Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Clearly...photography isn't my thing as I didn't manage to finish the 30 day photo project. I very quickly allowed life to get in the way... I often view my involvement in the hair industry as a marriage. I chose hair because I loved it with every ounce of my being. Together, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, and at this point, until death do us part, my shears and comb have been extensions of my hands. Within this “marriage” I’ve had “relationships” in terms of the salons I’ve worked at. These have been the platforms to which I am able to express my love for hair…and…lets be honest…to earn a living. Over time, these relationships have changed, and we either no longer served each other well, or life events have carried me elsewhere. I left Art+Science at the beginning of June. It was a challenging, sad decision to make, but I was becoming a challenging, sad person. I contacted a former co-worker who opened up his own place near my house. He told me he didn’t have a chair for me yet but needed someone to help out with the front desk. I agreed to do that until something opened up but first…I wanted to take a month off. And what a glorious month it was! I bought a new desk so I could write and practice my drawing. I did a spoken word performance with a friend of mine at a benefit that was raising money to give to a center that helps women with eating disorders. I’ve hung out with friends, slept late, gone to a bagillion yoga classes, visited my family and visited Jeff’s family in Alaska!!! The black cloud that has been following me around since I don’t know when has lifted. I am calmer, saner, happier.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Hello! I just need to start with this image... It's the middle of April folks and snow is surrounding the budding flowers. I'm also wearing these and I'm over it... Backing up, here are the pictures from the previous week and a half. April 9th: Tiny April 10: A place Inside the Pittsfield building is the Pittsfield Café where Jeff and I went together the day we met during his shift at work. April 11: Detail I just got this lil piece of cuteness in the mail along with several other cake and ice cream sparklies. April 12: In the middle I made this and love that chocolate brown flower... in the middle. April 13: View from your bed Yup. April 14: Water This little darling was sitting in the front window of Alliance Bakery. April 15: Alone I love this pigeon. :) April 16:your favorite color I'm obsessed with green! April 17:Busy I drew this! April 18: hello! and April 19th: button I felt too lazy to do anything with these so...insert your own! Last but not least... April 20th: On your mind I snapped this shot from the screen on my computer via pinterest.com. Rob's on my mind today. He's been gone five years today. Half a freakin' decade! I can't believe it. Each year I've felt inspired to go someplace or do something in his honor. I don't search for this inspiration, but it always finds me. Today I chose to go to an OA meeting and to go to the Garfield Park Conservatory. At the meeting I shared that I lost Rob and while today I can say that I'm truly grateful to have had the experience I had with him, I do have my low points that creep up days before the 20th. Those consist of anger, questions of "why did this happen?!" and feelings of despair. They're all very familiar feelings as I experienced them on a much larger scale shortly following his death. I vowed to not slip too far down that rabbit hole five years ago, to accept that this is part of my life now and to move forward when I was ready. When the meeting ended I didn't get up and race out like I usually do. I stayed and accepted all the love, hugs and kind words extended to me by the lovely women I am now seeing twice a month at this particular meeting. I wanted those hugs. I wanted to soak up everything they had to offer and know that it was good, and that I needed it. They told me things like "be gentle with yourself today", "do something to honor him", and "it's good to have rituals that help you remember and honor the time you spent together." They also reminded me that our "bodies never forget and they react accordingly." One woman said that she sees people float through their grief like it's no big deal but she's a mess every time the anniversary of her mother's death rolls around. I felt so unbelievably comforted in ways I had not experienced in quite sometime. I stayed longer and talked with a wonderful woman as if I had known her my entire life. It felt sooooo spectacular to be completely free, open and honest that I was practically floating to the Conservatory. Being that it's Saturday, the place was swarming with kids and meandering tourists. I sat outside, got very still and quiet and watched the birds while silently thanking Rob for everything he gave me. It didn't take long for me to get cold so I wandered back in and eventually left, heading to Alliance to write for a bit. A nap followed along with some drawing, reading and a few chores. Perfect day.
Monday, April 8, 2013
This weekend was all kinds of busy! From work to hanging out with friends and Jeff, to pecking away at some school stuff, my brain is mush. However...I took these pictures! April 4: This happened today Yup. This tragic, currently unfinished drawing took place on Thursday. We're learning about cross-hatching, stippling and squiggle lines to create value in an image. I used these techniques in art when I was in high school and didn't do so well then. Not much has changed... April 5: Something good Jeff and I made brie stuffed-crust pizza on Friday night! It was amazing! I've never made pizza dough from scratch. Freakin delicious! We acquired the recipe from www.neverhomemaker.com. I've loved everything I've made from that blog. April 6: Air Hehe. I trapped some air in this glass! April 7: Dreamy This was taken at the Unicorn Café before work. A latte, a croissant, and writing is on of the most dreamiest things in the world to me. April 8: On your plate Here is a delightful peanut butter chocolate chip cookie from Lovely café. I stopped by Lovely in the middle of the afternoon to work on a research paper for English and this delectable item distracted me from the dreadful task. Speaking of....I should get back to it...
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Hello! The following are pictures from the past couple of days. April 2nd: Blue This is the Barbicide container on my station at work and two of the hairclips I use when sectioning off hair during haircuts and blow-dries. I felt lucky to even find the hairclips as I'm usually wandering off with them attached to my clothing. I was tempted to take a picture of the sky because it's blue again after many many weeks of gray and gross but...that was too easy. I have this fear of taking pictures in public. Being a tourist is one thing...I'm fine with that because it's expected, but to whip out my camera and snap a picture in the middle of the work day, especially when I'm not taking a picture of a client's haircut or something, well, that induces some nervousness. Heaven forbid someone think I'm crazy or ask what it is I'm doing to which I would simply reply with "a photo project." No big deal right? Somehow my mind makes it a big deal, and I refrain from taking pictures of something I find interesting. I'm currently trying to break out of that fear. April 3rd: Something Beginning with A Lately, alternative medicine and acupuncture have been on my mind more than usual. I'm currently cranking out a ten page paper on the subject for my English class. I bought this TIME magazine several months ago and never made the time to read it until recently. I'm using two of the articles for my paper. While I've written pages and pages of stories and such before, I've never comprised a research paper so this will be interesting. Wish me luck.:)
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
I...am obsessed with Pinterest! I stumble upon so many lovely, thoughtful, edible, and beautiful images on a daily basis. Typically I feel all inspired and or hungry when spending a little time there. All in moderation though. If there is too much "pinning" then my head starts to spin and that's no fun. The other day I was perusing all the pretty things and noticed a friend pinned this "April Photo-a-Day" action. There is a prompt for every day and seeing as I'm not too skilled with my camera, I thought I'd give it a shot. April 1st: Play This... is our kitchen table. There is a tiny spot across from this brightly colored chaos that is carved out for Jeff but in the meantime, I have exploded it into a work space. Yup. I'm wanting to give my etsy store a shot again. (hence this photography business)I have tons of supplies left over from when I made jewelry on a regular basis. I've combined those things with my love of collage and am curious to see what happens. Currently I've hit a couple of road blocks. I haven't used paint in so long that I have no idea what the rules are when it comes to prepping and finishing. Thank God for Google and YouTube right? Also...glue has been another adventure. I glued some pieces to a couple of Moleskine journals and when I took the green one to work as a test drive, three of the flowers came off. Now I know I'm making something that includes raised objects and it's bouncing around in my cavernous purse all day but c'mon! After only twenty four hours?! I went back to the art store and got some "industrial strength" glue instead of the "jewelry glue" I originally tried. Problem solved! It's been easy to fall into the trap of staring at other people's blogs, etsy stores and seemingly "perfect" lives and then comparing my recent bumbling, inexperienced efforts to their experienced, finished products. Rarely do I come across a blog that talks about and shows the "failures" and "bad days" of making stuff, or even writing. I am recognizing more and more that I need to stay on my own table, create my own mess, keep the comparisons to a minimum and remember that everyone started somewhere.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
I know it's nearly April and the birds are singing, and the sun is out (finally!!!) but... I wanted to share that back in February I ran my second marathon in Jacksonville Florida! My brother's wife Alex ran her first half marathon that day as well! It was fabulously sunny that morning but freezing with the temperature hovering around thirty four degrees. I couldn't feel my feet as I crossed over the start line. After two miles, Alex and I separated. She had hurt her foot a few days before the race and was taking it easy and I...well...I burned out on training six weeks before the race and while I started out feeling good, I didn't feel so great when I finished. (I later discovered through a client's advice that I ran too fast for too long while training which is the fastest way to burnout...) Jacksonville is just as flat as Chicago. Most people luuurve these kinds of races because it enables them to run faster. I however, can't take the monotony of running through the same terrain for 4+ hours. I knew this when I signed up and thought it would be ok, that my adrenaline on the day of would get me through, but nope, after mile ten I was starting to feel the usual pain in my hamstrings and the tightening of my calves. I pretended not to feel anything, turned up my music and kept my pace consistent. I ran passed the ocean, my feet striking hard, wet sand as the wind tore at my face. It was just like being back at home and running along the lake! At mile thirteen, I was slowing down some. I crossed the half way mark a solid fifteen minutes slower than I did in Atlanta. Again, I picked up the pace while my legs continued to remind me of their discomfort. By the time I reached mile sixteen or so I noticed that if I kept the same pace up I'd finish in 4:16 minutes. I couldn't believe it! I had my Garmin watch on, keeping me aware of how far I'd gone and how fast I was going. Trouble started when I reached twenty miles. My legs said no. I kept having to stop and stretch my calves. My pace slowed considerably. I felt deflated and irritated as I continued through miles twenty two, twenty three and twenty four. I just wanted it to be over. At mile twenty five a huge group of spectators were there yelling out to us, cheering us on. I felt a little more energetic and tried running a little faster. As I crossed the finish line at 4:28, the announcer said "Here comes Melissa with a big smile on her face!" That made me laugh as I trotted down the huge pathway after the finish line as spectators cheered. I spotted my mom first, then the rest of my family. Jeff had gone looking for me thinking I had finished at 4:16 and they had missed me. His phone had magically kept track of both Alex and me. Knowing people were at the finish line, especially after being in so much pain for sixteen miles was like taking a giant gulp of the freshest air I'd ever inhaled. Relief, happiness and love filled me up as I hobbled to meet everyone after grabbing a bottle of water, a banana and a medal. I felt proud of both myself and Alex for finishing despite our challenges. In the days leading up to the race... My aunt Nancy made a fabulous dinner for everyone! Patrick and Alex drove Jeff and me around, showing us cute places around where they live. We visited my aunt Cheryl and her birds! Patrick and me in our "matching" sweatshirts I bought from etsy.com. I was supposed to mail it to him before Christmas...oops.:) It was great to see my family, to have Jeff meet everyone and get away for a while. When we returned to Chicago I felt a little displaced and sad that the race and trip were over. I have my sights set on another race now...Anchorage Alaska! I plan to train smarter for that one. We'll see...
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Sometimes I question why I moved to such a freezing state. Where Atlanta is experiencing the beginning of Spring, I'm still pulling on my sleeping bag of a coat and trudging around outside while the wind threatens to tear the skin of my face off. This picture is from outside of our kitchen window at the end of February. The idea of March is such a tease up here. One would think that Spring was just around the corner but no no...The sky has remained that color you see there for months while the temperature has been hovering around freezing. In the meantime I've been bumbling along in school. I'm learning how to write research papers in my English 102 class, and learning basic drawing concepts in my General Drawing class. I'm finding this semester hasn't been as fun as the previous ones, but I'm learning a lot and that's all that matters right? I drew this Chemex,(I love the shape of that thing!)a mug of coffee and a doughnut one day. I'm learning to slow down and not be in such a hurry to complete a drawing since starting this class. We spend three to six hours on the drawings we do in class. I had no idea I was even capable of doing such a thing but here I am! I'm wanting to take more drawing/painting classes and learn to develop my own ideas. I also want to improve my hand/eye coordination. Of course I had to add some glitter. I'm obsessed with Martha Stewart's brand. The employees that work at Blick Art Store in Evanston are starting to recognize me when I come in. I'm constantly needing something for class, or for my own enjoyment. I love looking at all the paper, pens, glitter, kid stuff, and paint. Being innundated with color certainly brightens a dull dreary day.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Back in September I signed up for this project after finding out about it through one of my favorite blogs, www.hellogiggles.com. This company in New York takes these handmade sketchbooks on tour around the country every year. You send them $25 and they send you a lil book with 32 pages for you to fill however you want. When you're done, you mail it back to them by the deadline (Jan 15, 2013) and they get ready to take it on tour in March. The tour is stopping in Chicago (and Atlanta for all you GA folks:)) this summer. I hope to make it down to the Chicago venue this July to see everyone's work!