Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

IMG_5908Predictable, I know.  More cats.

… but when I think Window, I can’t help thinking about my cats.  I sometimes wonder if I’m doing the right thing, keeping them inside… not letting them roam free in the woods and the streets.  I figured the least I could do, when we looked for a new home, was make sure our first cat, Stewie would have plenty of sunny windows to lounge in.  He had no windows to enjoy at our last place, since the ones we had were all tightly covered for safety and heating purposes.

Now Stewie and his younger sister Olive, have plenty of windows for sunbathing, birdwatching, and catching a breeze.  It makes me happy to see them in their windows, enjoying the warm sunshine and sniffing the fresh air.

This one is in our front room, where they like to watch cars and people go by, and the birds flying to the old maple tree and the feeder.  This is also where we often see them waiting for us when we come home from work, right before they arch their backs in a lazy stretch, and jump down to greet us at the door.

Who waits in your window?

xo skyblue

Coffee and Daydreams

IMG_9306Some afternoons, when I just sit with my thoughts, and breath…IMG_9190I find myself in little orange studio, sipping a perfect cup of coffee from my favorite mug… sunbeams raining on my two sweet purring cats.   My road rage is replaced by thoughts of those i love.  I realize i am pretty. And all at once, i remember a thousand of my happiest childhood moments.  I get a glimpse of what i ache for most in life.

I suddenly realize how much of it I already have.

thank you to everyone who believes in me.

xo skyblue

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skyblue sunday

well, we finally took the i-plunge…complete with his and hers Otters.

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Besides Pandora, a few word games and texts, i am not attached to it much. But when i  have some free time, it’s all about the camera apps.  As my handful of Facebook followers (who may or may not have been bribed) may have noticed, i can get a little carried away with the Instagram sometimes.  I don’t post anything for weeks, and then i go ape-Sh*t.  I can’t help myself.  Especially on Sundays, or days off when i get a chance to be home doing skyblue stuff.  Morning coffee, cats lounging, heaps of pancakes… real exciting stuff, i know.  I basically don’t have a meal without capturing it in Toaster.   It’s just a fun way to say “thank you” to the universe.  I am sure i could get a lot more art done, and a lot more housework, if i didn’t spend so much time Instagraming.   But since i did, you might as well enjoy…

http://instagram.com/skybluewithdaisies

Happy New Year.

xo, skyblue.

From Daydream to The Bohemian Zen Love Den… Spicy!

Artwork – Daydream – by Henri Matisse

every day from about 8am to 5pm, i sit in my cubicle, type on a computer, and daydream.  i somehow manage to do my job quite efficiently, and with an outwardly sincere enthusiasm, but i have to confess my sin… Most of the day, while i am typing… I am daydreaming.  seriously daydreaming.  this morning i clearly recall doing yoga in the grass, and flea market hopping with one of my besties. Just before lunch, i think i was driving from Austin to Denver with my husband and a sick camera, listening to happy road trip songs, eating Twizzlers.  It doesn’t really help the day go by, but it beats focusing on reality.

And many days, likely to the dismay of my boss if she ever read this (God forbid), i dream about designing a home for my family from top to bottom.  i can design a whole room before lunchtime.  I could never do a fancy drawing of it, but in my head i am a sought after, free lance designer with a team of hot HGTV carpenters and design experts on hand.  Whenever I really need to escape… i am sharing notes with my beloved Design Stars, David Bromstad and Antonio Ballatore – sharing a morning coffee, planning out a project together with our colored pencils and Chewie.

So, occasionally i succeed in bringing one of my daydreams to life.  Or at least the best i can, minus loads of talent and money.  My recent obsession has been creating a new bedroom.  I have imagined every corner transforming… the room becoming a colorful, tranquil retreat.  The plan was to make a space – the space that we begin and end each day with – that would rejuvenate our spirits and remove some of the stagnant energy from our home.  I have spent hours dreaming, between phone calls, “TPS” reports, and meetings, thinking about this room… and a beautiful chair that my husband surprised me with one day.  I imagined how i could surround it with the room it so deserved.

image - Office Space

And so the love den was born.

This is the room as i have done my best with over the years… Cozy Chaotic I think i would call it.  I loved the bed…  but was a dust collector, and it just needed to go.  And the purple… what a hot mess.  What was i ever thinking?  (My husband wonders this also). This would be the purple room challenge.

The over hall was challenging.  Basically we de-popcorned the ceiling, replaced the carpet, replaced the molding, and painted every surface.  We did it all ourselves, except for the carpet installation.  We had a surprising amount of fun… there were long, long hours on the weekends, late nights after work… an experience that i am so glad is over, but will always cherish.  It looked a little something like this as we began the process…

We finally put in the carpet and moved back in a few weeks ago.  Somehow we are still together… in fact, i think we like each other even more.

There is no new bed yet, and I am still painting furniture… but little by little we add the details, color and art.  It already feels like a new world.  I could curl up and read in in there for hours.  The morning sunlight feels whimsical and warm.  I laid on our “new” bed for the first time and thought, bohemian zen.

I tucked a secret letter under the new carpeting, for the future owners of our home to find (along with some pretty decent hard wood floors)… maybe in a hundred years or more.

Our spicy new bedroom is no Fifty Shades or Grey, but it is two or three very lovely shades, and I am optimistic that it won’t hurt the love life.  Besides, i don’t think I’m quite that adventurous.

The chair’s special corner is not complete, but here is a peak at its fabric and the view from it’s cozy new spot where i will read books, sketch nudes, and sip tea.

Stop in later for the big reveal.

Until then, I hope i have you thinking about giving your own bedroom some love…and a little spice!

What is your design style?  If you like the grey walls… find some other ideas here.

skyblue. xo

p.s. David is hosting Design Star Tuesdays 9/8c…they certainly don’t need my advertisement, but it’s looking to be a great season…  White room challenge is up next!

Angel

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” 

Michelangelo

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I had this piece of wood.  I knew i wanted to paint a picture on it. it took me about two years to figure out just what i wanted to paint on it…

It was the best part of the morning, when the sun starts beaming warmth into my studio.  It was a Saturday, my favorite day.  I grabbed the piece of wood, sanded it for a while, and made a decision.  There i was, with all my best shades of purple, red, orange, and blue, ready to paint some random abstract sketch i found in one of my art journals…

And then i saw her out of the corner of my eye, right in the swirls of wood.  she was twirling around and around, her hair flowing, wearing the prettiest skirt.  i honestly couldn’t believe what i was seeing.  i looked away for a minute, but when i looked again she was still there.  i left the room to get some water, came back, and there she still was, kind of sad, twirling and twirling.  at that moment, i knew the abstract “whatever” could wait.  I quickly traced her silhouette with my graphite, before she could vanish.  then i just started painting.   When she emerged, I was her.  She was me… the dancer inside me.  She was so lovely and happy to be dancing, and a much better dancer than i ever was.  But there was some sadness in her eyes.   i named her Daisy.

i have danced on and off my whole life.  Ballet, tap, jazz, modern… In my late twenties i thought i was done for good.  I stopped altogether, and it went on that way for a few years, but i always felt the void.  In my 30’s i discovered belly dance, and thought i would be doing it until i was 80.  For many reasons in 2009, i stopped belly dancing and life went on with all its usual ups and downs…  just no dancing.  I was surely never going to dance again.  i was tired, my bones were creaky, i couldn’t even do a grand plie without groaning.

It seems Daisy came into my life just in time.  She reminded me how good it feels to dance…and that i was not yet finished dancing.  I realized that i don’t need to go to classes, or perform with a troupe, in order to continue to be a dancer.  i could dance right there at home, in my little orange studio, and i could do it my way.  Each plie, at my own pace.  Every hip shimmy, as gentle or as intense as i chose.   I could do ballet, belly dance, even yoga and aerobics, whatever the music made me feel like doing.  it would heal my body.  it would heal my spirit.  and i might even wear a bikini again!

Well, I didn’t wear any bikinis this summer, almost two years later, but to this day I dance and do yoga with Daisy.  My body is finally starting to feel stronger and the movement finally feels good again.  I intend to be dancing with her until i am 80, or more.   Daisy has been hanging on the wall there now since the first day i found her, another unfinished painting, another project procrastinated.  Someday I will take her down off the wall, and give her the attention she needs and deserves.  But it doesn’t really matter when, or if, i finish her.  What matters is that she was there, just when i needed her.  And now she is free.  Still a little sad sometimes, but free.

e.j.l. xo

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p.s. before the comment is posted… i am of course aware that my Daisy is not even in the same universe as Michelangelo’s angels.  I just liked the quote. (-:

Have you ever seen an “angel in the marble”?  Did it effect your life in some way?

Secret Stone Garden – A Connecticut Treasure

i have always known i was an artsy city girl, yet I grew up in the suburbs, and I’ve somehow ended up in the suburbs.  While I wait for my exciting new life in Charlotte or Denver, I do not want to miss, or dismiss, the beauty, fun and excitement occurring right in my own back yard.

Just before the school year starts, we are home to the Wolcott Country Fair – just a quick walk and we can feed the cutest little goats and enjoy all the sticky fried greasy doughy treats we could ask for.  There is a freeky flock of grackles that lands in our yard once a year for about 5 or 10 minutes, and then swoosh.. they’re off.  In the lower yard there is a vernal pool (aka very special swampy wetland) that has been destination spot to hundreds of (probably very horny) orange spotted salamanders that come there on the first warm rainy night of the spring to perpetuate their species.  Once on a snowy morning before sunrise, I caught a mamma dear and her baby nibbling on the pine trees outside my studio.  The families of northern cardinals and woodpeckers that visit our garden can entertain me (and Stewie and Olive) for hours. I’ve seen rainbows from my porch, pink and purple sunsets through the trees. We share our home with bunnies, owls, butterflies, tiny frogs.  What could be more magical?

One day my husband brought me out on his atv for a bumpy, muddy ride into the woods behind our house.  We rode for about 15 minutes then we stopped, ignition off.  Shhh, so quiet, just the us, the woods,sunbeams… and stones.  Piles and stacks of stones.  Not in random, messy piles, but in lovely mystical gravity defying piles. Who put these here?  How old are they?  What do they mean?  Well, we’re still not entirely sure, and we may never know.  But for now, lets just look at them together, and enjoy this beautiful secret treasure in our own back yard.

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e.j.l. xo

little orange studio, i love you

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i am forever tidying up, moving stuff, hanging stuff, painting stuff, all in the an effort to create the perfectly inspiring space to do make art, write poetry, do yoga… some days i avoid the space – not feeling creative, too tired, too busy, the lighting is bad, its too cold, have a headache… if it’s an excuse, I’ve thought of it.  But on other days it’s hard to get me out of there.  If I had a sacred sort of space on this earth, this would be it.  If i were one of those life coaches, I would highly recommend creating a space like this, for yourself, in your own home if possible.  A place where you can feel inspired to do whatever it is you really want to do, really love to do… even on your craziest and laziest days.  One of my most ridiculous excuses is that if i can’t spend all day in there, i don’t want to go in there at all today.  Isn’t that bratty?  I decided that i need to just get my butt in there, every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes.  and maybe good things will happen.  Incense, mood lamps, a crazy coat of paint… whatever it takes to entice you into your special space.

e.j.l. xo

p.s. Tell me about your special space!  (-: