an artist in her space

Snailmail, Art Journals and a Peek Inside my Studio

creativity

And so it goes, leave me enough time and i’ll end up working on random things that make little sense. Really though, these will eventually be included into a letter I send a new friend, or maybe i’ll even put some of them into my long neglected art journal… oh art journal, i’m comin’ back to you, just give me some time!

an artist in her spacephotography thingsthe sounding board

I’ve been trying to get back to using and posting on my photography tumblr and these are some photos i’m probably going to post later on this week….I know I spend gobs of time on that site as it is, but it is actually a really awesome place to meet people who see things in various shades like you do, photographers and penpals, artists and crafters.

sometimes I get distracted... postcards and letters from penpals all my fabric, felt, ribbons, ect. wanderlust pencil caseembroidery thread

And so it goes. I’ve been listening to a lot of random mixes on 8tracks lately, mostly elecro rock fanmixes for favorite shows as well as study mixes full of really great classical pieces and… I think my studio probably reflects that combo. Oh wells, happy end of July!

~m
(Currently on repeat)

these starry eyed buildings pencil case

Etsy Things and Handmade Adventures

etsy Fabric

This last week i’ve been putting together more pencil cases and totes for my Etsy Shop since I finally got my designs cleaned up and sent to be printed. There’s few things that get me more excited than checking the mail and seeing a bulky parcel peeking out, whether its from a penpal or something I ordered, and getting my fabric in always makes me jump around like an over caffeinated child.these starry eyed buildings pencil case these mountain trails pencil case brooklyn bridge pencil case Wanderlust pencil case etsy handmade

I haven’t gotten around to putting everything together yet, my Coffee cups “Coffee Everyday!”  tote is still sitting on my desk, waiting to be put together, but i’ve at least gotten everything else together. Hey, 75% is better than 0% yes?

Apart from all this though, I’ve been in an odd sort of mood, mostly due to starting a semi-new job, (and maybe watching way too many episodes of Criminal Minds?) as well as dealing with the loss of penpal friendships. It’s always hard to keep in touch with people who don’t live anywhere near you, but when you add in the extra block of stress that different time zones, lack of regular communication as well as miscommunications can bring, it all results in the petering out of friendships that you thought could perhaps have gone on for longer. So while it’s ended up being one of those weeks where you kinda just want to burrow under the covers and surf the web from sunup to sun down, i’m sorta proud that I refrained from doing that (much) and made things instead. Creating with my hands, putting together disjointed parts into something useful, that can cure a lot of woes I think.

~m

 

Hay bales, northern texas

Northern Texas, Gettin’ Lost in the Suburban Fields

driving in the sun Currently, I live in Northern Texas, in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. If you know anything about this area, you know how vague that description is, given the immense size and scope contained in this corner of Texas…so I guess i’ll narrow it down a little more and say I live 5 minuets away from the center of Plano, and about 15 (given liberal use of the DNT) from downtown Dallas. The nicest of suburbias encroach from the North, while established business districts build up from the East, and everywhere else is just fields, fields and more fields. And in many ways, I love it like that.Texas highways and clouds A suburban texas skyline northern texas fields

I see horses running free most days on the way to and from my day job, watch them idly staring at the cars that pass by before heading back into the untamed green acres that they call home. Wild rabbits scamper and hide underneath parked cars instead of stray cats, and owls always hoot in the evening times. In the dark of night, there are long stretches of roads where the only illumination comes from the headlights of my car and if luck holds, the moon above. This isn’t the boonies though, Targets and Walmart’s abound, as well as numerous shopping malls but the expanse of land that Texas claims as it’s state territory, it creates these enormous gaps between structures, between cities and towns that can float a sense of being nowhere established when you’re out and about. Especially when you are not a native.

Hay bales, northern texas northern texas fields north texas fields Texas mini roadtrip

Driving around is the best way to explore these parts of Texas, and while I will be the first to say that i’m not any kind of expert on the nature of this state or it’s numerous areas, after living here for a couple of years, there’s a few things i’ve come to understand, accept, and even hold as dear. Like the way driving anytime after 2am (whether it’s on the highways towards Dallas or on the residential streets in quiet Rowlett) means you’ll be mostly all by yourself, in the best of ways. Or opposite that, no matter how bad rush hour is, there is usually a backroad that you can take that will eventually get you where you want to go.

My most favorite thing though, is the simple fact that no matter what part of this area you find yourself in, on any particular day with a clear sunset, everything is illuminated and cast into a light that makes everything beautiful.

~m
(I’m hoping of making this into a series of posts exploring more of this area of Texas….but we’ll see how that goes yeah? )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

oh you red and light blue hearts

Pencil Pouch Tuesday- oh you messy things

little red and blue hearts

It’s been a while since I busted out my sewing machine and actually got to making things, even longer since I successfully handsewed something I didn’t completely hate. I meant to spend my free time this week catching up with letters (gosh I’m really sorry about my delays on those, really ) and working on further outlines for my book. Or maybe even play acting at being a responsible adult and working on my finances and figuring out things when it comes to bills. Instead, I found myself wide awake at 2am pulling all my craft supplies out and spreading them all over my office/studio/cave of messiness.

making mountains Metal bits and bobs

And then next thing you know, I was outlining ideas for pouches and totes while stuffing my face with cheddar Chex mix. Creativity really does strike at the oddest of times doesn’t it? scrapbook inspired pencil pouchthese mountains are callingoh you red and light blue hearts mailing you some love pencil pouch

Pretty pleased with the way these turned out, and hopefully i’ll eventually put them up for sale in my Etsy shop .But first, more chex mix and maybe more marathoning Criminal Minds. Also, letters!

~m

 

 

 

Central park outtakes

NYC Outtakes- Random Photos and Advice for Visiting NYC

View from Hotel BPM in my drawer Out In Brooklyn messy hotel roomthe bed at hotel BPM

Pick a good place as your home base. Know the area you’re staying in and most importantly, don’t be afraid to stay outside of Manhattan. Me and Kat stayed at Hotel BPM, which is in Brooklyn. We got a fantastic room at a really great price through a flash sale they were doing, and with a bit of quick googling I saw there was a subway station a block away, perfect for getting into Manhattan in less than 15 minuets. There’s plenty of overpriced and seriously tiny hotels in Manhattan, as well as everywhere else, find the right one for you, and make it your insta-home. As long as you know how to get to where you want to go from where you’re at, and you can at least blend a little with the locals, you’ll be fine. Eyes open and easy smiles go a long way.

Bryant Park Views Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Visit Bryant Park. Just do it, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes. You’ll end up in the middle of almost everything you could want to visit and surrounded by mostly native New Yorkers reading the paper, chatting with friends and you’ll realize that this is a place millions of people call home and to treat it accordingly. Understand that “NYC” encompasses the boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island (as much as they might want to deny that) besides just the glitter of Manhattan, and get an idea of the immensity bred here. There is so much history, pride and love here, you’ll enjoy your time better once you feel that.
Kat looking out over Central ParkCentral park outtakes Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset near Columbus Circle, outside of Central Park

Take your time in Central Park, if thats the kind of thing you like. Probably it is the kind of thing you’ll like, if you’re even a little alive inside. This place is HUGE, seriously, just ever so huge and you probably won’t have enough time to spend exploring it all, but just enjoy the time you spend there and relish the beauty and calmness that is cultivated here. Also, take a photo of that damn Balto statue that took you and your friend over an hour to find even though you were pretty much on top of it half the time. Watch out for joggers and skateborders, smile to the beverage cart vendors.

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Know how to use the subway system. Seriously gods, this is so useful. Even if you can afford to take a cab everywhere, just don’t. You’ll be stuck in traffic more often than not, and apart from taking one to and from the airport, they really won’t get you there faster or more efficiently than using the subway. Get an app, use the handy maps at pretty much every station, get one from a station worker. Get comfy with getting on and off trains, listening for your stop (or counting the stops if you can’t hear or see ’cause the car you’re in is insanely packed). Put more money on your MetroCard than you think you’ll need, chances are you’ll miss a stop or get on an express train or the stars will align just right and you’ll end up halfway to the Bronx when you were aiming for the Met. And just consider it a given that you’re going to eventually come across a slightly mentally disturbed person on at least one of your rides, and basically, just be polite if you’re pushed into a conversation and consider it a rite of passage here.

Museum of Natural History Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Go where you want to go. Seriously, visiting NYC can be so expensive, if you don’t make the most of the time you have here, you’re going to regret it like nothing else. So. Go to the museum you want to visit, and take terrible photos to send to friends! Go to the Disney store that smack dab right in the middle of  Times Square to get your boyfriend that Star Wars t-shirt you’ll know they’ll love, even though there seems to be thousands of people already in there. Just, if it’s what you want to do, do it. Wander around Chinatown, a little lost and out of place, enjoy the disorientation.  Explore, walk around and just enjoy the time you have here, if you’re not a native, you don’t have an excuse for not making the most of everyday here.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset egg rolls, NYC pizza with peppers wtf pizza on the upper west side Chinatown dinner

Eat at that dingy corner fast Chinese food place with the oddly dirty floor, I promise the egg rolls there will be delicious, they’re friend to an inch within their life so you’ll be fine, plus the elderly couple most likely working there will be really nice, probably, and give you two free ones.  Pop into that really fancy and slightly loud restaurant that smells so good walking past it when you’re on the Upper West Side, as long as the menu isn’t dusted in gold, you can probably afford it, just check the menu posted outside if you want to make sure. The service won’t be the best, they’re rushed and it’s a busy night, but the food, no matter what you get, will be excellent, and you’ll enjoy the time you spend there. When you go to China town, because you heard they have great food there, you probably won’t know where to eat, everywhere will look good. So just pick one. Pick the one that shines the brightest and has happy looking people inside. Pick the one that goes down narrow stairs and you can smell something delicious wafting up. Just pick and sit down, smile and laugh with your server and let them give you a fork and spoon with your chopsticks, it doesn’t matter if you DO know how to eat with them. Whatever, really. Order a lot and stuff your face, it’ll be worth it.

Duane Reede in manhattan

Duane Reade will have what you need, they are everywhere, and from that emergency umbrella that you drop in to buy when the skies open up to drown you a little, to the sunscreen moisturizer you come to see as miraculous on overly sunny days, they really will most likely have what you need. If not, there are an insane amount of random specialty shops all over Manhattan, just a simple walk down any street will have you finding that thing you really needed but forgot to bring. Also, buy souvenirs. Yes, for at least 15 minutes of your trip, be a total and unabashed tourist. Buy tons more postcards than you think you really need, and at least a couple of nice keychains. Don’t be the person who visits NYC and doesn’t bring back nifty souvenirs for their friends and family, even if they didn’t ask, they’re expecting it and really, postcards are so inexpensive compared to the slight guilt trip you’ll avoid with them. Also come on, you want a fridge magnet, just admit it.

battery park quiet

Enjoy the time you have here. I know I said that already but, it needs repeating. I was born, grew up here, and yet I cherish the days I get to visit this grand city. It is unlike any other, and from the crowded streets to the places that are almost deserted, you can find yourself both overwhelmed and slightly disappointed when things don’t click like you thought they would, when places you’ve seen so many times on film seem less bright then they were on screen, when you realize you can’t make it to everywhere you want to see in the time you have. NYC is not a perfect place, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There is so much imperfection here, so many flaws and scars and quietly groaning mistakes…..but that is what makes NYC as a whole, beautiful and amazing and worth the attention. It is most definitely a life changing experience, it’s going to be magnificent and fantastic and worth every minute, and basically you’re going to love it here.

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And finally, before you leave, on the day you leave, take a selfie. Artistically shot, terrible lighting, doesn’t matter. Send it to a friend, share it with everyone on facebook, or just keep it for yourself. You’ll understand after you’re back home, going through your photos of the trip and you finish with the one of your face, bright eyed and slightly exhausted, ready to go home and never wanting to leave this fantastic place.

~m