Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New Hipstamatic combos

Sometimes I like to play with that randomize feature in Hipstamatic--you know, the one where you shake it and it mixes everything up for you? And sometimes I like to take all those randomized things and make a blog post out of them by taking the same picture five or seven times so you can see the difference a filter-change makes.

And this time, you can see the cool nerdy posters I got at NCCC this past weekend!

Hornbecker / C-Type Plate / Berry Pop

Akira / Sugar / No flash

Hornbecker / Alfred Infrared / no flash

Le Allan / Pistil 

Bettie XL / Uchitel 20

Yoona / Sugar

Kaimal Mark II / Black Keys Superfine

A pretty good batch this time! What are your favorite Hipstamatic combos?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Actual object-things I want in my life

I'm not really concerned with having the lashes things or with having a house that shows off my money (cough--granite countertops--cough), but I do like stuff. I blame it on a combination of a constantly uprooted childhood so that the frame matters less than what's in it--our stuff equals home, not the house--and my personal habit of forgetting about things unless I can see them.

So I've been building the life I want with the careful collection of things, and the painful learning of how-to-get-rid-of-other-things. Because if I just collected things, regardless of what they mean, and never got rid of anything, I'd be a harder, and I'm already a pack rat, and I'm not a fan of extremes.

So here's some stuff I still want:
- my own throwing wheel and kiln (which would require a garage or workhouse to keep them in)
- a trampoline
- a treehouse
- a huge garden with statues and gazing balls and water features
- a set of copper cookware
- matching glass jars for all my herbs, spices, smoothie additives, gf flours, teas, and pantry goods--and probably also any preserves or pickles I decide to make
- a loom big enough to weave a blanket on (which would require a space big enough to work with it--or at least store it when I'm not working)
- a full loom--the sort with levers and treadles and stuff
- a full tea service, including a teapot-warmer
- a tea table and floor pillows to put around it
- hidden beds--like the ones that fold up inside not just couches, but chairs and coffee tables and sideboards, so I can sleep anywhere and have lots of friends over
- a fishtank--ideally, a huge goldfish tank like I had before, but really, any tank right now would be great
- a swing in a tree
- an orchard
- a greenhouse for starting seeds outside
- a four-poster bed or some other sort of fancy canopy bed
- a library

As I'm sure there's more, but these are the things I'm longing for most strongly right now. What physical things do you want in your life?

Fwd: #Truthbomb 753

I've mover forwarded an email to my blog before, but I love Danielle LaPorte's Truth Bombs and I wanted to share this one... 

If you'd like to see more of her wonderful stuff, I have some of it linked up in my Affiliations page up at the top of this page!

And you can sign up to get Truthbombs right on you inbox on her page!

Sent from myMail for iOS

-------- Forwarded message --------
From: Danielle LaPorte
Date: Thursday, March 12, 2015, 3:46 AM -0400
Subject: #Truthbomb 753

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here





Danielle Laporte Inc. #234 - 2055 Commercial Drive Vancouver, British Columbia V5N 0C7 Canada

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Blogging while babysitting

Let me start by saying that I know this is all more complicated for full-time mothers. I hope I don't say anything that sounds like I'm saying it's not.

I'm pretty sure I've said before that I run several blogs. And a shop. And another shop I'm working on opening with my mom and sister. And a budding writing career. And I babysit my nephews.

Sometimes, I forget to blog evenly on all my blogs, but I always come back! And every Sunday, when I'm setting up my planner for the week, I make a list of the blog posts is like to make. Lately, I'm also putting the titles into my blogger app as drafts so that I can pick and choose which ones I want when I sit down to blog.

Because these days, most of my blogging is done on my phone while I'm making sure none of the kids is setting anything on fire or running in front of cars. And really, I think blogging on the app is the best thing I've decided to do to keep things going--I'm saving up for a laptop, but phones are smaller and more convenient for keeping on me all the time!

Other tips for blogging while babysitting
- Have an idea of what the posts will be like before you start writing them so you can write them quickly, or in small snippets.
- Save unfinished drafts to finish later if things are crazy.
- Don't worry too much about pictures--make them out of whatever is nearby; if you're more skilled than me, they should look better than mine anyway.
- Let your blog be a work in progress! Don't focus on perfection, focus on just saying what needs saying.
- Let your life point out stuff to talk about.

How do you blog in a busy life?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thankful Thursdays

One of the things I've been working on to get myself in a better mindset and to maintain that mindset, is Thankful Thursday. I tried to do the whole Three Good Things Every Day thing, but that felt like too much--like I was listing the same things over and over, and it was actually making me less thankful for those things. It was too much attention and it was bleaching out the little things I love every day.

But once a week? That's perfect. Plenty of time to have new and different experiences, to notice new and different details, and to not beat them to death and crush the magic out of them.

And you know, it's working. 

Last night, we drove an hour and a half to go to my grandpa's 89th birthday party, and my grandma's sister, who I haven't seen since I was maybe thirteen or fourteen was there. And my uncle's new wife. And the kids of one of my cousins, none of which is met yet. I was worried because I'm always the Black Sheep and there have been different family-times that I'm still coping with. And there's always the Conservative Conspiracy Hour that crops up at every gathering, which makes me so uncomfortable.

But I've been training my brain to be positive. I headed off my before-trip panic attack with meditation, and I got through the whole several hours of noise and personal questions and repetitive catching up with positivity and lightness. And when I got home, I was glad I'd gone, even though I'd thought of begging off.

And now that experience can go on this week's list (above), and can weigh against the former upsetting family things.

It's a simple practice, thinking of five things I'm grateful for out of each week. Five things out of seven days. It means even bad weeks can hold gratitude, and good weeks have enough to bolster the bad ones.

Do you practice gratitude? How do you do it?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monthly Me - March 2015

A little up in weight, but I've been waiting on this month's moon (which is lagging again since I went off the black cohosh), and necessity has made me cheat on the Diet, so I'm a little inflamed because of the return of gluten. But really, a pound or two is not bad for that and I kept under 160 most of the past month.

Mood has been much better, though I did have a mini panic attack last night, the first in ages--and I beat it with relaxation and sleep and meditation / thought-redirection instead of spiraling down into it and sobbing all night, so that's cool.

The cold is starting to get to my joints, they're achy in my hands and arms and one knee, but we've had gaps in the cold all winter, so I feel like it won't hold on too long this year.

The tail end of Feb was full of days when I couldn't actually get anything done, but somehow I still hit most of my goals, so I'm not beating myself up over it too much!

How're you doing this month?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Create before you consume

I recently read this, I think on Instagram, and it strikes me as world-changing for us creative-types. Like, most mornings, the first thing I do is check my phone to see all the alerts that came through while I was sleeping--my first act is to consume.

And I thought: what could I accomplish if I don't do that until after I write my pages?

It's something I'm working on. It's not easy, breaking the habits that happen when you're still mostly-asleep. But I'm working on it.

What could you do, if you did your creative work before phones and email and life? Hell, even before breakfast?

Winter weather, finally! But at what cost?

I was starting to think that spring would happen before winter did, and that made me worry about my plans for this big fancy food garden--which would be unfortunate, for sure. Last week, we had most of the days in the 50s or 60s, a little rainy, a lot not-like-winter. And then starting maybe Monday this week, the temperature plummeted and the weather men started preempting TV shows, and the schools all peaced out, and then it snowed

Not the sweet, fluffy, deep snow we had for a month by this time last year, but this hard, icy snow that has glazed everything an inch deep and made it so it's almost impossible to walk on the ground outside.

Dad fell getting groceries the other day. 

My nephews have been waiting on snow for months since the leaves fell, and it's too cold for them to go out and enjoy it.

My sister and my niece have been sick since the day the temperatures went all The Day After Tomorrow. 

My tulips, that had several inches above the soil last week, are now iced over, and the baby bok choi that had just broken the surface is, I'm pretty sure, slime now.

I wanted winter, but I didn't really want a winter that's unusable.

I guess I need to be more specific.

And I also need to complain less, because I know a lot of you have it worse.

So I'll go back to planting my spring plants, and I'll drink my hot tea, and I'll think warm thoughts.

How're you guys holding up?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Be everything that you are

I'm probably about 80% geek in my daily life. Most of my likes and dislikes are based on how geeky a show or a book is; I read mostly fantasy and watch mostly scifi. But I'm not only a geek.

One of my Core Desired Feelings* this year is to feel Unconventionally Whole. I decided that I needed the unconventionally part because a lifetime of trying to feel whole and steady in conventional ways has gotten me nowhere. That idea that all I need is a house I own, a husband, and a kid or three is a nice one, and I'd one day like to have those things, but not only those things. Because that would totally neglect and deny the fact that I can't stand being hedged in or trapped--so owning a house I don't love in a place I don't love would be like prison, and dating someone just to have a boyfriend, just to get married would be like killing myself slowly.

And really, that's all external stuff that has nothing to do with how well I integrate my own disparate parts.
  • I'm a geek
  • But I'm also overly educated**, and I have a strong literary bent to me and my worldview because of it
  • And I grew up overseas so I don't really feel like an American maybe a third of the time
  • And I love to travel and see new things
  • But I'm also often riddled with fear and anxiety, and it makes new things hard
  • And I love to eat and cook
  • But I also had an eating disorder that still plagues me sometimes, and I have health concerns now that stop me from eating and cooking everything I want
  • And I'm basically a hermit
  • But I get really bad wanderlust and cabin fever and I need to get out
  • And I'm smart
  • But also very shy and recovering from a lifetime of acting dumb
  • And I'm a romantic
  • But also practical and wildly uninterested in the reality of the general view of romance a lot of the time
  • I'm a writer and a natural storyteller
  • I'm artistic but unfocused
  • I'm soft and small and easily hurt
  • But trying to be tough without losing that
So basically, I'm being dragged in a lot of directions right now, and I wanted to make sure that one of my CDFs was to address that--to find ways to integrate and to make peace between all these disparate parts.

I'm building a life where all of me informs the structure and the outcome of what I do. 

And I think you should, too. Because how many people all over the world feel stifled? I'd say probably most of them, or there wouldn't be so much depression, violence, suicide, sad people drinking alone, weird movies about all the various abuses of the world. I think everyone should try to integrate more and more of their forgotten and pushed-off other interests and truths. And if more people did, maybe more societies would be open and welcoming for the weirdness of having so many people who aren't all the same. And then the next generation wouldn't have to go through this same struggle.

And maybe it's first world, and maybe a lot of people don't have time for this stuff, but maybe also a world where people weren't crammed into some other idea of how they should live would be one where there's less of the divisions and hardship we're all faced with.

And I'm done acting like I'm not an idealist.

What are you done acting like?

*You can find your own Core Desired Feelings in the Desire Map, linked up there in the Affiliations tab!
**I made sure I am! And I'm probably not done yet!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ways I'll know I'm alright and maybe even successful

- I can both buy geeky limited-edition tee shirts AND food, without complicated mathematics

- My books will sell well enough in whatever format they're in to keep me out of debt

- My garden will produce more food than I need and can therefore feed others too

- Sometimes I'll stop and look around and just feel so lucky that this is what my life looks like

- I'll have time to do more than one thing at a time and people interested in hearing what those thing are

- I won't need to worry about health because I'll both be easier and I'll have good healthcare

- I'll get to wear pretty dresses because there's no reason they'd be impractical or too expensive

- I'll live near my friends instead of way far away from them

- I can keep all my books because my space is big enough to hold them and steady enough that I don't need to move

- Happiness is the default


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