Sunday, September 9, 2012

Self-Parenting

Still-Life - Rebekah Drey Haynes


 After months of looking for any sort of employment, I finally got a job watching 1st graders in an after school care program at my old school. I am very thankful to have the job, as it will give me some much needed income while leaving me plenty of time to work on my art projects. The strange thing about the job, is that I really never wanted to work with children again professionally. A few years back, I had a pretty traumatic experience keeping a very troubled young girl. I think I was angry that I wasn't able to get through to her, and ultimately felt like I had failed. This new job is pretty rewarding and I am beginning to see that I am in childcare again for a reason. That reason is learning how to parent myself.

 If this seems like a strange idea, well it was to me, until I listened to an NPR interview with Fiona Apple a few months ago. In the interview, she mentioned that she had been reading parenting books lately in order to learn techniques to parent herself. At first this sounded a little crazy, but it quickly began to resonate with me. Fiona Apple is someone with self acknowledged emotional and mental struggles, and I am someone who shares that distinction. I don't know the details of Apple's personal struggles and won't pretend that we are twinsies or anything, but all people, especially women, dealing with emotional and mental problems in our society are bound to share some experiences.

 After this interview, I began to see that what Fiona Apple had said in the interview made a lot of sense and applied to my own situation. As a child/teenager, I was a typical first-born daughter who always had my shit together. I got good grades,led clubs, worked a job and had an active, if very clean, social life. This continued into my freshmen year of college, but sometime after that, things started falling apart. Coincidentally, this is the same time I last worked in child care. My depression and anxiety issues became more and more pronounced and the go-getter, multi-tasker faded away. I became someone who rarely went to class and would ignore calls from my friends. Thankfully, I eventually took action and with the help of my family and modern medicine, I am a lot closer to healthy. 

 That old me never returned. I don't completely mourn her loss; we all change and we can't go back to what we were. However, I need to get back to a place where I can be truly accountable to myself and others. As an artist who is trying to sell work on my own, I am going to have to get back into the game. This is where the self-parenting is needed. While Fiona Apple is reading parenting guides to get some help, I am learning lessons from my 1st graders. I observe the way I coach and steer them and am slowly starting to let that voice guide me.I am constantly amazed at the ways in which God/The Universe gives us exactly what we need, even if we don't know we need it.

  What do you think of this idea of self-parenting. I am sure not everyone needs it, but I think most of us take something from this idea. What would we change about the way we treat ourselves if we were saw ourselves as children? What expectations would we raise or forget altogether? 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

This Week 7/2 - 7/6 - The Hottening

 Wow, it is hot here in the south-east! There have been tons of thunderstorms and badness, but thankfully our little house near Charlotte is still cranking out the A/C and electricity. Here is how I've been keeping busy while staying cool.

I'm Watching - the local news for the weather, mainly. The Daily Show and Colbert Report are re-runs this week, so that is a drag. 

I'm Listening to - The new Fiona Apple album, The Idler Wheel... Werewolf and Anything We Want are particularly great songs. 

I'm Reading - Lot's of romance, lot's of blogs, lot's of great twitter feeds, the wikipedia entry on Andy Griffith. (R.I.P Sheriff Andy)

I'm Eating - Pasta Salad is about the only thing that is appropriate in this heat. Ooh, and peaches!

I'm Drinking - Good ole' sweet iced tea.

I'm Making - I'm finally done with building my loom! I am now working on a bobble stitch sunglass case, the idea for which I got at Lululoves. Bobble stitches are just about the most fun crochet stitches I have ever stitched!

I'm Doing - working on my fiber-centric tumblr, Fun With Fibers. Check it out if you have any interest in textile arts! I feel like I am really getting into my groove. 










Thursday, June 28, 2012

This Week - 6/25-30

the mermaids love summer...






I'm Watching - stuff about ghosts, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report


I'm Drinking - Arnold Palmers, yum! The heat has come into town, and I don't think there is anything more refreshing on this earth than iced tea and lemonade.


I'm Eating - Stir Fry! I make this dish at least once a week, and it is soo good. Since I began using yellow miso in my sauce, things have gotten delicious!


I'm Listening to - Old episodes of The Bugle, and Fleet Foxes. They are such a summer treat!


I'm Making - I've got a real itch to teach myself the Bobble Stitch, so that is what I will work on this evening. I am nearly done with the loom, so I should be warping this weekend. 


I'm Doing - I am growing some chamomile and that has been a little tricky with the heat. I think I have the balance down between enough sunlight and not scorching the plant.


I'm Reading - Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith


Blogs I'm Loving - AmyMorby.com, Moondaughter, Healthful Pursuit

I want to give a quick shout out to any readers who live in Florida or Colorado. I know this summer hasn't started out too well with the hurricanes and wild fires, but I am thinking about you all, and the rest of the nation is too! My prayers and best thoughts are with you all! As always, I would love to hear what everyone is up to this week! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This Week - 6/18-23



"The Cure for boredom is curiosity; there is no cure for curiosity." - Dorothy Parker






Round Deux...




I'm Eating - A simple and delicious pasta with garlic, olive oil, black pepper and sun-dried tomato pesto. So, so yummy!


I'm Drinking - Iced Green Tea with some honey and lemon


I'm Reading - Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith and The Lady Emily Mysteries by Tasha Alexander. The former is a great introduction to the Chakra System and the latter are some really fun mysteries based in Victorian London.


I'm Watching - The Art Crawl episode of Bob's Burgers, season 1. It's on Netflix, go watch it.


I'm Listening to - The Bugle, Audio Newspaper for a Digital World, lots of episodes from the end of 2011. 


I'm Making - Still working on the tea towel and loom from last week. I also bought the some fabric to start working on a nautical-themed jumper for summer.


I'm Doing - Errands, Blogging, researching some volunteer opportunities and getting ready for a day trip to the Mountains this weekend. (I'm gonna make some vegan lemon cupcakes for said trip, yum)


I'm Wanting - to put some more of my ideas into action. I have so much going on in my head sometimes, I feel that I am already on to my next idea before I finish anything. This is definitely a area I could evolve in. 


What are you guys up to? Does anyone else out there have trouble committing to ideas and projects? I would love any tips or techniques to keep creativity from getting in the way of productivity. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Artist Envy - Sarah Applebaum

 Sarah Applebaum is a visual artist based in San Francisco, CA. I am so drawn to the color and playfulness in her works. She has an international reputation and has been featured in several publications including Juxtapoz and Dazed and Confused. If you like her work, she sells some art at her online shop. I would love one of these big guns! 




Nobots in Geometric Cave, 2009




For Getting Comfortable on the Bottom, 2011


Quilt Construction, 2011



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This week...

 I have seen some variation on this theme around the interwebs lately,and I thought I would give it a try. These are the sights, sounds and tastes that are filling my world this week. 










I'm Eating - spaghetti with veggie meatballs, strawberries for dessert


I'm Reading - Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit..., and lots of historical romance novels. I know, I know, but I just love some fluffy stories every once in a while, and summer is maybe the best time for them. I don't mind a little bit of smut, but a believable luvv story is a must! Oh, also Natural Health and Whole Living magazines, respectively. 

I'm Watching - Futurama on Netflix in order to get ready for the new episodes later in the month. I re-watch them all the time, except for the episode with Fry's old dog.(Jurassic Bark) Too sad, no thank you.


I'm Making - Shrinky Dinks jewelry. I am also in the process of finishing my loom and my mom's embroidered tea towel gift.


I'm Wearing - My favorite jeans, which I finally patched up. Once I get a pair of jeans I like, I don't let them go, ever...


I'm Listening to - Mainly podcasts, but also Cameo Lover by Kimbra, and All at Sea by Jamie Cullum 


I'm Doing - lots and lots of job applications, household chores and a little too much sleeping. 



So what are all you guys up to this lovely June? I am getting excited for the Solstice, because I always do. One year I hope to go to Stonehenge to celebrate with all the hippie-dippies!





Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Adventures in Natural Dyeing






 The moment I finished my last semester of Art school, I knew I wanted to experiment. For the last few weeks of class, all I wanted was more time to create purely for the pleasure of it. Now that I am out of class, and looking for some employment, I have an excess of time. Not that I'm complaining!


 One of the first things on my to-do list was to work with some natural fabric dyes. I hav only used industrial strength dyes with my work at school. Those dyes don't really bother me, but I don't love the idea of what goes down the drain when I am rinsing my cloth. After a bit of research, I decided to try my hand at turmeric. Supposedly, turmeric can be used without vinegar or a mordant, so it is a ridiculously easy dye to work with. 


 Wait, back up, what's a mordant? A mordant is a substance that is used, especially with natural dyes, to enhance and set the color. It essentially chemically reacts with the dye in order to really stick the pigment to the fibers. Most mordants are sourced from metallics, thus explaining why you can dye cloth with rusty metal.



 Back to the turmeric, I didn't need a mordant, or even vinegar. All I used was turmeric, water and non-iodized salt. Seriously that is it. I started with my fabric.(a white, silk, scarf) I placed the scarf in a bowl with about two tablespoons of the salt and enough warm water to fully cover the cloth. While my cloth was soaking in a nice little salt bath, I began to boil a cooking pot's worth of water with about 3 tablespoons of ground turmeric. Fill up pot as full as possible without worrying about splashing. I allowed the turmeric soup to boil for 20 minutes. 


 After 20 minutes, I dipped my scarf into the pot, and set the timer for 30 minutes. I kept the water on a low boil. After the 30 minutes, this is what I had. 



How seriously beautiful is that? I was honestly thrilled with the results. If you need a splash of sunny, yellow in your life, how about trying some turmeric, before you grab a chemical dye?