Friday, December 31, 2010

Figuratively Speaking

A couple of days ago my mind wandered off somewhere it shouldn’t but it seems to do that a lot these days. While it was off on its little junket, it kept singing Doll Parts by Hole. The line “I want to be the girl with the most cake” from the chorus really stuck.

girl_most_cake_smIt stuck so tenaciously, I felt compelled to make a collage. The song is sad, tragic, and I can certainly identify with her words. So while the song is full of pain, I can see a positive spin on the refrain. Being the girl with the most cake doesn’t have to be what Love meant. It can be anything I want it to be. I like the collage so much, I think I’m going to do another version on canvas to hang in my bathroom. That’s a damn good motivator to see first thing in the morning. For me anyway.

I posted a picture of the collage on my Facebook page. My ex-boyfriend latched onto the cake part. I brought him some donuts recently. He tried to give me one and I declined. He thought I was trying to be good – as in not eating junk. I’m getting quite chunky and I’m diabetic. Then some crusty sugar fell out of the folds of my cowled blouse. Busted! He left a comment about keeping the crumbs out of my clothing. I had to laugh, partly because of the donut incident and partly because didn’t realize the cake is metaphoric. He’s not exactly a fan of Hole so he gets a pass on that one.

Then the idea of actual cake got my brain to snickering. I made another collage on the same bent but with a different message. I think I’m going to put this one on the fridge. Oh wait, there’s never any food in there. And certainly no cake. I’m safe at home, it’s at work I have to worry about. We have donuts.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A New Planner with a Purpose

I’ve spent a lot of time lately trying to get my life back on track and headed in the direction I want to go. One of the things I’ve focused on and think I’ve been doing pretty well on is being happy. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Things are seldom as easy as they sound. I’ve always said being happy is a choice. Now I choose to live by my own words.

The other thing I’ve tried to work on is mindfulness. Yeah, another thing that sounds much simpler than it is. How often do we find ourselves going about our business not really paying attention or being “in the moment.” If you’re like most people, the answer is probably often. I joke that my ADD makes me too aware – it allows me to be distracted by every new shiny thought or . . Squirrel! . . what was I saying? I’m guilty of not paying full attention to what I am doing while I’m doing it. It may require a Herculean effort on my part to accomplish this but I’m giving it a shot. At this point in my life, I’d be happy with being mindful 50% of the time as it would be a vast improvement over where I am now.

I walked to my local Borders bookstore to buy a 2011 planner. I hated 99% of the ones I found. I finally found one that would work. It wasn’t anywhere near perfect but it was a close as I was going to get. I didn’t care for the cover and it was plastic-y so I wondered how I was going to recover it. It was also $17.99. I had a 40% off coupon but even so, I thought it was still overpriced. I wandered over to the clearance area (my own version of Kryptonite) to give it once over before checking out. There sat some fat little sketchbooks at rock bottom prices. I checked out the paper and decided they kind of sucked as a sketchbook, the paper is way too thin and slick. But – they would make awesome planners! I bought the 8”x8” and the 6”x6” because I couldn’t make up my mind which one I wanted to use. Later, I decided on the 8x8.


This is the sketchbook. The photo doesn’t quite capture the nonconducive to creativity color of the cover. It’s somewhere between ‘70’s Harvest Gold and the contents of a newborn’s diaper. Either way – ewwww. I sectioned the pages into groups for each month and a few extra sections I needed.


I made tabs for the months and the extra sections. I ran the tabs through the Xyron with the laminating/permanent adhesive cartridge in. I was rather whimsical in naming the extra sections. Evil Plans is stuff I really, really, need to pay attention to and work on. There’s also “Abracadabra” and “Hocus Pocus.”


Since the book is blank, I have to draw in everything. I like this idea better than using the standard planners. If I have to draw in the lines and write all the information myself, I will be more mindful of what I’m doing – while I’m doing it. Wow. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? Maybe it’s because . . Squirrel! . What was I saying?


Each month on the page before the month-at-a-glance view, I picked a theme for that month. January is Face. I’ve neglected taking care of my skin. It’s more than that though, the face I show the world. I often go around looking like I live under a bridge. This is not the image I want to project!


February is Love, not romantic love, it’s surrounding myself with the things I love. Adding and making time for enjoyable things with mindfulness to every day life boosts that happy factor big time. I stopped doing a lot of stuff I love because I felt other people in my life didn’t like it. Not anymore!


March is Body. Yeah, I’ve become fluffier than I’d like. I can’t squeeze my pudgy butt into half the clothes in my closet! The main thing is not my size, it’s my health. I’m diabetic and I feel better when I take care of myself. Eating healthy and exercising makes me feel better.


April (I forgot to put the word April on the page!) is Soul. I have strayed so far from where I used to be in this regard. I won’t bore you with my religion or philosophy. April’s focus will be feeding my soul and reconnecting. Since my sincere belief is that all things are connected, I suppose I never really left.


I’m not finished with the cover yet. It will be a collage of all sorts of wacky stuff that makes me happy. If the cover speaks to me, it will only add to the desire to pick it up and use it. Everyday. Mindfully. This just may turn out to be the best planner I’ve ever had.

I did start on the page for May but I didn’t take a photo yet. I don’t think I’ll go any further than that for now. One thing I was sure of is that I didn’t want to pick a theme for every month just yet. Life is on the fly, things change. I want to make sure I leave room for change, the endless possibilities that may be just around the corner. I felt like picking something now for say, August, would be like setting it in stone and who knows what might happen in June? Maybe it would alter my whole focus of where I am where I want to go. I welcome all possibilities.

Monday, February 8, 2010


When I first caught a glimpse of the news story regarding Chris Rock's documentary "Good Hair," I had to read it. The idea he said, was started when his daughter asked him why she doesn't have good hair. I've never met Chris Rock or his daughter but in that moment my heart went out to both of them. As a parent, how do you answer that question? I don't think I've ever wanted to hug a kid I don't know as bad as wanted to hug that little girl right then. Good hair. Yes indeed. I don't have good hair. Why do some people have hair that always behaves itself and other people are doomed to look like Sideshow Bob for all eternity?

I have fried my hair more times than I can even remember in failed attempts to tame my unruly mop. My hair is extremely curly and extremely fine. And I have lots of it. I put relaxers, straighteners, ironed and ironed some more. It would look fine until I went outside. Then it went POOF! I tried to wear it curly. None of the curls are the same size or go in the same direction. I'd slather on the Frizz Ease and again, it would be fine until I went outside. A month before Katrina, I paid $400 to get the Chi done on my hair. It was fabulous. My hair laughed at the humidity. I woke up, brushed my hair and walked out the door. Brushing my hair had never been an option before, unless I was trying for an afro. The Chi needs maintenance. I am a very low maintenance kind of girl but I was going to give it a shot. Then Katrina came along and blew my hair guy to another state. Soon after, my hair staged a mutiny. I found myself at the end of my rope with my hair.

In the Goth subculture almost every female has worn dreadfalls at one time or another, the brightly colored fake locks tied around your own hair, myself included. I knew a few white people with real dreadlocks in the past. One of them was so fussy about his hair it turned me off to the idea of ever doing it myself. When I moved to New Orleans, I was surprised to see how many white people are running around here with dreads. I'd had enough of my own hair and something drastic needed to happen. I was either going to give myself a buzz cut and buy a bunch of wigs or get my hair dreaded. I chose dreads. I only regret now that I let my best friend chop off 12 or 13 inches of my hair during Mardi Gras 2 years ago. It was burnt but it would have dreaded nicely and my hair would be much longer now. I like long hair but I like long hair that behaves.

I swear, SWEAR, if I had only known how much peace a hairstyle could bring to my life I would have done this years ago. Decades ago. Zen. I've never had that kind of feeling before EVAH. I'd like to be one of those Zen-like people but I'm not. I'm a high-strung overly emotional spastic monkey most of the time. And I used to be much, much worse. I'm tickled that I have one thing in my life, my hair, that gives me some peace. I've had my hair dreaded for a little over a year and a half now. I went with a more natural way to get them, no salons (high maintenance) and no waxes. My hair went through many changes and at times, they looked pretty bad. Be patient I told myself. This takes patience. No one thought it would last long because if there is one thing I definitely am not, it's patient. Peace and lessons in patience. Who knew?

In the process of dread locking my hair I discovered something. There is a serious lack of hair accessories for dreads for people who aren't Rasta wannabes. Sure, I can find tons of stuff with the Jamaican flag colors, pot leaves, rainbows, and other things that make me want to puke. Yeah, I have dreads but I'm not Rasta, not a fan of Reggae, don't smoke pot or do drugs, nor am I a neo-hippie. If I have to classify myself, it's Goth-Punk-Straightedge. I don't drink, do drugs, or 'ho around. So what's out there for me and people like me? Not a lot.

I keep my hair covered at work because I don't want to get dust and crap in my hair. So I make my own bandannas and headbands. Recently I was talking to several people who have (awesome) dreads and the need to cover your hair at work. One guy works in construction so keeping crap out of his hair is a priority and since his hair is so long, he's stuck using the Rasta hats. Two others work in the kitchen at a restaurant so keeping grease and food odors out of their hair is the main concern. Again, the options are limited. Since I get lots of comments on my own head gear, it started the wheels spinning. I quizzed some of my locked acquaintances about what they'd like to have. I started sketching out some ideas. Then working on some prototypes. So far, so good. I think I actually have too many ideas to start with and need to narrow it down some. Then I just need to convince some of the dreadheads to model for me.

I make a ton of really cool stuff but mostly for myself. I've been looking for something I could make and sell. I think I've found what I was looking for.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Shrine Box and Trying to Stay Warm

The cold snap around these parts has been rough. Our house is so old and huge, trying to keep all of it warm is next to impossible. Forget going out to the workshop! Even my craft room (where my computer lives) was even to cold to be in for any length of time.

My Beloved had to go out of town so he helped me bring some of my project stuff in the house. If he’s not home, I’m not cooking! So I set up a workshop in the kitchen. Everyone puts a scroll saw on the kitchen counter, right? I discovered that my Beloved used a piece of wood I’d been saving for a project. Crap. Move on to something else. I had some wood for another project but hadn’t touched it because I thought I needed to use the table saw. And I couldn’t get to the table saw. I decided to use the scroll saw and just be very, very careful.

box_001 I started building the shrine box that had been floating around in my head for quite some time. I cut out a heart with wings from a very thin piece of pressed wood, and a star, a sun, and a scalloped topper from MDF.

I painted the heart, the sun, and the star and glued them to the box. I stamped words and phrases to the front of the box.


I traced the shape of the winged heart of the front piece it’s not attached to and painted that area black. I stamped in words using white paint in that area. I masked it of before stamping and it reads, “While life is short, love is long.”

I painted the inside a mottled red and stamped lettering on the inside of the doors. My daughter’s boyfriend came up with an idea I really liked, to paint the inside like the chest cavity where the heart would be. While it would suit me just fine, I’m not sure I’m keeping this piece so I need to remember that not everyone thinks creepy is cool.


The inside doors read, “Those we loved live on in our hearts. Our memories keep them alive.This is the true meaning of immortality – Love.”

I like it!