Friday, September 30, 2011

Colorado National Monument

Still wishing I was in Colorado with the fam right now….Sigh.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

missing colorado

I was supposed to leave for Colorado today to join my husband's family for a reunion out in Denver….but, sadly I had to back out of the trip since I'm still not feeling well. Sigh. Such a bummer, because I was really looking forward to spending some time out west, revisiting the place that felt like it was made for me when I first visited 3 years ago. Instead, I will revisit some photos from that trip….

Top of Vail Mountain

The road into Vail.

From Denver to Vail.

Entering the Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Flat Irons in Boulder.

Meditating hippies in downtown Boulder.

Red Rocks Park.


Hiking down from the Flat Irons.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

completed living room shelves

Not the most exciting post, but here is the picture of the completed painted shelves I promised (forever ago). The lighting in this room is totally subpar at the moment so I apologize for the not-so-great photos, but I'm pretty happy with the result—the color is so soothing. I haven't figured out what to fill the shelves with yet so, for now, they are housing a great portion of my knick-knack collection. Also, we have SO much of this expensive, non-toxic paint leftover since we were somehow convinced we'd need a whole gallon. What should we paint next?? Hmmm...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

around the world

Back before marriage and home ownership, I used to dream about becoming a travel photographer….roaming the globe, experiencing the contrast of the world's many different landscapes, and capturing the beauty to take home with me. I tend to find myself in inspiration ruts quite often when I'm stuck in the same place for too long. Some locations are obviously more inspiring than others and can keep me in a nearly perpetual state of art pouring out of me, such as San Francisco (oh, how I miss thee!). Then there are the places that leave me artistically bored, such as San Diego (honestly, it's beautiful, but I lived there for 4 months and got up and moved so quickly because I was so uninspired and out of place). 

Here's hoping that my new hometown in the Berkshires will lead to an unending supply of artistic juice! In the meantime, I can always travel the world through photos…..

Machu Picchu by Jentrance

Provence Village, France by Tommy Turner Photo

Alaska Reflection by Stampdr

Iceland Waterfall by Premiere Photography

The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland by Tim Schultz Photography

Nepal Himalayas at Night by Michael Prior Photography

India Taj by Amy Jill Photography

Prague by Photography by Sylvia Mioduszeewska

Monday, September 19, 2011

built-in bookcase

I finally decided on a color for our built-in bookshelf. It only took a month of living here, and my husband driving me to the paint store where he pretty much put a timer on me. I'm not the most decisive person in the world. And so I went with "scenic drive" by Benjamin Moore and my darling husband spent hours yesterday transforming our previously bright red shelves into a very soothing corner that I can't wait to decorate later today. Hopefully I'll have some pictures to share tomorrow!

On an unrelated note, it is totally Fall up here in Northern Mass! I can't believe how chilly it is already, and how many leaves have fallen. Our backyard already needs to be raked for the second time. I better start scouting out some good locations for foliage shots….

Lastly, I'm sure you've noticed that my religious daily posting has dwindled to a more sporadic posting schedule. I hope to get back to painting and photogging (thus more blogging) in the coming months, but at the moment I am in survival mode…..dealing with a health/physical state that has rendered me a shell of my former (highly productive) self. No need for concern, I'll be myself again someday soon. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

built-in bookcase color dilemma

I desperately would like to have my living room all unpacked and decorated, given it is the room I spend the majority of my time in…'d be nice to have one little clean space to escape to. But, what is holding me back is the built-in bookcase next to the fireplace that is currently painted a bright shade of red (the picture above is from when the previous owner still lived here—no, I do not own a collection of antique bells). I am just not a fan of the color red in a living room—it's too intense and energizing in a room that I associate with peace and relaxation. At any rate, I need to repaint this bookshelf ASAP so I can finish the room, but am really struggling with choosing a color! I am also adamant about using a low-VOC paint so that is limiting my choices a bit, on top of my indecision. I've already been to Home Depot 4 times to look at paint samples and still no decision. Perhaps I need to visit a Benjamin Moore? I've had better luck with their paint selection in the past. 

So, what I had in mind was my living room in San Francisco that was painted in two different shades of green. I found it incredibly peaceful and relaxing….

But, I haven't been able to match these colors yet….also, I'm not whether to go dark or light. Here are some possibilities I've come up with so far:


Monday, September 12, 2011

what am i doing with my life?

This is a question I contemplate often constantly. Rarely does it occur to me in those moments that I am doing something with my life right now. Why isn't what I'm doing good enough for me? I think it has a little something to do with having an ├╝ber talented and successful (designer/builder/artist/lawyer/jack-of-all-creative-trades) father, one who has started numerous businesses of his own from the time he was 22. He was my hero growing up (really, he still is) and his model of living made me feel like I could achieve anything I wanted. That is certainly the philosophy I continue to operate under, but finding my success hasn't happened as easily as I used to dream it would. Instead, I chose the most tumultuous period in my life to quit my high-paying, stable job and become a full-time artist. 

As the economy began to tank several years ago and unemployment rates were sky-rocketing, I felt an urgency to leave my job and start a new life when everyone else was clinging to the paycheck they had. There was a voice inside me that wailed and screamed every day, as I sat quietly in my cubicle in San Francisco, totally distraught over where my life was heading (or more accurately, where it was not heading). So, when I started dating my now-husband, who happened to live 3,000 miles away on the east coast, I took it as a sign, an opportunity to change direction. I could've easily had him move to California, I could still be sitting in that cubicle with financial security and a pile of dissatisfaction. But, I didn't. I chose bravery, I chose uncertainty, I chose to risk it all for the chance that I would find the life I was really meant to be living. That's something to be proud of (note to self). And in the time since I left, I have married my best friend and true love, started my own business, found truly wonderful friends, moved into my first house and become more myself than I ever thought I had the courage to become. So, why isn't that enough? 

It's amazing how much pressure I put on myself. It's amazing that I can ignore the fact that over the past 2 years that I've been working on establishing an art career, I have started a new relationship, moved cross-country, moved in with that new love (after only 4 months of dating!), gotten engaged and then married 10 months later, planned a wedding (mostly) by myself, started my own business, moved in with my mother-in-law for a summer while we scrambled to find a home, moved to a new state (again!)……not to mention gone through the most emotionally and psychologically transforming period of my life, all while dealing with an unrelenting anxiety disorder, occasional depression and more family drama than all 6 seasons of Keeping up with the Kardashians. That's a lot of transition, a lot to adjust to, a lot of enormous life changes (and I left some big ones out of my list!).

Given alllllll of that, isn't it enough that I started a company website, a blog, an Etsy shop, and a fan page, worked on a handful of photo projects at the state Capitol, shot a bunch of portraits, had my first art show and have another exhibit coming up, took photography, painting and blogging classes, started painting again after a 15-year hiatus, have never stopped coming up with photo projects with friends, have written nearly every day, started writing a book with my husband, spent 40 hours a week researching how to run an Etsy shop, write a successful blog, create a business website, and run an art business? And I am sure I'm leaving something out. Meanwhile, I rarely give myself a break and rarely stop moving…..I. must. be. productive. 

So what if my path has not been a straight, smooth one and my photography career has been unfolding in starts and stops since it began? This is my life and can't be compared to others. Just for today, I'm going to feel content with my own struggles and successes and let it be enough. And if you're still with me after this uncharacteristically long rant/open letter to myself, I thank you for reading it and hope you appreciate your own success too. We can't all rise to fame in an instant, but we can honor our own path and feel confident in our decisions. Each one moves us closer to our true path. It's a shame that we ever spend even a minute feeling like we aren't good enough, because we all are. We are all beautiful flames, lighting up this life.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

still raining….

And speaking of rain, how much do you love this photo?? Love.

rain series, originally uploaded by Jax Wilson.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

give me sunshine

I can't remember the last time I saw the sun…..I think there may have been a minute or two last week. It's not supposed to be this way! The end of the summer usually brings such delicious days, still warm and bright, but no longer filled the type of agonizing heat of the dog days. This year though, we've enjoyed a hurricane followed by an annoying string of tropical storms. It. Won't. Stop. Raining. And I'm so sick of the inside of my house (especially since it's a hot mess of unpacked boxes). So, I thought I'd come up with a collection of sunshiney yellow items to cheer myself up….

Daffodil Print by Photography by bomobob 

Lemon Yellow Print by The Big Harumph

Lace and Linen Dress by Mr. Raccoon's Empire

Happy Yellow Pillow Cover by Pillow Happy

Yellow Love Pillow by Honey Pie Designs

Ferris Wheel Photo by Photography by bomobob

Yellow Apple Tunic by Recycled Fabric 

by Jaime Mancilla

Melissa's Ornate Palace of Wonderment

Oh Snap Camera Onesie by Caustic Threads

Pictorial Boom

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

country kitchen

I am incredibly frustrated by the kitchen in our new house. I know I should be feeling deeply appreciative of this amazing new home we've found ourselves in (and I am), but I can't find the love for this kitchen and am obsessed with remodeling it ASAP. For starters, someone removed the dishwasher and replaced it with an unusable cabinet (given its location and dimensions). Why would you remove the dishwasher? I have no idea, but these hands are mighty sick of washing dishes already. Beyond that (huge) issue, half of the cabinets are unusable given the piecemeal fashion in which it was remodeled at various points in time. For example, when someone put in a new stove and hood fan, they rendered 4 cabinets unusable—the door on one is blocked by the hood and the other three actually house the top of the hood. And having unusable cabinets in a small kitchen is not cool, not cool at all.

I'm finding my creativity is stunted when it comes to this space, which is crazy because I was able to transform a teeny, tiny San Francisco kitchen with no cabinet space, no dishwasher and all-around limited space into a kitchen I was relatively happy using. I attacked that kitchen—personally installed new flooring, patched walls, new paint, removed the cabinets to paint them and install new hardware, found a table small enough to tuck into a corner.

I am also trying to hone my own version of country style because it is not something that comes naturally to me. I have more classic/modern taste. Some thoughts on going a bit more country…..

all images from pinterest

I am also obsessed with the idea of buying an Ikea kitchen after visiting the local store in CT with my dear friend Hannah a few weeks ago. I was shocked by how affordable an entire kitchen could be—including cabinets, counters, new sink and appliances.