we had a really good time. ashley was in love with KRR's book, so when i journeyed back her way this year, one of the events of our weekend was to tackle another project from the book, and to have a handmade momento from the fabulous weekend! here is the story of our crafting time together.

start with what you've got:
about a week before i boarded the plane, i gave ash the task of starting to collect old letters and paper epherma that struck her fancy. she is a woman for design, so this wasn't tough. i packed up my art supplies, including my brayer, watercolors, golden fluid acrylics and gel medium, brushes, buttons, and some paper scraps. then, i forged two canvases that my grandmother had handed down to me. she's an oil painter, so if she doesn't like a finished product, she gives me the canvases to paint over. reduce reuse recycle :) i chose two 5x5 canvases so that ash and i would leave the weekend with same sized treasures! here is what we started with. two of them, to be exact.
then we layed out the supplies, made our hot tea, and got to work!
the book, left was inspiration for our canvases, right.
thanks kelly rae ;)

so here we are with our hot teas, paper and gel medium. the first layer were letters, exchanged between me & ashley, to create the background, the story telling parts of these pieces. next is the paint & the pretty ladies.

and finally: after a labor of love, and a meal (and a trip to Whole Foods for groceries), the finished product:

can you guess who's is who's?
these lovelies are now proudly displayed in both our living spaces,
hidden deep in our hearts,
the memories of the joy involved in creating them alongside a spirited friend.
this journey would not be the same without our fellow travelers.

{should we wait another year to tackle another project? no way. but between now & then, maybe you could call a friend, plan an artsy event, perhaps even a weekend away to recharge your spirit with the love & friendship that fills you up!}

02 October 2009

snapshots VII

photo credit: victoria wall

it seems appropriate to do a snapshot today because i am lusting over big cameras that take beautiful photos--and especially the talented women behind those cameras. my friend meredith (who will be featured here in the coming weeks) got a new camera and is bringing it to louisville in a few weeks. my friend victoria, a talented a lady as they come, has a {newish} blog over on on her website that is absolutely captivating. and kristen gardner, well, her photos speak for themselves. she is a wedding photographer, and a portrait photographer, and and and! she was a mighty mentor to me in high school, she has a darling eye for inspiration.

these women, whose snapshots inspire my own this week, are celebrated here.

a little gift for paul: suspenders!
an absolutely essential fall purchase: the narmada boot (why no size 11??)
listening to: sea wolf white water, white bloom
staying: @ the villa in the country
reading: yoga journal
watching: coraline

while exploring the country side and blissing out, i'll be taking lots of snapshots of my own. wish i had these wonderful women here to document the time alongside me. i know they are off capturing magic elsewhere though, and they'll share with me soon enough.

01 October 2009

"going on"

no really. watch this. you must.

ENFJ and some big announcements!

hey ya'll! so i am feeling the need to gush for just a moment. last night, i signed up for the Austin Half Marathon! on 02.14.10 (Valentine's day!) i will be in Austin, Texas, at the starting line for 13.1 exciting and adventurous miles! EA, my friend who i met across the ocean in EspaƱa, will also be there (she LIVES there), and PW, too. Though he will be cheering us on from the sidelines: hot cocoa & posters in hand! we are really thrilled!

on the same note of thrilled, i found out my "Meyers Briggs" type yesterday, after working with Sage Advice Life Coach Dale Herink. I'm an ENFJ, and quite honestly, really grateful for this awareness and this validation. Sometimes I think we see pieces of ourselves that make us see ourselves as too flawed, too much to work on before we ever "get there." And other times, {ah, these are rare, bright times} i think we see ourselves as woven, careful with every stitch, shining & bright. that is the me i want to see more often. getting that feedback from Dale affirmed who I was and who I believed in, beneath the tip of the iceberg. the descriptions and the information i'm reading through gives me an extra pep in my step. here & now. (have you taken the MB? do you know your type?)

and the cherry on top: i was super blessed to check out andrea's superhero blog at just the right moment on just the right day, because....i snagged a spot in MONDO BEYONDO!!! whoop whoop! i've told you about the course before, and i am thrilled to be an actual part of it this time around. five weeks of believing in my dreams? sign me up! as you can tell: i am looking forward to getting mondo and beyondo these next couple weeks!

and one more thing:

did you know i've been getting up early? yep, me. i've been getting up early to get quiet, get still and get artsy before work. bringing positive, bright, flowing energy with me into the day, rather than stale, cubicle energy. here's a peek at my morning pages (a phrase borrowed from julia cameron):

center image: amy cutler, army of me

so though i'll be many places in the coming weeks:
on the pavement and on the treadmill,
online getting Mondo Beyondo,
on Dale's couch getting coached to my full potential,
and at my desk in the early morning,
getting deep & spirited & centered.
i'll definitely be here, too.
i'll be around: inspired and swirling.