Monday, April 4, 2011

100 Facts About Me

Stolen idea from Monika :)

1. I have felt a favor from God and a calling from God over my life since I was a little girl, since I could even remember. I have belonged to Him I think my whole life.

2. I don't have ten thousand friends that I am super close too and I don't keep acquaintances or "casual friends" really well, but my few very best friends are everything to me.

3. Most days lately, I really want to make art, but am afraid.

4. My mom has always been my best friend.

5. I actually really enjoy writing and reading literature. I loved my lit classes and creative writing classes in undergrad. There are few things other than art that give me a sense of struggle and then accomplishment like writing a paper on a poem or a piece of literature.

6. Had I not been an art major, I would have chosen to be an English major.

7. I actually was an English major for about a year in undergrad--- because I love the subject yes, but also because I had an awesome professor that believed in me and I really wanted him to be my advisor.

8. I transferred schools 3 times as an undergrad and therefore went to a total of 4 different undergrads.

9. Had I stayed at the first school where I became an English major bc of said professor, I would have stayed in English all the way through and might be entering grad school for English right now.

10. I should have gone to the last undergrad that I attended at the very beginning, but I wouldn't change how things evolved.

11. I have never considered myself or been able to truly call myself an Artist. Mostly because I have never felt worthy of the title.

12. I believe that when I am truly making art, there is a time of lost awareness. When I am not fully "there." Rather, God is present and takes over. I know that sounds very "new age" or even strange. I used to call my good art "happy accidents" because in all honesty, I had no idea how it happened. I would just all of a sudden look and there it was. I now believe that's God. It is when he communes with me on a very personal and intimate level. I believe that all creative minds experience this, but many don't realize that what they experience is divine presence. I believe that God uses this imperfect vessel to paint through.

13. Because of #12, when I am fearful of making art or feeling a sense of artist block, I feel a discord in my relationship with God. Through these times, he is trying to mold me and heal me and allowing me to seek to get back in harmony with Him.

14. I sometimes feel that my thoughts or thought processes or feelings are too new age.

15. Ironically and not entirely but somewhat related, if Christianity never existed, I would want to be new age or following a Native American religion.

16. Native American peoples, cultures, religions, practices, etc have always fascinated me.

17. I can trace when and where #16 began--- I used to watch Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman as a young child.- In fact quite often when I stayed with my grandparents. I always loved the Cheyenne people.

18. I used to pretend that, among other things, I was Native American. I was very excited when I learned that I had Cherokee in my blood through my mom's mom.

19. Dr. Quinn always reminded me of my mom.

20. I always wanted to marry Sully (from Dr. Quinn if you are unfamiliar). I recently began watching the seasons of Dr. Quinn, and am still convinced that Sully is in fact the love of my life. Seriously ;) He epitomizes almost the very man I would want to marry. It's too bad that he is a fictional character.

21. I miss my grandparents (mom's side) and visiting them where they lived in the countryside. It's one of those things that you totally take for granted as a child, even loathing making that looonnngg drive (hey, an hour both ways is pretty long for a 7 year old). But I would give anything to go visit them now.

22. I want to name my first son James after my mom's dad. He was a man of God.

23. I love being able to not only trace my ancestry and heritage, but being able to learn of the spiritual giants that paved the way for the faith that I have today.

24. I don't normally talk about guys that I am interested in because I feel that I sound whiny.

25. But I have to say for the sake of this thing, I find that the only ones that ask me out are the ones I want nothing to do with.

26. Yet I am currently interested in about 3 gentlemen. One, I have never even met in person. And the second, I feel this spark every time our eyes meet but for whatever reason the rest of the time he acts like I don't exist. And the third, I so enjoy spending time with but I don't think we could have a future because we just don't want the same things out of life.

27. I have so many ideas of female figures to paint.

28. I am terrible at following through with a planned background or environment with those figures.

29. I am considering going abstract with my backgrounds.

30. I am both super excited and terribly anxious about starting grad school.

31. I have been a vegetarian for almost 4 years.

32. I am passionate about animals being treated with respect (backlash of the Native American thing? Yeah...) Few things upset me quite as much as learning about animal abuse and inhumane treatment of all animals and modern society's meat greediness and overconsumption.

33. I feel like a terrible Christian sometimes because I should get that passionately upset about the lost and those that do not know Jesus.

34. I feel like God has given us the responsibility to take care of the creation he gave us.

35. I really want to get back into running. I'd like to run a half marathon.

36. I sometimes cough so hard that I get the hiccups.

37. I want to go to the British Isles before I die.

38. I would love to live there also.

39.  I open all of the blinds in the morning because I love natural sunlight. My mom says I inherit this from my grandmother.

40. I hate sleeping in a house alone. If there is a really large dog, then I might be ok. But I'd really rather not at all.

41. I turn on all, and I do mean ALL of the lights in every other room and all of the tvs in the house for the whole night when I have to sleep in a house alone.

42. One day when I get engaged/married I want my ring to be antique style... maybe something from the 20's? Or like from the 1800's? How awesome would that be. I also wouldn't mind terribly if the stone was a color and not just a diamond.

43. I want to have my own kids one day, but I also want to adopt at least once.

44. I believe that God created me to be a mother one day.

45. I sometimes save/keep/collect things for my future kids (books, etc).

46. I love love love looking at illustrations in children's books.

47. I am content with where I am in life right now. I love being a part of what God is doing with my life.

48. My first kiss made me so angry (still does) and completely did not happen by choice.

49. I love going to the theatre and to see musicals and plays, etc.

50. Film scores from movies such as Pride and Prejudice, The Young Victoria, and Little Women are some of my very favorite pieces of music to listen to.

51. My favorite place to eat is a inside of a bookstore in Memphis (Davis Kidd) and is named after one of my favorite classic authors---- Bronte :)

52. I don't think I actually have a favorite food right now....

53. I want to paint and distress/antique my furniture when I have a free week or two this summer.

54. If you are still reading this far, I am totally impressed and proud of you.

55. I fall in love with Mr. Rochester every time I watch Masterpiece Theatre's Jane Eyre.

56. I love my brother and sister very much. I was super close to my brother when we were young and now that my sister is older, we are super close too. ....My brother and I did kinda pick on her a little when we were kids though ;)

57. I planted blueberry and blackberry bushes last year.

58. I planted about six trees in my yard over the years. It is way cool to see a tree grow.

59. My high school art teacher inspired the direction that my life is going right now. I don't know who I would be or what I would be doing right now had she not believed in me. She is now one of my very best friends.

60. I have a spiritual best friend and our friendship is greater and simply more than anything this world could call friendship. I believe God put Monika and I together as friends for reasons and purposes that are truly only of Him.

61. I love to bake. I call myself a pastry chef because I am just that cool.

62. Some days I want to get rid of all of the social media that I am a part of. It distracts me so much from doing what I need to be doing.... i.e. my art.

63. I love having guy friends. They just help my life in ways that your friends that are girls simply can't.

64. I like lattes more than regular coffee. Stronger + flavored = just plain better.

65. White mochas are my favorite at Starbucks right now.

66. I recently really started watching and liking Project Runway. I don't think it has anything to do with fashion, but something about their process and what they create is so artistic.

67. It is for this reason that I also watch America's Next Top Model at times. Do not judge, the makeup and clothing combinations can really be wonderfully artistic. I can do without the unnecessary reality tv drama though.

68. I love being a part of my church. They are wondefully awesome people. And there are so many artists among them too!

69. I am learning to say yes to God daily.

70. God is teaching me to pray and to pray often.

71. I'd rather be at a museum than at the beach.

72. Therefore, I'd rather plan a dream vacation to Europe than to Hawaii

73. If I could marry a man with a Scottish or an Irish accent, I would be willing to compromise on other "seemingly" more important things... ;)

74. I want to study art in Italy.

75. We now have tomato plants at my parents house. Makes me reminisce on my grandparents, on my Papaw's tomatoes.

76. The Price is Right, Peaches, Biscuits, Front Porch Swing, and A Never Ending Sky are all memories I associate with my grandparents.

77. Autumn is my favorite season.

78. I love the fact that scents can arouse memories in such a powerful way.

79. I believe that artists do not hoard. They collect.

80. I would rather drive than ride on a road trip.

81. Peonies are my absolute favorite flower. They are starting to be in bloom this time of year :)

82. I want to take an illustration class.

83. Pre-Raphaelite art and Art Nouveau are my favorites.

84. I love organic shapes in every area of my life.

85. I love my dog and have had her for almost 14 years.

86. I really want to adopt a second dog from the shelter.

87. I am inspired to paint figures by looking through bridal magazines. Some of the best gestures are found in these.

88. I love going to the bookstore, finding a book and sitting a reading for a few hours with a latte.

89. When I enter a room, I'd rather sit or stand somewhere along the edge of the room or by a wall. This has nothing to do with the amount of participation I will contribute but rather with me being able to see and take in everything in the room.

90. I believe that my introversion allows me to be a deeper thinker and feeler.

91. I am going to miss my sister terribly when she goes away to school in the fall, but I am super happy that she will love school.

92. I am rereading Wuthering Heights right now both to help my sister as she reads it in her English class and to get me rereading some of the classics.

93. I have a phobia of most hotel beds, of stairs that have an open gap rather than a wall/plank between each step, and in some situations, I am afraid of the dark.

94. I have a terrible immune system when I am around children (i.e. when I am teaching regularly)

95. PBS is one of my favorite TV stations.

96. I think it would be such cool job to be a part of the art department/team for a film.

97. I also think it would so great to be a part of a wardrobe designing team.

98. One of my favorite paintings that I have done is a study of Boreas by John William Waterhouse.

99. I love who God has created me to be.

100. I know that God is doing something in my life.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Good Things About Today

1. Work was not super stressful as it has been the past few weeks. And the project that I had mentioned in my previous post with the Dr. Seuss book turned out pretty well for my younger students. We got to finally use watercolors, and  I worked on mixing some liquid watercolors for my older students on Thursday.

2. I got to eat lunch with my mom to celebrate both of our birthdays (Mom's was Sunday and mine is Thursday), and we ate at my favorite restaurant, Bronte, a bistro-cafe inside of Davis Kidd. And we had the most amazing bread pudding with pecans for dessert. Yum.

3. I met my best friend's new dog Max, and we took Max and my dog Missy walking in the park and went for ice cream at Chick-fil-a. (And even better Max and Missy got along so well! An amazing feat for my dog.. Yay for new dog friends!)

4. My dad got satellite installed at their house, which I still stay at a good bit of the time. Which means for the first time since Hallmark channel stopped showing it, I watched Dr. Quinn on TV in my room! Yes I do have all of the seasons on dvd, but there is something different about seeing it as it comes on TV :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Many Colored Days

"This is life changing!" Such were the words of my sister after she picked up and read the book, My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss.

This is the book I plan on using to teach my preschool art class tomorrow. "I've never seen this one before... but it just describes everything in life. It all makes so much sense...." I know now, that this lesson is definitely going to be a success. I mean, whether or not by 18 year old sister thinks the lesson is exciting is how I judge the potential of all my preschool art lessons. Seriously.

With my sister, life is never dull :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

What Inspires Me

I just found this Italian artist of the late 19th/early 20th century --- Giovanni Boldini. Boldini belonged to the School of Paris and his portraits flow and show an Impressionistic influence. Such beauty and elegance. Love his work! My very favorite of his is this first one, but all of them are lovely.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Being Sick

Being sick is bad for the following reasons:
1. You're sick, and that's just no fun.
2. You feel terrible.
3. People think you are flaky because you can't do the things you planned in advance to do with them.
4. You lose your appetite (very sad when you love food...)
5. If you don't eat, you get more sick when it's time to take your medicine.
6. Anything you try to force yourself to eat to avoid #5 is now even more unappealing and disgusting than when you were at #4.
7. You can't do anything so you are bored enough to write a list of things you dislike when you are sick.

Please God, let me get well soon! I am tired of this!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Break

And I am sick. Bleh. Apparently my body is finally catching up to all of the stress I put it through the last few weeks, and it is not happy. And it's a yucky rainy day.. I so have good intentions of painting and being a disciplined artist this week now that I have the chance to actually be one. This simply will not do! Maybe if I just rest today then I will be able to paint the rest of the week....

Well, anyway, here's some music for your Monday. It's bright and cheery and will hopefully bring such a day into my life, let's say tomorrow?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

God Always Shows Himself Faithful

After about 3 hours of sleep last night and 4 the night before, I am feeling a little bit scattered and unable to focus this early Saturday morning. I can't complain that I only had that amount of sleep each time because I really needed to be awake for other things when I was. Thursday I spent the day in prayer because of something going on right now in my life, and because of this something, I have been unable to focus completely on other tasks that I need to get done- answering emails, calling people back, etc (things that are normally difficult for me to get done anyway because I get so distracted and such and doing ten other things that I always forget... Let's call that a symptom of a creative mind, ok? Makes me feel better at least :) ....) All of this to say, I have been spending a lot of time in prayer lately because of a mountain that I simply cannot climb, period. This is something that only God can accomplish. But this morning, I am once again just in awe of how God has been setting things up for the last few months so that when I came to this place of need, I would be able to hear his voice. I would know that he is speaking and I would know what he is saying. I have come across so many things that really only made a "fuzzy" amount of sense at the time that I wrote them down, phrases and pages after pages of very specific scripture. At the time I wrote them, like I said, the words made some sense to the current situation, but more often than not, I would sit and be like, "really, God? How does that actually help. Like, ok, I get that. But what about this? What about what I am actually upset/concerned/worried over/requesting a word for now?" But so much makes sense now.... So much.

I have come across another set of such pages that I wrote to myself a time back. I mean, somehow they fit that situation back then, but boy are their purpose crystal clear now. It is overwhelming how much more cohesive as a specific message they are now. Here are some of the things that I wrote down, they bless me infinitely this morning:

On February 5 of this year, I wrote-

From Proverbs,
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge (submit) to him,
   and he will make your paths straight. 3:5&6

Commit to the LORD whatever you do,
   and your plans will succeed.
The LORD works out everything for his own ends. 16:3,4a

 In his heart a man plans his course,
   but the LORD determines his steps.16:9

The lot is cast in the lap,
    but its every decision is from the LORD. 16:33

Many are the plans in a man's heart,
    but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. 19:21

An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning
    will not be blessed at the end. 20:21

...Wait for the LORD
    and He will deliver you. 20:22b

A man's steps are directed by the LORD.
    How then can anyone understand his own way? 20:24

(These are some words that I copied from a sticky note stuck on a page in Proverbs next to the 20:22b verse, the words are from a sermon that I heard through BOTT online back in my first year of college. I listened to this particular preacher everyday- it was one of my places of solace during that time)

What you see as a delay, God permitted for his purpose. God is setting things up. Your destiny is not in people's hands. Focus on the will of God.

You have to stay focused on God until God is ready for you.

Quit trying to come up with your own timeline, thinking things are late. God moves when he wants to move.

Look at what can happen if you turn it over to God and quit washing your nets (reference is to Luke 5). Get ready for your nets to break because of your obedience and humility.

God makes you go through changes so he can show you his power, how magnificent he is- it's not about us.

At the point of futility, you empty of yourself and your own significance and you surrender to God's will.

"For we live by believing and not by seeing." II Cor. 5:7

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Clinging to Christ

I read this from Monika's facebook status, and it brought tears to my eyes. There is no better way to describe where I am. And it's a shame that I'm starting to believe him... And I can't tell what is truth anymore.

"The Charlatan. The Thief attempts to take everything that I have been given. He intends on stealing my hope. Like a monster his urges me into the depths of fear. As he does his best to alter my life and God's work, I close my eyes tight & cling to Christ with all my might."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A picture of my favorite memory

I always loved that since my mom and I have our birthdays just a few days apart, we always got to celebrate together.
I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.
Psalm 130:5

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A picture of something I want to do before I die

This is probably a little odd that I posted a picture of a Celtic Woman concert for this one, because I have been to see them twice already. The difference here is that this is the concert that they record live for the PBS airing, the one that they do in Europe. AND I WANT TO GO!!! I think this one is at Slane Castle. I'm sure that this is somehow connected to me really wanting to go to Europe, but to see them live at one of these while in Europe?!?! PLEASE?!

Words That I Am Living By Right Now

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Monday, February 28, 2011

A picture of the cast from my favorite show

Yes indeed.

Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

Yep, I believe the title sums it up. I am now making cookies to semi-fix today...

The other day we had tornado/thunderstorms and some water from the rain came through one of the doors at the house that I am housesitting at. They have hard wood floors, but I thought, it's ok.. I'm cleaning it up and all will be well. Apparently it either rained again last night or some of the water from the other day soaked through, because today some of the wood has started to buckle/warp. Have I mentioned that while housesitting at another house, the toilet apparently kept running through the night and overflowed into the house, going through the wood floors in the entire living room? Do we notice that I am the common factor here? I think I need a really big cookie. And a latte. Anyone want to volunteer to bring me the latte part?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Random Ramblings

Just thought I'd take a few minutes to write down some thoughts going through my head.

First of all, I love being a part of a church family. I've been thinking a lot about this lately, especially since I just placed membership at Sycamore View (such a "grown up" feeling if I do say so....), a church here in the Memphis area. I've been visiting there for almost 2 years now because I felt so disconnected with the church that I grew up attending. This new family has shown me what the church in its truest purpose is, what the mission of Jesus is and what a family of believers looks like. They aren't interested in numbers, they are interested in discipleship. I am so proud and happy to be a part of this family. Also really cool fact that I'm loving: for some reason, all sorts of creative minds seem to just flock to this church. I can just look around the room and start picking out artists of all types- painters, ceramic artists, art teachers, musicians in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. I think it says something about a church family that an artist can not only feel welcome, but accepted and useful. Wow... think of it... using my gifts for God's glory, and not for a cliche-churchy type project. No, me being.... me.

Ok onto second rambling. I have decided that big groups of people are simply not for me. I mean, I guess I always knew this, but if you really want to get to know me or if you really want to experience the real Jenna, do not hang out around me in a larger group. Let's keep it to 4 or 5 tops. Otherwise, I'm going to be extremely introverted quiet and do the disappear into the background thing. I need small numbers to be able to express who I am and give voice to my opinions, etc. All of you that know me were probably already aware of this fact. I'm just finding it to be true more and more.

Next. I really really really want to take a trip to Europe. Specifically, Ireland and the UK. I think I am really going to start seriously planning such a trip next summer. I have no idea how I am going to go about this. I'm somewhat afraid of going by myself, but I'm not sure of anyone that I could drag along other than my sister that would want to go to these specific places with me. But this is something that I really just have to do.

And finally. I am awaiting answers to my grad school applications. This is producing patience. I honestly have no idea where I am going to be in 6 or 7 months. I'm really having to trust God here.


One of the best scenes... makes me come back to this movie time and time again.

A picture of me and the person I have been closest with the longest

So I think I typically use my sister for this one when I've done this challenge thing before, so this time I shall change things up a little... Technically I've been with my brother the longest anyway :)

Mi Hermano
We were Ghostbusters here. This is what happens when you have an older brother. I do find that my pink snow boots were quite a nice touch. Yeah, we were cool.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A picture of me with ten facts

1. I have watched Pride and Prejudice three times in the last week and am currently watching The Young Victoria.
2. I have an irrational but extremely real fear/phobia of sleeping in a house alone at night.
3. I have a little white fluffy dog that I love very much but as she does not offer a real sense of protection, I am currently considering adopting a second much larger dog of some sort to solve fact #2.
4. I am waiting to hear back from graduate schools about my application to their MFA programs
5. I have learned in the past month that I would rather be happy/sane/not completely stressed out than have money and a steady job.
6. I am working on a few painting compositions that involve mirrors, contemplating all kinds of symbolism in reflections.
7. My "things I want to paint one day" list includes items within my compositions such as a spider web, a masquerade mask, and a cage.
8. Somehow my " style" and the majority of my wardrobe includes articles of clothing that could arguably be considered pieces that look like they are from another era (victorian, regency, the flapper look, hippie, pioneer/frontier/laura ingalls wilder, etc)
9. I really want to have daughters one day and secretly collect/keep things that I want them to have (books, movies, music, artful things, american girl dolls... do not laugh at me...)
10. I have learned that it's ok to not know or be able to map out every detail of your future. God will handle tomorrow.

30 Day Photo Challenge

Another 30 day challenge? I think yes! Thanks Kristina! :)

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with ten facts
Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest
Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show
Day 04 - A picture of something you want to do before you die
Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory
Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day
Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item
Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh
Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most
Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the most crazy things with
Day 11 - A picture of something you hate
Day 12 - A picture of something you love
Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist
Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without
Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die
Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you
Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently
Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity
Day 19 - A picture and a letter
Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel
Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget
Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at
Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book
Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change
Day 25 - A picture of your day
Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you
Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member
Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of
Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile
Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss

Sunday, February 13, 2011

You'll never know love unless you surrender to it

I couldn't find a video for this scene but I really wanted to share it. This is from Fools Rush In. I actually just saw this movie for the first time tonight, I don't know why I've never watched it before. This scene between Isabel and her great grandmother very much spoke to me:

"-Nanita it was the right thing to do.

-It is not your faith that has betrayed you. It is your fear.

-I got lost... That's all. But now I make my own decisions.

-How selfish you are. To presume you know better than love.

-Nanita. He never would have left if he knew I was still pregnant. He wanted to go. I let him off the hook.

-No. You let yourself off the hook. You denied your heart and lied to the man you love. Why?

-...Because I had to. If I didn't leave him, he would have left me. I really don't think I could have handled that.

-Isa, You will never know love unless you surrender to it."

Friday, February 11, 2011

John Rzeznik, you've done it again

Some of the lyrics to this song... they just really hit me. Hard.

"Let Love In"

You wait, wanting this world

To let you in
And you stand there
A frozen light
In dark and empty streets
You smile hiding behind
A God-given face
But I know you're so much more
Everything they ignore
Is all that I need to see

You're the only one I ever believed in

The answer that could never be found
The moment you decided to let love in
Now I'm banging on the door of an angel
The end of fear is where we begin
The moment we decided to let love in


I wish
Wishing for you to find your way
And I'll hold on for all you need
That's all we need to say
I'll take my chances while
You take your time with
This game you play
But I can't control your soul
You need to let me know
You leaving or you gonna stay

You're the only one I ever believed in

The answer that could never be found
The moment you decided to let love in
Now I'm banging on the door of an angel
The end of fear is where we begin
The moment we decided to let love in

There's nothing we can do about

The things we have to do without
The only way to feel again
Is let love in

There's nothing we can do about

The things we have to live without
The only way to see again
Is let love in

You're the only one I ever believed in

The answer that could never be found
The moment you decided to let love in
Now I'm banging on the door of an angel
The end of fear is where we begin
The moment we decided to let love in

Ahh the Fifties!

I don't normally do swimming or bathing suits or the beach or any such thing (Irish fair skin = major sun burn)... I prefer the cool and cold weather months myself. BUT, for this swimsuit, I do believe I could make an exception. I would actually adore wearing this! It is gorgeous! Hmmm... maybe I can think of something summery that I could attend or do or go to just for this....
Aghhh, modcloth! I have GOT to stop going to your site....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

From a friend

Found this on a friend's blog and stole it:

With thoughtlessness and impatient hands,
We tangle up the plans the Lord hath wrought.
And when we cry in pain, He says,
"Be quiet, My child, while I untie the knot."

Victorian Beauty

I now own this. Be jealous. Be very jealous. ;) Isn't it so romantically victorian lovely?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Where the Literary and the Visual Collide

Arghh! I am having a serious 90's flashback problem.... Something just really struck a chord with me last week when I listened to Slide by the Goo Goo Dolls. I have NO idea what happened, but apparently it was quite epic. And I do apologize to you if you are still somehow managing to read my blog even with all of these references to this band. Truly, I have no idea why this is occurring.... it's like some strange addiction, and I can't stop listening to them. What's worse is that I watch the videos to the songs on youtube and am strangely intrigued. Then, out of more curiosity, I go and research some of the meanings of the songs. For example, I was very curious about Black Balloon. It is just stuffed full of imagery and metaphor, and I had to know the story behind the song. I had a feeling it had something to do with drugs or another kind of addiction... apparently a lover's (or one of the guy's wives) had a heroin addiction and overdosed. Or supposedly, to quote wikipedia quoting Rzeznik, the song talks about "seeing someone you love that is so great just screw up so bad." And this is so bad, but the heroin overdose/seeing a loved one screw up take on the meaning only makes this song and its imagery more intriguing to me. Is that weird?? Yeah, probably. I feel like I did in my Modern Art in America class that I took as an undergrad. We talked A LOT about the 60's and about Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick and the drug scene. All about the influences on art from lifetsyles and the newfound "freedom" of that time period. Don't get me wrong, I have no desire to be a part of that whatsoever. But as weird as it sounds, it's just oddly and disturbingly interesting to watch/hear/learn about these people and their lifestyles.... The sadness is intriguing? There's really no way to say that without sounding really off. Ok, how about this-- something about how this era and these lifestyles influenced art is incredibly intriguing. I am the first one to tell you that I greatly dislike modern art. I think it is incredibly just screwed up in it's aim and method. BUT, for some reason, the connection and expression that people are able to find through artwork (and all that goes with it, i.e. symbolism, metaphor, imagery) is incredibly interesting to me. How someone can come up with a certain metaphor or analogy or symbol is just the coolest thing to me. I think that might be because I'm not as good at making up such things, rather I love to put a visual spin on it- let you the viewer see what my mind sees when I hear or read such a metaphor. So, to bring us back to Black Balloon (wow, we just danced all around modern art didn't we? something about drugs is most likely the cause... haha)-- phrases like the following are way cool to me, especially in light of their meaning and then the visual choices from the music video, crazy cool. Think about each separately as its own thought within its symbols and meanings and as a metaphor and such. So intriguing.

Baby's black balloon makes her fly

I almost fell into that hole in your life

You were the same as me, But on your knees

I saw the world spin beneath you

And scatter like ice from the spoon
That was your womb

That swallowed the light from the sun
Inside your room

And I go on as you get colder

Are you someone's prayer

And I'll go and lead you home and
And I'll become
What you became to me

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Sweetest Sadness in Your Eyes

While this does not go along with the theme for my Monday Music choices that I decided on last week, I listened to this song (and this artist for that matter) for the first time today. This choice was too good to pass on and there is a sweet sadness in this song that really fits where I am right now... Maybe not exactly over what she describes but the loss and the change and the unknown and the empty haunted sighs are still there.

All my fears have pushed you out

Isn't it ironic, or perhaps really cool, how God will use whatever it takes to reach us. Some lyrics from a song I was listening to (in my crazy goo goo dolls daze earlier today):

Stranger than your sympathy
And this is my apology
I killed myself from the inside out
And all my fears have pushed you out

And I wished for things that I don’t need
(all I wanted)
And what I chased won’t set me free
(all I wanted)
And I get scared but I’m not crawlin’ on my knees

Oh, yeah
Everything’s all wrong, yeah
Everything’s all wrong, yeah
Where the hell did I think I was? 

And stranger than your sympathy
Take these things, so I don’t feel
I’m killing myself from the inside out
And now my head’s been filled with doubt

We’re taught to lead the life you choose
(all I wanted)
You know your love’s run out on you
(all I wanted)
And you can’t see when all your dreams aren’t coming true

(Sympathy, Goo Goo Dolls from Gutterflower (Enh'd))

I couldn't see that I was sabotaging myself. My fears of rejection and hurt became lord over my life. And I pushed everything that resembled what I truly wanted out. I try so hard not to fail. I try so hard to get everything exactly right, because I thought that was the best way to avoid pain. But in my search for perfection, I messed up anyway... or even more so. I think God just wants us to live. To obey his commands and to surrender to his will, yes, but to also live. He promises he will direct our steps. Why am I trying so hard to convince myself that what I want must be not at all what God wants, simply because it's of me? Why can't it be that my desires become his desires when I seek to be in the center of his will? And even though I know all of this, especially that my fears have been ruling over me, how can I still doubt? It's like as soon as I move forward, satan throws whatever he can at me to try and halt my progress. I want to want God more than anything... but I feel that satan may try to be using this against me. Unless I know that this is what God wants from me, I feel  forbidden to want it. But didn't I just get through figuring out that He directs my steps if my heart is willing? God, may I know you more... may I know and draw close to your heart.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I saw the world spin beneath you

I'm not sure why the sudden obsession with the Goo Goo Dolls... It's like listening to one song that I hadn't heard in forever caused a domino effect of a need to listen to every song by them, only furthering my appreciation for this music (and for the beauty that is John Rzeznik ♥) Love, love, love this one...

My Saturday Morning

consisted of the following:
I enjoy my life :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

Little Pieces of the Nothing That Fall

I'm not so sure when this became a music blog (haha, I feel like my friend Monika!), but I do like getting to "re-enjoy" certain music that I was afraid to officially "like" when it was new or semi-popular. People that liked said music were "those people." Haha.
But I totally love the Goo Goo Dolls ♥... always did :) Yesterday, Monika and I definitely rocked out to a fantastic collection of varying music while doing some cooking, and a series of songs by the Goo Goo Dolls, including this selection, was included.

Kinda makes you all giggly-girl and swoon-like, yes?

What's a Girl to Do?

I really really dislike writing blog posts or posting anything at all anywhere on this subject matter. I hate broadcasting this portion of my life to the world. I'm starting to type this post and I'm not sure I will even post it. I might just keep it among the drafts, but I need to work through what I am feeling and currently, there seems no better way. My friend has been giving me some advice in a situation where I feel unsure about what God is telling me or asking me to do. It seems the only answer that I get from God is, "you're not listening to me" or "I already told you, and still, you're not listening to me." My friend tells me that in this situation, I should embrace what I am feeling- a feeling of very much being uncomfortable. Uncomfortable in not knowing what is going to happen, uncomfortable in fearing the worst, uncomfortable in accepting that my fears could actually be true. Just embrace what that feels like for a bit, and I will begin to see that my over analyzing thoughts are just that- irrational and overthought. And I do begin to see the irrationality of my thinking, but I guess I am so frustrated because this has slowly evolved into a situation that I can literally do nothing about. I hate relinquishing control. But really, I think I'm just coming to realize that I never had it. Not here anyway. And I search and search for something that I can control until I have warped and manipulated the only thing I could: myself. Why is it so hard to just be myself? Just be? I always think that I'm being me, but I look back and I never am. If I feel like I should try to be someone's friend, I will make myself outgoing or try to impress them. I can't just be me. I feel like "me" won't get noticed because I am too quiet, and I fade into the background. Noone wants a part of that. This is especially awful when the person you were trying to befriend and "impress" turns out to have so much in common with the real you. Now how do you redeem that situation??

But I have noticed a theme here. It's always about me. Never about the other person or others. So I find myself so worried and analyzing and focused on me that I can't actually relax and be me and let God handle the rest. I want to show God I have faith, I don't want to disappoint him. Faith without deeds is dead afterall, and I refuse to be a part of that. I also refuse to live my life "waiting" and then look back and question God, asking why did things turn out this way, only to have him reply because you didn't do anything to make it otherwise. Waiting is too "easy." You didn't do your part. You didn't act.

So I ask, what's a girl to do? I want so badly to just be myself and leave the rest to God. I want so badly to believe my fears are irrational. And I want so badly to believe that God will handle what I can't, that he will take over, that he will cover my messes and my misses and my lack of trying and lack of action. Simply, my lack of not at all knowing what to do.

God, I am trying to hear what I am apparently still not hearing. I am trying to listen. What should I do? And can you help me to just be me?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oh, Psychology

My friend and I were recently discussing why it is that we react to situations so differently... Mainly because she is extroverted and I am introverted. This has inspired a list of commonly misunderstood happenings in the life of an introverted person.

Ways You Can Help Your Favorite Introvert:

1. (Hopefully this will be the only rant-like sounding point, and hopefully it won't be that rant-like at all... I don't enjoy yelling at people...) Understand that Introversion and Shyness are not the same. Whilst one might often accompany the other, introversion vs. extroversion is really about how your brain takes in information about the world and where you obtain energy. Example: extroverts are energized by being in loud environments with lots of people. Introverts are energized from being by themselves. The opposites for each, drain them of energy. Someone that is introverted may love to be around people but this sucks the energy from them and the just need a moment to themselves to regroup. It all involves the path through the brain that information takes. To oversimplify, the pathway is longer/hits more emotion centers/etc in an introverted brain. The pathway is pretty direct through an extroverted brain (hence why they need more to stimulate their brains, i.e. noise, people, crazy feats, etc) The introverted brain has enough stimulation pretty much already.
Ok, I'm done with the psychology portion of this post, hope you aren't too bored with the random outpouring of information :) Can you tell I really like personality psychology?

2. We dislike mixers. They are stupid. Please refrain from ever doing them in a small group setting. Lol. And by mixers, I am referring to that question that someone asks at the beginning of a group meeting together to get people talking or get things going and then the group goes around the circle or room, and everyone has to give their answer. We are being forced to come up not only with an answer, but one that impresses. No, just don't do this. This will ease our apprehension that already exists in trying to figure out what all is going on while taking in mountains of information that wears us out. The reason we dislike mixers is number 3.

3. We cannot think of anything to say until like an hour after the fact. Yes, quite true. I think it really has to do with our brain being in overload and processing all of the people, what they are saying, how do I appear, what is the dynamic of this group, etc, and on and on and on. There is simply too much going on in my head and I cannot think of anything to say.

4. We are not snobby. Again, I cannot think of anything to say. It's not that I don't want to say anything, I really really want to! Please don't take my silence as me thinking I am better than you. Furthermore, if I can think of something to say, I am not quite convinced that it will actually add anything to the group. In fact, I may have a great idea. I may be an expert on the subject. But I probably won't say anything. A) because as soon as I open my mouth to say anything, it definitely does not sound right. B) because I would just prefer that we all write everything down instead. Can we make that happen? I write 10x better anyway... Yes? Possibly? Ok, well it was a suggestion...

5. Read this book: The Introvert Advantage. It explains things way better than I can. And even if you are not an introvert, you will go, AHA! I understand "so and so" now! That makes perfect sense!


Are You or Not?

Had to post this video... I was just introduced to this group and this song- wow, punk-ish country?? Really? That is AWESOME. And furthermore, regarding the content of the song, I'm pretty sure that that's just the way it's gotta be. Sometimes, it seems, the girl has just gotta step up and get things rolling. Yes? Maybe? Ok, well it sure feels that way :) I'm not advocating that a woman pursue, but seriously gentlemen, do something. Haha. I don't normally write posts on this subject matter, but this song was just too good. Regardless of your opinion, enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

Musically speaking of course. I can't seem to get away from certain music that I love but normally would never admit in public to listening to. I'm sure we all have those... :) But lately, Monika has been encouraging the non-conforming musical side of me to come out of hiding... So the next few music posts that I do are going to be those guilty pleasures and oh-so-embarrassing picks. But you know, I think we really start getting to know each other once we dig deep enough to see stuff like this. I have two for today. Completely different genres. The first is pretty much one of those that you should be ashamed to tell people, haha. Harkens back to my jr. high days I believe... The second is actually a popular song right now, at least I think. I don't normally listen to the popular radio stations or check out what the "in" bands and music are right now, so I feel somewhat silly that I actually like a song that is well-liked right now. But I just love love love this song. Like I think it's a modern day swoon song... pretty much any guy could get me just with this song. And both of these choices are just too good to pass up... I won' tell if you won't ;)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Paper Kites

Can you believe it? I actually managed to complete a color pencil piece!
The title is Paper Kites from a name commonly used for this type of butterfly (Idea leuconoe).
What do you think? 

Planning Ahead

Attention all those looking for a gift for my birthday (in March lol).
That is all.

A Beautiful Sunny Saturday

Today was so wonderful. After it being so cold and dreary and rainy here for the last few days, today was perfect and bright and sunny and a surprising-for-january 70 degrees. So Monika and I took full advantage of the day until she had to go to work. We went to the Brooks to see the Book Binding exhibit and the Scholastics exhibit with some wonderful friends from our bible study group. Being at the Brooks is always so refreshing. Like just stepping out of the world for a moment and getting lost in the stories and histories and characters of the art. And seeing such wonderful pieces of art by high school students in the Scholastics exhibit is quite motivating.. I need to start putting the time and effort into my work that it deserves.

We also went to Starbucks and sat outside with some lattes.

Iced Caramel Macchiato and White Chocolate Mocha. Yum.

Such a good day!  And we spent some time goofing off taking pictures (because yes we are just that cool, see pictures below)

See. Because we are just that awesome.

And this weekend is also wonderful because my sister and Monika are staying over with me. Here is a typical night with Bekah over....


Gibson's much?

We have too much fun in our cold weather accessories.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Orchard House

I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle-something heroic, or wonderful-that won't be forgotten after I'm dead. I don't know what, but I'm on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all, some day.  -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

I love love love this soundtrack from Little Women. I can listen to this music over and over. Also really great music to paint to :) Orchard House is so beautiful and full of charm and magic. It feels so classic and expectant and lovely. I think I have also decided that Little Women is going to be part of the Reading Contentment Challenge that I am joining in this year. It is such a wonderful book that deserves to be reread and reread.

And, further regarding the soundtrack.... I kind of want to one day walk down the aisle to Orchard House and leave to Under the Umbrella. Is that a little crazy? I'm pretty sure that this fact should say something significant about my personality :)
Anyway, my music of choice for today is Orchard House from the Little Women Soundtrack. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

But There Is The Dream of Someone Else

Of course from the title you must have guessed that I happen to be watching one of the best classic-favorite movies...
 One of the best quotes of the movie. Alongside...
"-Don't cry ShopGirl.
-I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly."

*Sigh* Classic. That is all. No other purpose for this post. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Musical Monday (or Tuesday)

Yeah. Tuesday, again. But this time, I think I have a really great excuse. Snow is a wonderfully beautiful excuse. As is spending the day drinking something warm in a coffee cup sitting inside watching it through the window. As is venturing outside a few times to play in it and gather enough for snow cream. As is admiring a magical part of God's creation that literally makes you stop and be in awe at his creativity. I need something whimsical and fantastical and lovely in honor of the snow for this week's musical choice.
Unfortunately this artist has no videos that I can find anywhere to use in this post so you will have to trust me when I say that you should definitely click on this link and go listen to these two songs. Or any other piece by this group. It is some of the best music to listen to when you want to inspire your creativity. I will probably, at some point, post about every song on their album. But here are today's Music choices (Be sure to click and go to the site and then listen!):

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!

So magical. Peaceful and quiet and lovely.

 My dog enjoyed the snow too... When she wasn't sinking in it :)

I think she wore herself out...
And I made snow cream!
It started melting after I added sprinkles.
You'll have to forgive all of the over excitement. We never get snow here, and I am loving the winter wonderland!