Sunday, June 29, 2008

every day

A painting exercise. I'm trying to paint every day now, because I am sorely out of practice. I may not be posting them, but believe me, I'm painting them.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

dear God,

Dear God,

The sunrise this morning was just gorgeous. I especially liked the way the black tree branches silhouetted against the combination of lavender sky and salmon-pink clouds. And the way it all gradually faded into washes of light blue? Masterful.

Thank you for reminding me to pay more attention to the colors all around me.

love, me

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dress quest

With the new 'do, and the realization that half of the clothes in my closet are not me anymore - not because of the haircut, but because all of a sudden it seems like most of the skirts and dresses in my closet are either down to my ankles or are miniskirts, which are hard to get down on the ground and help a kid while wearing - anyway, I went in search recently for some summer dresses. Or skirts. I wasn't going to be picky.

What I did find, was that pretty much anything in stores (and in catalogs) right now is meant for someone with a decidedly different figure than mine. I will come right out and say it: I have curves. Curves, okay? I more or less have an hourglass figure. I have a small waist. I also have certain rules that I have developed over the years:

  • I do not wear anything that makes me look like an opera singer.

  • I do not wear clothes that don't fit me.

  • For the love of God, no more black. (I used to wear it all the time. I'm done with it.)

  • I am not, and never will be, "sporty".

  • While I am blessed in certain departments, I have no desire to show them off to the average passerby, thank you.

  • I have an aversion to paying $36 for a skirt made of t-shirt material.

So it's very frustrating to hit the summer sales hoping to scoop up a sundress or two, when everything - everything! has an empire waist. Or is baby-doll-styled. Once or twice I found something workable, and just needed it to be bigger (or smaller), and lo and behold, either there were none in my size, or they were black. Or dark brown.

What's a girl to do?

After doing a little searching online, I'm thinking the answer is to find a wrap dress - I have never worn one, but it looks like that would address some of the issues. The other idea is to go find a pattern I like, and make a dress myself. Then once I found something that worked, I could go get lots of fun materials like this and this and this and make them different.

Interesting links:

Clone yourself a fitting assistant by using duct tape. Genius. Seriously. I want to do this.

Found this through Metafilter (some NSFW): I have made almost ALL these mistakes. And they're right about the correct-fitting undergarments making all the difference.

Metafilter thread: I need to dress for success, but in the office not at the bar

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Edit your life

Beginning this week, a group of us at Miomarmo are going to work through Zen Habits' awesome Edit Your Life series together. (The parts about going through and cleaning up rooms, closets, and my wardrobe are where I will personally need the most work, as I have three preschoolers and they generate a lot of stuff. Okay, truthfully, I can't blame the kids entirely for this; I've always been the Oscar Madison of the house.) We're hoping that by doing this together, we can encourage each other, and hopefully by the end of the summer have cleaner, simpler lives. In that spirit of togetherness, we're inviting anyone who wants to, to join in and make a commitment with us to a simpler life.

The sections are:

We'll be taking a week to do each part, beginning today with the first week, Commitments. So please, join in! We'll be doing a recap each week marking our progress, and if you're doing it with us, feel free to write us and let us know how you're doing as well. (Feel free also to grab the above graphic to use for yourself.)

As Thoreau said, "Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify." Here's to less frittering. More living.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Angela Paints

Yesterday afternoon I grabbed the kiddos, filled a basket with art supplies, and announced we were going to be painting from nature in the back yard. Everyone painted, but only Angela really took my direction to heart. She gathered up an assortment of flowers and twigs, laid them down on the big stump in our backyard, and proceeded to get down to it. Sophie and Peter lost interest after one picture, so I took their paints (glitter watercolour!) and decided to paint Angela.

Angela's tiny daisies. This is showing incredible restraint for Angela, who usually piles so much paint on that she wears a hole through the paper and I have to carry it resting on a paper towel for fear it will disintegrate. I'm rather proud of her.

More from the backyard:

Monday, June 16, 2008

the new 'do

I know, I look uncharacteristically serious for me, but it's early in the morning. Shorter than I've had it in 15 years. It's about time, no?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

stripey goodness

Guess what we had for lunch? :)

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Cup of coffee in your favorite mug: FREE.

Library book: FREE.

Hanging out on the porch in your Kermit the Frog pajamas with your son before anyone else in the house is awake: PRICELESS.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Snip snip

This was the way I've had my hair for at least the last 15 years - thick, curly, and as long as I could grow it. It's been described as big, fluffy, and the more humid it gets, the bigger it gets. Sort of a hair-barometer. Sometimes I had bangs, sometimes layers, sometimes not. I wanted long flowing hair so that I could do fun stuff with it. I used to even be able at one time to do a 5-stranded braid, basket-weaves, and a hair coil that made my hair look like a piece of black rope.

But since the kids were born, I've had a lot less time to do anything much with my hair. A trim every three years or so (I'm not kidding). Mostly, I'd just pull it all back in a ponytail, and what's the point of that? There just seemed to be so darn much of it, and it was mighty frizzy sometimes. I was starting to compare my hair to Amy Winehouse's and was secretly worrying someone else was going to notice the resemblance. (Not the tattoos, eye makeup, or drug habits. Skinny arms, pointy face, big hair, yes.) So this week, I took the time the babysitter was entertaining the kids to go get a spur-of-of-the-moment haircut. I'd been contemplating a big chop for quite a while, but actually doing something about it didn't happen till I looked in the mirror, held it all up on my head like I've been doing for a while now, nodded at my reflection, and grabbed my car keys.

The hairdresser chatted up a blue streak, punctuated every few minutes with, "Wow! You really have so much hair, I can't get over it." I would just reply with a smile, "Yep."

"I'm going to have to cut this wet, there's just so much of it."


"I just love a challenge! You're going to be fun."

(Smile) "Yep."

So I got just the cut I wanted - the ends of my curls resting on my shoulders - which was at least 8 inches. There was lots and lots of fluff on the floor. And for the first time ever, my daughters' hair is longer than mine. I pushed for interesting haircut stories and listened while the hairdresser told with glee about getting to give someone a mohawk. He wanted it to annoy his in-laws! Even though my cut wasn't totally finished and was airdrying into a big poofy ball, I knew that as soon as I could get my hands on it, it was going to suit me right down to the ground. It is - dare I say it - cute.

So the hairdresser was finishing up when she called another over to consult about my hair. "We really think you should get it relaxed," they said. They didn't do it there, but she could give me the name of the training college she went to and they'd do it for half-price. (I could just see the students drooling over my hair. "Come get a load of this hair! It's ca-razy!") I was kind of interested, but since I couldn't do it then anyway, it was kind of a moot point. The fact that I would have to get it done every couple of months (or sooner, because my hair grows like mad) turned me off of it, because I can barely manage to cover my grays, let along make an standing appointment at a salon. I knew the cost was going to be up there, and I am a pretty low-maintenance girl. I don't need a fancy haircut, because not only can I not maintain it, but I would be thinking about how that money could buy clothes for the kids or a nice dinner out with my husband, both of which I would much rather have than straight hair. (I also read this which scared me off it further because of the damage it could do to my hair.)

But the main reason I didn't want to try relaxing my hair is this: I don't think I would look like ME anymore, if I had straight glossy hair. I'm not worried that people wouldn't recognize me (although they wouldn't!) but that I wouldn't recognize me. I like the curls. I like the thickness. I even like the color. I like being able to use a straightening iron if I want to and go back to curls the next day.

And who says that perfect hair means straight hair, anyway?