Weekend do: Break edition

March 30, 2012 § 2 Comments

It’s the weekend and I’m so thankful – thankful for a week of break. I’m hoping to rest, spend some quality time with friends and family, and soak in the days of what it has to offer.

1. Do pick some flowers and collect them in a vase. One thing I love about spring is collecting a little sunshine for the inside.

Pakou Vang

2. Do send a letter or two. Sit outside, in a hammock, by the lake, or sip a hot drink on a rainy day and send some love the postal way.

duskjacket attic

3. Do not make plans.


Happy Weekend!


Midweek Playlist

March 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

This week I’ve been struggling to keep my eyes open, my feet moving, my smile present. I’ve even overslept my alarm and forgotten a lunch. Maybe I’m just antsy for the weather to turn full-fledged summer or maybe I haven’t made enough lists to organize my scattered mind.

In these moments – when neither sun nor list is at hand – I need a song. Or four. Here are a few whose beat and energy get me through my day.

Pickwick started out as an Americana folk band before adding some rhythm and blues for a soul sound.

Django Django – a UK band – is such a mix of electronica, blues, rock, and pop. You never quite know what you’ll get from song to song.

The Love Language from North Carolina has gone through a number of life changes, but they still get their audience up and dancing.

Come on, Wednesday, you can do it.

Disagreeing with the gray

March 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

Today, I am choosing to spell gray with an “a” rather than an “e”. The sky is heavy, the lake melted in gray, and the folks across from me are in shades of gray. Even my nails are a painted a shade of gray.

"On a grey day" by Ursula Abresch

However, gray is not the color of my heart. This past weekend, I woke up and the first thought that came to my mind was that I wanted to go for a walk. So, I called my friend and we took an adventure to the abandoned train tracks near my home, threw rocks off the bridge into the creek below and sucked on popsicles. I spent the afternoon writing at a coffee shop and ended the day with music. It was so not a gray day. In fact, my day seemed more like this…

Photo by Alisa Demidova

Parts of me feel gray like that day. Recently, I shared with a friend that I feel like every year I’m changing – constantly growing and seeing different perspectives. The desire to be black and white seems less and less and so the gray is where I end up being. Gray is where I choose to sit for a while even if it is more challenging. I sit with the questions, the possibilities, and the opportunities.  It seems like a paradox, but as I sit in the gray my core continues to grow deeper and truer. This makes me hopeful.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll spell gray with an “e”.

For now, I leave you with a tune from Rosie Thomas. Go here to stream her latest album.

Dear Readers, be hopeful.

Spring abounds

March 23, 2012 § 2 Comments

I have been away for a while. Now, I write as the new season of spring echos in the background. My windows are open and the birds clearly have a lot to say. They have been away too. Chirp here and chirp there. Oh, a tweedle-little-dee. The other day I sat in backyard as the sun went down to welcome the night and it was so lovely. This is my favorite time of day. Before the sun completely sets it lingers on with pinks, blues, and purples. What a naturally beautiful way to linger – the sun has its way.

Today, I’m currently enamored by…

Sue Paraskeva is a beautiful cermacisit from the UK. Below is a video by Jamie Isbell capturing Paraskeva’s work.

I gasped out loud when I saw the works of Caroline Wright. It’s truly inspiring work.

Mountain Under Sky by Caroline Wright

Kirra Jamison makes we want to dance along to her paintings. Does that sound weird – dancing along to a painting? Oh well, it’s true. Her art moves me.

Slow down, you move too fast by Kirra Jamison

Happy Weekend!

The Unicorn Gets a Puddle!?

March 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today, based on past purchases, Amazon saw fit to tell me that Mo Willems was coming out with a new book, The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?

The outrage and jealousy of Mo’s iconic pigeon protagonist is palpable. Over the course of the day, I coincidentally received several other news on children’s books and illustrations. And because the sun, skirts, and popsicles are making their way out of a long wintry hibernation, it feels right to sit cross-legged on the floor and open up some larger-than-average book with bright colors and plenty of space for imagining. Here are a few:

Author David McKee gives his best tips for how to draw an elephant. (Read the whole story here):

The Bear King illustration by illustrator and fellow blogger Sarah Goodreau is a complete story on its own. I love it!

Author Dallas Clayton’s colorful and joyful pieces are shown in his kid’s book The Awesome Book and his new book of poetry, The Greatest Writer Alive. They are indeed awesome.

And Sam Bradley with the Picture Book Report project (a group of 15 artists who illustrate the books they’re reading) chooses a scene from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book where NoBody Owens meets a friend.

A nod to childhood.

Portrait 96

March 19, 2012 § 3 Comments

When artist Scott Hamilton did Pakou’s Portrait 74 for his 100 Portraits project, he emailed saying he had tried to look for a photo of me or both of us on the blog, but could not find one.  So I sent him a few photos and ended up being Portrait 96.

Another nod to Scott.

“I was growing thin – did it matter?”

March 16, 2012 § 1 Comment

After our last post on erasure poetry, we got a few poems from readers and we are thrilled to share!

From Glenn, a coworker who took great delight in blocking out whole paragraphs of a Christian romance novel by Lori Wick.



From Danny, a friend who fiddled around with a page or two from Tolstoy’s short story, “Family Happiness.”

“Take Me to Find My Heart”

(or read it this way)
I felt uncomfortable to look into that cold death
Intending to move
to take
to confess
to feel
I was young and pretty
I was wasting before the winter
This solitude increased
an extent to leave
Take me to find my heart
What is the best part of life?
I was growing thin. Did it matter?
Life was bound in dreariness
I had no strength to escape
Anxious abroad stood our guardian
When I was like a shadow without a wish,
sent our plans to beg.

From Anna and the cliched book on Africa and youth.

“Like a Boomerang”

A nod to our creative readers.

Where Am I?

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