Room Redux

Happy long weekend!

I've been working on a few projects. I'll share this one with you:

This is the before picture of my bedroom:

My tiny bed was in the larger corner...

And my huge amount of desk stuff was crammed against the other wall.

I needed to move things around to get more work done and get Olivers crate out from under my desk. I also needed a bullitin board of some sort for all the little things I keep around me for inspiration... 

Then, I had an inspired idea:

I have this cupboard that's up high and out of sight - when I moved in I stuffed all sorts of cheap old canvases in there. I took them down and tested on the ugliest one. I ripped the canvas away from the frame... What was left was a great little wood frame:

Cotton twill tape or lace or ribbon or wire cut to fit and a staple gun. That's all you need.

I found a pinterest pin that said to give wood an "aged look" you soak steal wool in a cup of apple cider vinegar (I use that stuff for almost everything now) over night and sand the wood with it. I let the wood dry outside on the porch. As it dried - it turned a sort of grey color. Then I attached cotton twill tape and antique lace (that I had on hand) with my trusty staple gun.

I used wood clothes pins to attach all my little things.

Then I moved around the furniture:

I created a corner for myself - instead of pushing everything against the wall

Now I face the center of the room when I work.

I put twinkle lights up instead of having a reading light.And Oliver has a better crate area, too. The great thing was I got a huge amount of change and organization without spending any money.

In Print

It's always seems so funny/weird to see my name in print. But I just got an email from the Western Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature  - I've been asked to speak. I also ge tto be a part of the reading at the opening reception. This feels like an honor/humbling learning experience. I should start really practicing what I will say and read...

And speaking of things being "in print" I've been putting new cards and patterns up on Etsy. I'm really excited with how my profile of Oliver came out:

Super cute, right!?

 

Word of the Year

Last year, my word was of the year was: Enjoy. It was a great year. Full of travel and accomplishing big things. It was also filled with uncertainty and risk and blind flying leaps that left me breathless. I'm thankful for every minute of it. But what should my word for 2013 be?

Really it should be theme of the year... There is no single word... I can only get it down to a phrase.

In 2013, I will be saying: Yes to the Good Things!

Yes to trying new things. Yes to speaking (writing) the truth. Yes to finding new ways to love people and bring people together. Yes to taking the time to celebrate all the good and beauty that is happening.

I hope that you'll join me!

 

Open it

I hope your Christmas was filled with joy and wonder. I've decided my favorite part of Christmas comes right after I hear myself issue this command: Open it! Open it! 

Making bright pink leg warmers for my niece, Payton; and a gray scarf for my nephew, Cole was fun but seeing them wear it was more than fun.

And then, tonight I got to celebrate Christmas with "the girls"... and I got to give them these:

These two are not fans of getting their picture taken... hence the B&W.

Oh what fun!

 

Grace

Apparently the world has not ended yet. At least not for places like New Zealand. 

Anyway, earlier this week, the great guys at the Good Men Project published another one of my essays. This one was actually from my thesis and I like how it turned out.. Read it here: The Grace Hotel

If you haven't read it yet, I hope that you do. If you have read it, I hope that you aren't sick of these shameless plugs.

Surprising

I've been thinking all day about what I would say about love and the advent season...

Last night, at church, and every year about this time, I am reminded that the Isrealites were actually looking for a leader, they anticipated a war, they wanted the current government overthrown - to be released from oppression.

They followed a star.

What they got was a baby.

Whatever else love is, it's always so surprising.

Tonight I am grateful for the reminder.

 

Lovely

It's the 2nd Sunday of Advent. This marks the week that we proclaim our Love. It also happens to be my parents 39th wedding anniversary. I can think of no better example of love in action than these two:

Their love spills al over everything in such a beautiful way. Congratulations!

xoxo,

a

Comfort

I was driving home today listening to Christmas music and I realized something... there are certain songs I collect. I think I have 12 different versions of Emmanuel. Maybe 8 versions of Oh Little Town of Bethlehem... And I've always loved the hymn, Come Thou Fount... I have a lot of that one too. 

I've been trying not to listen to the same thing too much. I'm afraid of associating one song with "The Christmas that Dad had cancer" but the words to Emmanuel struck me this afternoon:

Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel/ And ransom captive Isreal/ That mourns in lonely exile here/ Until the Son of God appears/ Rejoice, rejoice Emmanuel/ Shall come to thee oh Isreal/ Oh come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer/ Our spirits by Thine advent here;/Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,/ And death's dark shadows put to flight./ Rejoice, rejoice Emmanuel/ Shall come to thee, Oh Israel./ Oh come, Desire of nations, bind/ In one the hearts of all mankind;/ Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,/ And be Thyself our King of peace.

How comforting and hopeful!

 

Transitions

I follow @mikemonday on twitter. This morning he posted a blog on dealing with change: http://bit.ly/UAbExE

I also follow Seth Godin (@ThisIsSethsBlog). He wrote a post about the difference between anxiety and anticipation: http://bit.ly/11hRvzY

So, I guess I'm in good company. Today, in class, we talked about writing good transitions... how to move from one idea to the next seamlessly... I wish life transitions were as easily navigated as scene changes in a story. Someone once told me that change is hard because we are in-between stories... one is ending while another is beginning. I'm not sure that's completely true. The story of our lives is always unfolding in front of us.

Then, on my way home, I noticed that the City of Pasadena was already setting up for the Rose Parade:

Where there once was a nice green lawn, there are men building stadium seating to view the floats on New Years Morning. Maybe transitions are easier when they are built in like stair steps... Maybe I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and not try to leap over everything at once. I can trust the path I'm on and if I don't like it, I have the volition to do something about it. Right?

 

Suspense

I'm so thankful for the days I get to work from home... As I was catching up on boring stuff around the house all morning, I queued up old Hitchcock movies. I started with North By Northwest.

North by Northwest

I noticed the credits only listed 2 people in charge of the stunts... that never happens anymore. Then, I put in "Charade"... This is a fun one with all sorts of twists and turns and Audrey Hepburn.

Charade

Next up, "To Catch a Thief"... I think my Netflix is going to assume that I have a thing for Cary Grant.

I've decided I love Hitchcock style suspense but only in the movies... I'd like a bit less suspense in real life! If I could get my way, I'd ask for only good surprises from now until the end of the year. We can renegotiate in 2013.

Anyway

I've spent the entire day catching up on reading for class. "Half the Sky" is a gut wrenching manifesto on the plight of women around the world. As I was reading, I came across the story of Edna. She was the first Somali woman to learn to drive, the first to become a qualified nurse-midwife. She married the prime minister of Somalia in the 1960's but later divorced. Her big dream was to build a women's hospital in Somalia because, "she didn't want her legacy to be a Mercedes: She wanted it to be a hospital."

It's left me wondering what my legacy will be. How will I leave my unique mark on the world. The art cards I made the other day have been sitting next to me on my desk... they read: She made a difference anyway, She spread her wings anyway, She kept climbing anyway, She stayed on her path anyway, She spread hope anyway, She did it anyway... I hope mine lands somewhere in this vein...

Tomorrow morning I'll be asking my students to think about their legacies.

A Comedy Chaser

I made it home this morning in record time considering it's a holiday weekend. As I unpacked, I turned on a movie... Children of Heaven. I'd never seen it before... it won major awards. It's also the saddest movie. Maybe ever. An Iranian (?) brother and sister, very poor and still in grade school... lose the sisters only pair of shoes and they spend the whole movie sharing a single pair of converse sneakers while trying desperately to find her shoes before their parents find out. Sometimes the thing we are so desperate for is incredibly simple and totally out of reach. It was gut wrenching. But you should see it. 

I almost put on my PJ's after that... I almost let that be the end of my weekend... But then I noticed that my friend Skylar was performing a short stand-up act in Burbank... We met up for a quick bite and and walked over to the club... Flappers in Burbank. It was fun. And funny. This last part was a relief... (What would I do if it didn't go well? Cause I am a terrible actress.) On a side note, I think stand-up comics are super brave.

He was fantastic! And the show overall was tons of fun. A much better way to close the weekend. 

Good night. Tomorrow will be full of lesson planning. 

Making, Giving, Living

It's Thanksgiving Eve. I'm doing laundry and packing to make the trip to San Diego in the morning. I've had Christmas music blasting since about 6:30am and it probably isn't going to stop all day. I've also been thinking through all the things I want to make for friends for Christmas. I think that's my favorite part of the holiday: making things to give to people I love and the music. The gatherings. 

I'm dreaming up new project ideas... new surprises. I have no idea what this season will look like for my family but I am sure there will be lots of making and living and giving in our own way.

I'd post a picture but right now, it's all in my head. More soon!

May your Thanksgiving be warm, sweet, and full of people you love!

xoxo