30 December 2010

new year

With a new year comes reflection on the year gone by. We make lists of things that were memorable and words that sum it up. We make more lists of resolutions for the new one in front of us. I feel pretty sure that when I continue to look back on this year all that will come to mind was how shitty it was. It was a terrible, sad, difficult year, and I am content to see it go. Clearly, not every part of it was terrible, but as a whole you get what I am saying. As far as my expectations for 2011—well, I have none. I literally want nothing to happen. For it to be uneventful and boring. That would be wonderful actually. I wonder sometimes that if I didn't make any big sudden movements, would I slip by unnoticed for a while. I know how ridiculous this sounds, but it is a true thought that I continue to have. I also know it is unrealistic, so am only halfway serious about all of this.

As much as I am not one to make resolutions at the start of a new calendar year, there are a few concepts that have presented themselves to me over the past few months. They have been on my mind enough to feel like a new year is a good time to delve further into them. A month or so ago my therapist told me that I need to learn to "just be". It sounds so simple, yet it is a concept I have been searching to define for years and years. To just BE. To be who I am, where I am in life, when I am, and how I am at all times. Seems simple, yet why is it so hard for most of us? And I KNOW I am not alone in this. So I have been mulling that over for a while now. The other day I decided I would google "How to Be" in my search to have this answered. Let me just note that the first EIGHT entries where focused on some Robert Pattinson movie with this title. I think this is so interesting. I am not sure what I was looking for, maybe a book, or some article of someone else delving into this further, but instead I got a million images of the star from the Twilight series. Chalk it up to my fault for trying to "google" this issue! So, it looks like there are no manuals on this. No easy way to go about it.

I also recently read an article in one of my favorite magazines about a woman who challenged herself to ask her loved ones how she could love them better. This is such a scary concept, what would people actually say?! But it is such an amazing idea. Why would we not want to know this? What a challenging and rewarding shift that could be. I am assuming the age-old theory of one has to love themselves before they can love others comes into play here. It is not that I don't love who I am, but we could all be a little kinder to ourselves. I feel if I can understand how to BE a bit more, I may not have to ask others how to love them better. It may happen naturally.

The one thing that has obviously come from this year was learning to understand death more; which in turn forces you to look at life. I have found myself letting go of things that used to hold more importance in my life, and grasping onto the things that are truth. I can see that in doing so there is more opportunity to actually live. And live well. I may still want to give 2010 "the bird", however, I can't help but give it credit for being the year real transformation began.

Happy New Year to all of you. May you burn your lists of expectations and instead experience life!

29 December 2010

the best little christmas gift

On a Tuesday morning, December 21st, the sweetest little Christmas gift arrived.
6 lbs. 12 oz. 21 inches long. My nephew Hunter.

What a relief that all went well, and what a miracle a new baby is! I may be partial but this baby is so sweet and beautiful, and a rockstar. His entry into the world seemed like it was just another day! He wasn't crying or freaked out, but rather just taking it all in. And my sister and brother-in-law are rockin' it too. I have never really watched this process up close, but am amazed by how naturally humans figure it all out. Of course, there are plenty of books out there to inform the parents, but I am not sure that is it. To see a day old baby figure out how to get food and cry when he needs something, well, there is definitely something built inside of us to be able to do that.

It was a very different Christmas this year, and for that I am grateful. I can't really think of another "distraction" that would be as enjoyable as he is!

19 December 2010

christmas gathering

When I moved to Nashville, I only had about three friends that already lived here. Granted, they were some of my best friends and past roommates, but coming from college and a small town where I had established friendships that had grown over many, many years; it was a leap to get out there and really have to meet so many new people. And start over essentially. It was at my first job that I met some of the key people who have been in my life all of my years in Nashville. Countless birthday parties, holiday gatherings, New Year's Eve's, weddings, and trips. We have all been through so many phases together. Good and bad. And as different as we all are from each other, our time together is still filled with as much laughter and conversation as the days we first met. We have been a family. This year a lot has happened to this family...there was the passing of E, a marriage, and a new baby. And the new year will bring even more change as our little crew is going to be saying goodbye to friends moving to Portland, Oregon and another to New York City. So this year's holiday gathering was kind of bittersweet. We had a new "member" in the form of a tiny 8 month old join us! But, it might also be the last time we all gather like we have all these years for Christmas. Unfortunately, change is inevitable and necessary, so there is no need to dwell on it. It was nice to spend an evening with wonderful friends and food and enjoy the time we do have together.

17 December 2010

elephant ceramics

When I see work like these pieces from Elephant Ceramics it makes me stop dead in my tracks, sit quietly, and really take a look at what it is I am seeing. There were a million thoughts that were racing through my mind at first glance. "Where can I BUY one of those platters?!", "What a beautiful shape.", "This photography and styling is unbelievable!", "The blue is my favorite, oh wait, no the white. Oh that green!". You get the idea. I come across a lot of inspiring things, this blog is focused on that! But rarely, do I stumble on something that I keep coming back to look at. Over and over. There are so many things done right by the artist Michele, that I will openly admit I am envious and in awe.

I spent a few semesters of college in ceramic classes. I loved everything about it and still do. In fact I decided a long time ago that when my hair begins to turn gray, I will cut it into a chin-length bob, dress only in black and white, and set up a small pottery studio. This is actually the only goal I really have in my life. The only thing I have ever really wanted to works towards. To one day spend all of my days with my hands in clay and glazes, listening to music, stripping everything down to the simplest of needs, and creating beautiful, utilitarian forms. I hardly come across a piece of pottery that I hate, but a lot of it is lost on me. The pieces from this studio however, have reminded me why this medium can be so beautiful.

09 December 2010

knitting and yarn

This is the perfect weather to be sitting at home, cozy in your "knock-arounds" and doing something crafty! Sewing, knitting, making things out of felt. Although I don't know how to knit, all of the following images make me truly wish I did!! I am kind of flipping out over that yellow blanket, and was willing to find someone who did know how to make it for me, but the yarn might be a tad bit out of my current budget! Maybe one day. Maybe one day when I can knit it myself! I would, however, be up for finding someone to make me one of those striped blankets in a full size vs. the baby blanket size!

I have referenced Purl Soho plenty of times while looking for quilting patterns, or books, or fabric. But am taking a second glance at it in relation to all of the yarn and knitting projects. I love to go into fabric stores and browse all of the textures, patterns, and colors; but there is something more appealing about yarn. Maybe because you strip away all of those varieties of textures and patterns, and focus on the subtle variations in color and types of yarn. The palettes in some of these blankets and projects are so inspiring, I cannot seem to pick a favorite! Much less stop looking at them all!

Top L to R: Super Easy Baby Blankets; Last Minute Knitted Gifts book; Pixie Dust Lap Blanket; Pixie Dust yarn; Jade Sapphire Cashmere yarn; Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter yarn; Easy Baby Cardigan; Pixie Dust Lap Blanket

05 December 2010

i always laugh in oxford

I spent the weekend in Oxford, MS with two of my oldest friends. I have had these friends in my life for over 20 years! It is a funny thing to know people that long. All the phases you go through together. What a blessing to still know each other so well. But, I should have gotten more pictures. I guess it is a good sign that I didn't even think to get my camera out though. My main purpose for the trip was to help one of these friends pick out paint colors for his house that is in the process of being rebuilt. I have never had to come up with a palette while the house is still only concrete and frames. But, it pushes you to really use your imagination and think about the final picture. I think we were successful!

The best part though is whenever I leave from a few days spent with these friends I always realize how much I have laughed. The kind of laughing where you are doubled over and crying. I would say that most of my friends are people that I laugh with, but this is different. I suppose that has been a big part of what has made 20 years go by so easily!

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