Thursday, May 23, 2013

Birds and Boats and Wings

I'd like to say no, I am never desperate, yep, I've got it all together. But, in reality that is never true. In a great moment of desperation, feeling like I must do something with what is pinned up inside and at least try.. try to make something of it. Desperate to find myself again, desperate to lose myself in Christ and for in Him Is Life, the real life I was always meant to live, Desperate to like this new City, Desperate to not be Desperate any longer. We jumped on the F and took a 30 min train ride through gunk and muck and concrete and graffiti and garbage. Although the train is usually clean and cool, to look out the windows in hopes that I will somehow like what I see is making me a bit weary. For an hour we looked to the Sea. My girl playing hooky for a photo shoot in her wings, to find sea shells and rocks and seaweed and crab shells, to see boats and hear fog horns and to flap her wings with the sea gulls. Birds and boats, and shivers is what we found. Concrete, kitschy hot dog stands and fried fish and french fries. Roller coasters and Ferris Wheels. Happiness? Not like when I reached the North Carolina shore, but more of a thankful that there was this option here. Feeling melancholy this day I reach for my favorite things.

My home in Christ,
My children,
Image making,
sewing, the sea,
sea glass,

He is here.

Monday, May 13, 2013

20 Observations and Insights

20 Observations and Insights to share

1. Do not touch your face or eyes or parts of your body that might itch after being In the subway and holding onto the subway poles. You will get sick or some sort of freaky unexplainable rash

2. If any man wears a collared brown shirt no matter where he is, he will look like a UPS man no matter if he is trying to or not. 

3. If you go to Target in Brooklyn, be prepared to curse often and hate humanity for a few hours.  

4. After crossing one way streets all day, when you hit that two way street and forget to look both ways like you have taught your children since they were 2, You will come 3 inches from getting slammed into by an SUV. So be careful. ( I know this by experience). 

5. You cannot count on the metro card paying the bill at the store, so do not even try it. Trader Joe's doesn't take metro cards. 

6. Hello all you lazy boys, Only REAL men offer to help a woman up or down the stairs when they are carrying a heavy grocery cart or a stroller, or a cool woman who offers to help while all you lazy boys pass by. 

7. Young men who stand too close to the subway track are not listening to their mothers!!! and I wish I could send her an instant message. 

8. Where we are sitting at fairway was 8 feet under water few months ago. Its an amazing place now!!! 

9. When you decide to drive a car through Brooklyn be prepared for any buried bitterness to resurface and show its ugly face, so actually to speed up your sanctification process (if you are a believer that is)  driving through Brooklyn might actually help bring you closer to your depravity and need for the Lord. 

10. Any whining after so long makes me want to vomit or run away .. I'm just saying

11.  There will come a time when you step off the train on the platform right into some one's vomit. And that time has come for me.

12. Men can actually have an extremely unique individualistic style other than the NC fraternity big pink checked shirt backward hanging around the neck glasses look. There are actually many looks for men, who would have thunk it? 

13. People have come up with some incredibly creative ways to carry their growing children on bicycles around here. This is just one way.. the saddle. Oh, and how about those hand cuffs for a bike lock? clever-a? 

14. You can find Australia food  at Chelsea piers, and I didn't know there was a "Australian specific" food until today. 

15. You will walk Every day way farther than you ever thought possible and not realize it until your legs start to feel like jello.  

16. Some days, u just won't find a seat on the train not at all, and it STINKS.  And some days the Train car STINKS even if you find a seat. 

17. The best seats on the subway are the seats right next to the door. So you can rest your whole body from the jerking brakes of the train, but refer to Insight #1 

19. I'm still fascinated by the shoes of NY!!!! will do a huge week of indepth focused blogging about this topic each season.. just must, because you would be amazed. 

20. Drum roll to the anti climactic number 20. I've met more people in NYC from Tennessee than any other place so far. Crazy!! Today I met someone who grew up in Memphis fairly close to me. And Hello... I am living in NYC and why are all the Tennessee people here? 

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Feeling a bit like I am on the Intimidator {which is a roller coaster in NC} emotionally about living in this Huge crazy place, expressing one minute I love it here and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!!! and the next minute, I'm curled up in a ball crying because I want to leave. Welcome to my roller coaster. 

What are you thankful for this week? 

After a really hard week, I ended up watching this video about Ian and Larissa again today and it reminded me of all the places of thankfulness in my life that I have about where I live, my marriage and my children etc! It doesn't take much just to tweak the focus of my thoughts to be about Thankfulness and Gratitude! I welcome it really! 

So here they are, my top 10 

1. Doing laundry at the Laundry Mat gives T and I time together and time to talk have a date
, eat Thai food and its like having 5 washers and dryers ready on standby. Plus, by setting aside 2 hours a week, all laundry is done all at once (folded and put away!!). A dream come true!!! And, in reality, its no harder... just different, and that's okay.

2. So thankful for great victories with Lia's tantrums subsiding. Thankful for her art each day that makes us laugh, but sometimes keeps her in a perpetual state of imagination, so I am praising God for some answered prayer.

{I sat out here on my fire escape the other morning and cried and prayed for my crazy little artist and cried and prayed about everything, job, family, kids, relationships, everything, and I felt better. Things have gotten better, an answered prayer. I love her so}.

 3. Oh so thankful that our sofa saga is almost settled and we should be getting our new sofa in 4 days. And yes, we chose the sofa bed. So come on!!! NYC awaits your visit!! We have room for two-three people to stay. (very small apartment just warning). but it will be fun! We hated our first sofa that we purchased right away it was terribly uncomfortable, so we were thrilled to get a replacement.

The Redeemer Church believes that God designed us for work and a specific kind of work. Ministering to your walk with Christ by touching and disciplining you through your discipline in Work. They have artists, architects, actors, writers, etc.. amazing part of being able to go here.
 4. Today, I am extremely thankful for the Redeemer Church, for an impromptu meeting with a young woman named Stacey Hess that gave me hope that God is still very involved and very personally in touch with all that we are going through. { Thank You Stacey!!}

Fascinated by the idea of this Faith and Work program, I am hoping that it will be amazing and I am so overjoyed to participate soon!! Below is just a photo I snapped of some Brooklyn Graffiti on a construction wall that captured my attention. Next to it, info for the Artists faith and work interarts fellowship at The Redeemer West side.
5. Let me just give a shout out to God for arranging time for New Friends.  They really make this place way more fun.

6. Great views and interesting spaces always give me a fresh love for NYC.  Spaces and Places all over this great city to just discover, and that were specifically designed to give health to the senses and a place where the community can gather, exercise, get rest and enjoy nature a bit.

#brooklyn #nyc

7. I am soooo thankful for the random creative business findings. Fun to be walking around a corner of a street that you haven't been on before and discover a strong successful small creative business thriving. Just love that!!!
Here is an image of a new (to me) company I stumbled upon while walking back to the F train from Trader Joe's. This company called Flavor Paper has discovered a niche market in custom wall paper and these long machines are actually where they silkscreen the long rolls of paper that end up on the walls of exquisite places I am sure!!! I was totally fascinated!!! Will revisit and find out more for you if you like.

8. Thankful for every now and then being able to stop into one of these little coffee/patisserie shoppes and just be in a creative raw space with a good cup of coffee and if I am lucky someone has left a NY Times Arts section on the table for me.  

{off the subject of thankfulness, a little few side notes}

I sat here and thought, what about this little joint do I like, why in its rawness is it something visually that I am drawn to. I mean its cramped and barely 3 people could fit in there comfortably. It occurred to me a bit later. I could visually see the reason kind of as I saw one of my pinterest boards up against this charming little scene, tell me you see the similarities too?  This particular coffee shoppe was called Parco on 7th.

What I liked about Parco was that it was cozy and kind of my own for about 30 min. Coffee was very yummy, but honey was hardened and hard to get out of container.. which means only one thing. Old. 
The other thing magnetic about this shoppe was the yummy smells of pastries, regardless of whether or not I think Wheat = poison to the body,  the aroma of baking pastries = yummy.  

{another side note about my experience at Parco} 
My private little cozy space space was soon engulfed with human bodies and voices; 4 women and one man sitting right there in the table next to me. Can you imagine being that close to people you don't know just carrying on in a really loud complicated deep personal conversation without knowing who is listening? They talked in subjects circuitously. Subjects confusinly jumping from one place to another, flowing from information about how to buy a ticket to a broadway play, traveling to Europe, and all the way to how to loose weight, who they were in a past life because they had seen a past life counseler, seeing psychics etc.  I fully expected someone to say, hey.. that's just crazy talk. You weren't a soldier in the the Chinese Pre Chirst war, that is speculation and never can be proven to be truth.  

Wanted to start talking and tell them about Jesus, but didn't feel like there was a time to break in the convo. Plus, I didn't want to be that woman on the train who is chanting the end of the world is coming and you are burning in Hell approach. That never works.  I do want to tell people about the Gospel, because it really is the life changing powerful message that everyone needs to at least hear and make a decision about. 

{okay, back to thankfulness}

8. I am thankful for some free time to just be creative. Believe it or not, walking out into the general public, in a crowded city, you wouldn't believe it, but very soon everything and every day starts to seem a bit monotonous!  Yes it is true. 

People. Pee smell. Iron gates. cafes. Tall buildings. water. big boats. busses. Subway cars. People. 

So to challenge myself to be creative each day has been just that, a challenge!!! Its not hard to drool over other people's amazing creative talents. But it is hard to do it myself. And especially hard for me to not compare or look at where anyone else is, and just to trust God and do. 

This week, I am challenging myself to be creative with my iphone. Why? because I think it is not the camera that you use, its the eyes of the photographer. 

How good good am I at seeing that image happening in real life? Can I be stretched to my limit? 
This matters to me because I feel most alive when I am  in the process of imagining, finding, making images or art!!! Which is why I know God made me for this Work. 

As I went for a " run forest run..forrest gump" type run through Brooklyn and the city, I just would stop when I saw "it" and snap images with my iphone.  Above are a few that I came up with. Now, I am challenging myself each day to find at least one.  You can do this too.. where you live!!! 

9. Thankful for a bit of time to figure it all out and discover what's out there and what will work best for us in the minimal. Not buying anything yet, because I will not ever collect stuff ever ever again. I am looking for "the one" in every department of my life. "the one" bag,  "the one" shoes, "the one" jackets etc. So, in my hunt, I have a bunch of places to check out and find out what Brooklyn has to offer!!! 

I just loved these carry bags by run run run. Creative, fun colors and nice to carry.   And when you forced to haul groceries back and forth, it matters!! And all you that aren't, they are still cute to take to the mall. 

10. Finally the last things I am thankful this week.. will be two of the biggest things yet. Time to spend with the Lord each day, and this book by Beth Moore called Breaking Free. It literally has taken me weeks and weeks to get through, but it is a life changer for sure!!! I Highly recommend it to everyone wanting a deeper closer walk with Christ and victory over sin and strongholds. Huge book, powerful!!! 

And, drum roll... My juicer!!! What would I do without my juice!!!! Yummiest way to get so much nutrition its crazy. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

a blank page in Brooklyn?

So My big idea for blogging has left me staring at a blank page. 

I am living in Freaking Brooklyn NY with a 35 min train ride to Manhattan. You know... the place the Boston bombers were headed to next.

Surely there is something totalkaboutaroundherea???!!!

As I sit & debate whether I should I just let out this whole experience raw unedited, or should I pretty it up, highlighting only the things that make you smile & feel good about life and yourself? Should I blog about give-away's and helpful home tips and how to organize a small space? Should I follow that same protocol so I can gain more readers?

I could write about how my kids are suffering all kinds of meltdowns since the move coupled with irrational tantrums that strike when weariness and exhaustion is near. I could mention how everyday I have to live through some sort of physical melt down or exhausting battle of the wills in our house, but that might have you running for tissue and a Lexapro.

I could write about some of the freaky people I am meeting that seem perfectly "normal" in person only to discover after investigating their website on the business card they handed you at the baseball game that same person is selling photos of himself grabbing himself in his tighty-whities.

Or I could write about the man that is your daughter's friend's dad that is a musician and when you listened to his songs you just about fell off your chair with how vulgar the lyrics were (at least one song was).

Or would you want to see a picture or hear about the living art I see each day? There was this really bizarre young woman, fascinating really,  that passed me yesterday in her crazy behivish/50's inspired yet orange hair, bold striped tights, colorful attire & sunglasses & bows, with flower pinwheel tacked to the front of her wildly colorfully decorated scooter  and as she flew past me the pinwheel spun around and music simultaneously was piping out of her pockets for everyone to hear. She had me completely mesmerized in my boring teetering on ancient too comfortable style, and I believe I was in too much shock to even take a picture.

I could write about how a mouse got into our apartment and hid in the vacuum tube and when I was just trying to vacuum up a mess on the floor, I couldn't get the tube unstopped, so I flung it up and down hitting the end on the floor and the mouse flew out and ran across the room.

Or, I could talk about how our new sofa bed from IKEA WE hated because every time you sat on it it squeaked, and it was too hard. Being the only thing that would fit in our 9 x 9 living room, we just despised that it was so uncozy.

So, WE regretted that purchase and called IKEA's main office. Being blessed with a nice operator on the phone, she warranted the sofa and we returned it for the full price and bought this nice green sofa bed last night.

I could write about  how the brooklyn IKEA employees being really difficult and bordering on mean spirited and how I almost got in a fight with the customer service lady because she wasn't listening or being nice at all. And how my sinful nature showed its true colors that day.

Or about how we rode the bus there last night to pick out the sofa but the line was so long because they had three employees called in sick we ended up leaving after the last bus and we had pay $14 for a cab home.

All that to get the sofa delivered today, but.. I have been waiting on that sofa all day today and now it is 5 hours past the time they said they would be here by, and they are still not here. I've been on the phone for an hour & they have not found our sofa. Literally, I have been held captive all day for this sofa to arrive.

I could talk about my daughter's crazy drawing habit. What a gift, and a curse. In a 700sq ft apartment, when your daughter draws 20-200 drawings a week, and is kind of a messy person to begin with, and is constantly losing herself in her own imagination and going through 80 pieces of paper a week, and is hard to reason with because of this. I could talk about how blessed she is and how hard it is as well, but that wouldn't be very interesting either.

It is more interesting just to focus on the crazy talent she has.

I could talk about how when I have ideas in photography, they always work out like I imagine them.. 

but that would be a lie. In reality, I look at those who somehow accomplish exactly what they set out to do in total Awe.

I would love to talk about how I am always listening to God's voice.. But the reality is that I have to remind myself of this list daily, and I have to preach to my own heart the gospel daily. So I would love to say I have arrived artistically and spiritually at this amazing level where I could help you all in amazing ways, but that isn't always the case, and I just want to talk with others about Real battles and real struggles in mothering, work, and faith. 

I could tell you about my recent obsession with shopping bags? 

or my obsession with brooklyn shoes? 

Or my constant obsession that one day I will in fact design children's clothing one day. Thinking that might happen. 

Or that near all the recipes that I want to cook have avocados in it.

But, you can just follow all that on Pinterest here:

I am sooooo excited & ready to get to work here in NYC

And I have been in the acclimating phase and planning phase for 4 months. Now I am ready.

wanting to spread the word that I will be starting to take clients in Mid May 2013. I will have my new website up and running, all the processes in order and my locations picked out!  The pricing will reflect my ability to keep a vibrant business open for many years to come, and all the prices will include real Art printed out and custom printed books! The work to put all this together, even frame the images will be done for my busy clients so they don't have to. Stay tuned for the new website and the new look!!!