Slow Your Roll

I've had conversations with three different people over the past two days about the importance of downtime, me time, prying the iphones out of our hands and taking a breath away from the internet. Could this be the universe trying to tell me to slow down and unplug? Nahhh. Listen here, universe, I'll tell you when I've had enough internet. Totally kidding. I probably am too connected, it's all this wonderful blog's fault...

After talking with my friends and reading articles like this, I completely agree that it's important to disconnect periodically and check in with yourself. I love having time to just sit and think. Flying is the best for this - I'll totally have my headphones in while I'm on a plane, but honestly sometimes I'm not even listening to music. I just like to sit there quietly with my thoughts. Wow that makes me sound like a total loon. Oh unless I'm on Frontier in which case I'm watching whatever glorious programming Bravo has to offer. Anyhoo, the time I spend disengaged from all of the glorious distractions out there is really when new ideas start to take shape. There's something incredibly powerful that comes from being still and quiet...

However, as a blogger I feel pretty conflicted about this downtime situation... There's always something to post, tweet, 'gram, pin, and on and on it goes. Not that I'm complaining. I am in LOVE with all of it. But how do you stay on top of everything and fit in this downtime that's so essential to creativity? Clearly, the key is finding a balance and I have NOT found it yet. Hey bloggy friends, how do you do it?? You all amaze me :)

Wishing you moments of downtime today... even a whole hour or so!

images found here and here

7 Questions

I came across Miss Gentri Lee on my gurrl Punky's blog last week. Like I always do, I added it to my Google Reader. During my 137th Google Reader break at work yesterday I saw that Gentri was doing a link up called 7 Questions and I thought whaaaaa? I wanna join! So I am. Did this post need an explanation? Probably not. Did you get one? Yep. I also thought this was a good blog opportunity (bloggortunity) to showcase some of the photos from the last artsocial photo shoot. Woot!

1. What do you do when you're sick? (Do you act like a baby? Tough it out? Have any weird cravings? Cry?) I suppose I tough it out. Like really tough it out. I take the mind over matter approach. I refuse to let myself think I'm sick (whilst taking mass amounts of vitamin c and zinc). I don't like to admit to myself or to others that I'm feeling bad because then it's real and seems to get worse... I spent an entire anniversary weekend in the mountains drinking emergen-c while my boyfriend drank scotch. No biggie, just sippin' some emergen-c in the hot tub. But ya know, I think it works... that cold lasted exactly 2 days.

2. What do you do to find motivation when you feel you've lost it? Hmm lately the thing that helps the most is listening to some really good bad music. These mixes on 8tracks - I heard you were a wild one and Drunk & Broceanside - are my go-to jams. Wow based on their titles, I'm a little embarrassed to share that. Ha!

3. Do you wish time away or do you savor every moment? Oh I try to savor... I'm a big daydreamer though. I like to think about all the things that I could (or will) be doing in the future.

4. If you could be any mythological creature, what would you be, and why? I asked my boyfriend what mythological creature I'd be and this was his answer: "Well pixie comes to mind due to your size but I think you have the spirit of a griffin. So, a grixie." Well alright.

5. What is your current biggest weakness and are you working on fixing it? Oh man... I'd have to say my perfectionism. I often get in my own way because of it. I'm trying really really hard to let things go, take things less seriously, and take the pressure off. This thing (aka life) is supposed to be FUN right??

6. How do you greet someone when meeting them for the first time? Um... "Hi, nice to meet you." What is everyone else doing? Is there something I don't know??

7. How do you grocery shop? (Do you write up a list? Go in with no idea what you're looking for? Have meal plans? Bring your own shopping bags?) OMG guys. I have an unusual hatred for grocery shopping. Ask anyone I've lived with. I basically wait until I absolutely have to go - like my options are either A. eat a can of peas for dinner or B. go to the store. And I've eaten the peas before. No joke. So when I am forced to go to the store, I have a list so I can get in and get out in 20 minutes.

That was fun! Thanks Gentri for the awesome link up!! (This was my first time joining this suh-weet link up, so if I did it wrong let me know... can you do a link up wrong? I think I was supposed to start with a funny picture, whoops. Gah perfectionism, I'm telling you.)

Photos by the fab Kate Donaldson.

Personal Best

In college and grad school I was obsessed with figuring out how to succeed, how to pass a test, how to get that A. I basically wanted the teacher to tell me what I was "supposed to know" to pass the class. I'd study what I was told and regurgitate that onto a blue book on test day. Boom. A. On to the next one. I had it down to a science. And I was kinda miserable...

Looking back on my school days, I wish I would have done things differently. I did everything their way to achieve what I thought was success. I wish I would've been brave enough to do it my way. Don't get me wrong, doing well in school is important. But I don't think it's as important as really loving the learning process. My goal was the grade and I wish I would have made my goal learning a bunch of rad stuff and enjoying the academic journey.

For example, instead of writing a paper on how great Judy Chicago's Dinner Party is - cuz I knew that's what professor so-and-so wanted - I should have been like "eff you, Dinner Party! You're embarrassing yourself and women everywhere." Even if I didn't get a good grade, I would have stood up for myself and my unusually strong opinion of the Dinner Party. And I would've written a bombass paper that I was really proud of... and that's really the point. Create things you're PROUD OF.

Focus on excellence, ignore success. (Yes I got this from Deepak Chopra and I loove eet.)

image cred

Here it Goes

When Lisa of Joycreation asked me to do a continuation of the amazingly inspirational series "Things I'm Afraid to Tell You," I thought: "Yes!!!" I was moved for days by Erin's post over on Design for Mankind and Cassandra's post on Coco+Kelley... Then I thought: "Hmm but what do I really have to share that's inspirational..." and that brings us to thing number one I'm afraid to tell you:

- I am ridiculously hard on myself. No one said this series had to be inspirational, just honest; no one told me I had to write something incredibly moving. I told myself this. I not only told myself this, I put so much pressure on myself that it took me 3 days just to start writing. I know we're all our own worst enemies and doing any kind of creative work is going to bring that out. Add a dash of perfectionism and boom! you get me thinking about what to write, talking to my boyfriend about what to write, and jotting down ideas about what to write for days before actually sitting down to write.

When I started this blog back in October of 2011, I knew this side of me existed. I mean, in college I'd cry if I didn't get an A... cry. I don't know where this inner push to be the best comes from. It can be tortuous, but it can also be an incredible strength. Instead of falling prey to the critical, judgey parts of this trait, I try - really try - to harness the positive aspects of it, such as the unrelenting drive to be better. I've learned I have to be kind to myself when I'm learning something new (like finding my blogging groove), while at the same time knowing that I can and will improve. One day the gap will close between the work I produce and my ambitions... it just takes time. Did I mention I'm also really impatient?

- I'm afraid of blog failure. Although I'm relatively new to blogging, I really really love it. I would love nothing more than to figure out a way to do this full time. However, I often worry that my blog isn't original enough or creative enough or that no one really cares about art and after all the time and energy I put into my blog, no one will read it and I'll never get to do this full time. Sheesh I feel like I should repeat affirmations into the mirror like Stuart Smalley after that one... But does any of this mean I'll stop blogging? Hells to the no :)

- I'm too scared to leave my day job and pursue my passion. I really would love to blog full time, but in order to do that, I need to grow the blog, and in order to do that I need time to work on the blog. Oh precious time, I never have enough of you. Sometimes I feel like I'm on the brink of exhaustion trying to fit in a day job, a night job (the blog), a boyfriend, and any semblance of a social life... I often find myself thinking - if the world really was ending in 2012 I'd totally quit my job today. Umm what?! That's not a normal thing to be thinking... could be the exhaustion.

- I have a really hard time talking about myself. Bio sections of social media sites are the worst for me. Ugh about me? I don't know... I have bangs and like vitamin water. At parties I usually always ask questions so I don't have to answer the awkwardly superficial "oh I'm from here, I do this..." So needless to say I'm really bad at talking myself up during job interviews. I'd much rather talk about you. Hmm what do you think that means?

- I get art fatigue. Ok I even love art and I get sick of it. After working at an art museum all week and then blogging about arty stuff in the evenings and on the weekends, sometimes the last thing I want to do is go to another gallery opening or art event. Sometimes I just want to watch a marathon of Bethenny Ever After on my fluffy red couch and call it a day.

- I've invested my own money in creating an app for the Denver Art Guide I have here on the blog and I'm afraid it won't succeed. I was soooo excited when I first started this mobile app project. But after a few months of back and forth with a developer, I have a sinking feeling that it will never look and work the way I envisioned it. I'm often burdened with the dreaded "what ifs" - what if I would've used that money for a new blog design, or a trip to Chicago for Designlovefest's video blogshop, and so on... and on and on.

- I'm intimidated by Facebook. Twitter I feel I have a handle on - there's more anonymity, you can send a quick message, there's no real commitment, it feels like a much friendlier environment to exchange a word or two. But Facebook? It's like I'm at the podium with all my friends and family in the audience waiting for me to say something clever...

- Every night I write down 5 things I'm grateful for that happened that day. Why am I afraid to admit this? Oh I don't know, it just sounds so... Oprah. And it feels very personal. I even hide this gratitude journal underneath other books on my nightstand so my boyfriend won't accidentally pick it up (thinking it's a book) and read any of it. I know. I'm weird.

- I hate Downton Abbey. There. I said it.

Phewwwww. Thanks for reading, friends. It feels good to be honest. And thank you to the other brave bloggers who published their TIATTY posts today.

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Puppies Dressed like Thanksgiving Dinner


Last Thanksgiving we brought our puppy home. Sadly, I can't for the life of me find that amazing Conan O'Brien clip with... you betcha, puppies dressed like Thanksgiving dinner. The pilgrims up there will have to hold down the fort.

I won't clutter up too much of your food real estate here with calorie free words but here's a simple toast from ours to yours: may you find art in your every day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Minute Will Reverse Having just returned from an adventure in Africa (stay tuned for travel diaries) I've been giving time a whole lot of thought. Literally and figuratively - is there anything stranger than realizing you could call your better half and report back from the future? Time may be relative but it sure lends itself to weird if you let it. Back in D-Town I landed post fall backward... so fell headlong into the riding home as darkness falls. I also want to name our future cat Timecop. But that's another story... for another... time.

If You Go Down to the Woods

I have bears on the brain. Seriously - bears - everywhere. Check it.

Are bears the new deer?

From the top: 12, 3, 4, 5