Just Be You

Bee for display at work. Guitar vintage watercolor set from Japan on 90lb paper.

I read Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear around this time last year, and wrote choice lines that I'd like to remember...

- Pure creativity is magnificent because it's a gift. It's the frosting of life
- No matter how awesome your teachers are, you will eventually, one day, have to do the hard work on your own 
- Human artistic expression is blessedly, refreshingly nonessential 
- Don't burden your creativity with the responsibility of paying for your life. It is cruel to demand a regular paycheck from your work
- Perfect is the enemy of not only the good, but also the possible and the fun
- Perfectionism is the haute couture version of fear
- Be a deeply disciplined half-ass 
- Have a good and determined heart 
- Creativity is a path for the brave, not for the fearless (aka reckless) 
- Shape your world exactly to your liking (cooperatively among the community, quietly)
- If you're supporting yourself financially and not bothering anyone else, then you're free to do whatever you want with your life (*just do no harm)
- Debt will always be the abatir of creative dreams 
- There is no job security in creativity, there never will be 

Quick, read the rest at your local public library! 

Taking It Easy

This is my desk "cleared" for the first time in almost a year. Cat is appreciative. 

Thank you, Target store, for the all-metal and easy-to-assemble cart - now I have to place to store all my art sh*t!

"It is important to give yourself both space and permission to rest and relax during these dark, cold and rather long winter months. I often feel that people's need to measure their productivity can get in the way of their need to rest and rejuvenate." - Brittany Wood Nickerson, The Herbal Homestead Journal

Plug for Brittany's book: Get it!! Published in 2015, this journal is a compilation of a monthly publication she gave toward a fresh herb CSA in M.A. back in '12. The idea is for community folks/members to, "get monthly wisdom, reminders, and teachings that would help them to live with the seasons, practice herbal medicine at home, and gain inspiration and empowerment for self care." Get this journal here and here.

In the dead of winter, the soil is actually a very busy time; microbes, bacteria, and fungi are all incredibly active despite the calm surface (or despite being buried beneath snow). Our human energy runs a similar way, I believe, and in these winter months our outward selves should be quieter, perhaps declining the extra parties and gatherings, opting instead to stay indoors and at home. We should remain inside more, but be active with our inner dreams and reflections, planning for the year ahead!

To be completely transparent, this is the first winter that I actually followed this advice and exercised my "No, thank you," muscle more than I was even comfortable with. It's a good thing I don't mind if I miss out on things. The holiday season is when *everyone* wants to hang out! Friends and I would try to defer by saying, "Let's catch up in January when this busy-ness blows over," yet here we are in the middle of the first month of the year and I'm still in hermit mode. I've got to say: hermit mode is FANTASTIC. I am borderline extrovert and introvert, so I need a balance.

Wishing everyone a good, strong week. Boyfriend and I are celebrating our 9 year anniversary. We are a non-fussy couple, and usually do a quiet restaurant evening out, minus gifts and fluff. On Saturday I will be joining one of the many Women's Marches. Are you making it out to one? Stay safe, stay strong!

Happy Birthday, Dad

My pops hits the tennis courts every day. He was also born in the Year of the Cat, like me. 
Blooper, caused by actual cat. Moses thought I was not paying enough attention to him!

Wintry Days

Means making and cooking cool sh*t at home...

Vietnamese Chicken Cháo (rice porridge)
Earrings for a duck and goose lover 
Lapis lazuli - love the bits of glittery fool's gold
More gifts for loved ones <3 
I learned how to wire wrap, and work with metal to make earrings from Krystal Anderson of You and Yours Jewelry. She is a fantastic teacher, and you can check out her IG to see more of her work including pieces she may be selling.