Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vintage, Vintage, Glorious Vintage

So I know over the weekend I had a bit of a blogging lapse. But the time was well spent, I can assure you. James and I went searching the area for the finest, quirkiest, most beautifully eccentric vintage we could. And we did not come home empty-handed. I can't wait to show you what we found. (Due to some technical difficulties it may be a few days before I can give you a decent preview.) It will be hard to part with a single one of these finds.

Turn It On Around, Mama

Sometimes being a mama gets overwhelming. There's so much going on and the constant interruptions when I'm trying to get a thing done and somebody needing me. I feel worn out by 9am. And the first nap isn't until 9:30! Well, I was definitely feeling like that today.

Beatrice has reached a very challenging stage. Sometimes I think she is testing every boundary to see how far she can push me. But mostly, I think she is just really wonderstruck by this crazy, huge world that is new to her in almost every way.

There are so many things she doesn't understand yet and so she gets in trouble for not even realizing what she did was wrong. (For example, I'll put Ambrose on the floor and a few minutes later I might move him from sitting to lying on his tummy so he can get around. All she knows is that he got moved by a bigger person. So why can't she just knock him around any old way she might want him to be?)

So the day was going fussily along and I was ready to sell at least one kid. But I took a step back and decided to turn the day around. I stuck Bea in the bath (her favorite place, and good thing because she always needs one) and Ambrose in his excersaucer.

I moved furniture and folded/put away/organized laundry. I sang and made my babies laugh. I read them stories and cuddled them. I chased them and tickled them. Then, I gave them naps.

While they were napping, I found this inspiring blog post and decided that when Daddy got home and after dinner, we would go downtown to play in the fountains. We did it and it was so much fun. I think we will go all summer long! Came home and barely had time to get them out of the bath and jammified before they were long gone to dream-land.

Tired as I was by 8pm, this mama still forced her butt to the gym. Because now that my beautiful yellow swimsuit is here? I'm going to be a more dedicated gym member. At least for the butt machines.

Style Obsession: Vintage Bouffant

Yeah, I know I have super short hair... but I love that vintage bouffant look! It is best when paired with fake eyelashes and a bombshell physique, IMHO.

Bunny Yeager

Bridget Bardot

Need I say more? Oh, wait. Let's not forget Joan:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Please Help Me!

Help me decide which suit to go with this year!! I've narrowed it down to these two (I think). James votes for the yellow one, in case you wondered.

Seriously, which one!??


This website makes me cry: The Burning House. I saw it on free people this morning and had to check it out. Did you lie awake as a kid thinking about what you would grab if your house was on fire? I think everybody must have. I had plans for how to get my 2 sisters and 5 brothers out.

I would run into Isobel's room and wake her. Drag her to the nursery, alerting the boys on the way. Put Emma in Isobel's arms and Raleigh in Hudson's. I would make them all go ahead of me down the stairs so I could make sure nobody got left behind. And we'd all yell for Mama and Daddy. Once we got outside and well away from the house, I'd count. Mama, Daddy, Isobel, Hudson, Cooper, Reuben, Justus, Raleigh, Emma.

But if the stairs were aflame, I had a Plan B. Wake Isobel and go straight to the nursery. Grab the babies and go to the boy's room. Their window isn't super high so we'd be able to make it to the ground, probably with not more than a sprained ankle here and there. Once I got all the kids away from the house, I'd smash through one of Mama's and Daddy's windows and wake them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


This week I have felt pretty hemmed in. I've been stranded because we have one car and James usually drives it to work. The kids and I have plenty to do, but sometimes all the activities run together in the endless-endless of mamahood.

But today was better. I made a list. I get so much more done and end the day with a sense of accomplishment when I go by a list. And I find that I do a lot more than I set out to do because a schedule makes time. Out of thin air.

My list had some revisions through the day, but it basically went like this:

I got a bit side-tracked in the afternoon when Lucy and Isobel came over. They saw that I only had 1 chapter left in the last HP book and offered to watch the kids while I got through. I needed that! AND Isobel made cookies!!

As always, there were random chunks of time throughout the day when I was on the floor being silly with my babies. :)

My Little Supermodel!

I love this little girl to pieces, especially when she hams it up!

Just listed this pretty little shirt in my shop.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Blast from...

Farview? Okay, I used to listen to this band Elf Power all day every day back when we lived at Fairview. Oh, yes, those days. The ones filled with Extreme Sleep Syndrome. The nights of music, music, music. I got pretty darn good at bass.

Today, I listened to one of my favorite albums from that time. Now?... It seems a lot more lo-fi than I remember. But that's not bad! My first three albums were incredibly lo-fi.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fancy Treehouse

I just found this blog, Fancy Treehouse. She has an adorable furry companion and she wears adorable clothes and her hair is it. How perfect, right? Ahh, I love to find eye candy. Especially after a day as full of spit-up, dirty laundry and fussiness as this. (Who knew there was a wrong side of the crib?) I digress. Let us continue with the original subject, Fancy Treehouse. Here:

Just so you know, I wore sweatpants this morning and -when the heat of mid-day made a change absolutely necessary- I changed into boxers. A t-shirt on top. Shoes, none. Beatrice wore a striped tank-top with polka dotted undies and Am wore a faded green onesie.

If you are wondering why things are falling apart around here, I can explain.... I am reading the Harry Potter series. Well, I read the first four years ago, but now I am finally finishing. The 7th book is where I am and it is all I can do to feed my family once every 5 or 6 hours.

Is this how it was for you?? Be honest.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

hey dj
love the way
i lose my inhibitions when you spin

i don't care
if people stare
i'd rather boogie than try to fit in

Thursday, May 19, 2011

This is what I look like... today.

Just being honest. I've borrowed hot curlers from my little sis and hope to get a laugh from Beatrice when she wakes up...

(Notice the dreadfully bare wall behind me? The landlord forbids nail holes and bright paint. )

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Really Cute Giveaway

I ought to just do a giveaway round-up and maybe I will later. But seriously, this one is too good to not enter. Check it out:

This is over on the One Sheepish Girl blog and features a sweet nautical fox pendant by Mariet Vosloo.

Just click the link above and comment away!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How Do You Wear Your Scarf?


My Life, an outline

I. Family

        A. Husband, James
1. Hot
3. Tax preparer

        B. Daughter, Beatrice
1. Two years old
2. Potty training
3. Wild, but sweet

  C. Son, Ambrose
1. Infant
2. Teething
3. Cuddly

II. Pleasure

        A. Company
1. Friends, Siblings, etc.
2. Wine
3. Woodshedding*

  B. Painting/Drawing
1. Acrylic on Wood
2. Geometric
3. Geisha

  C. Sewing
1. Clothing
2. Original patterns

III. Work

  A. Tax Preparation
1. Seasonal
2. Long-term job security

  B. Vintage Clothing
1. Thrifting
              2. Etsy
3. Blog

*Woodshedding: playing music with James, etc. Usually in the shed out back.

Also, major daily/weekly things I can't live without include talking to Mama, who comes by a few morning each week, and church. We are raising the children Christian which means I am teaching Beatrice Bible stories and how to say her prayers and right from wrong and how that applies to Every Minute Of Her Day and always reminding her that Jesus loves her!

If you make an outline of your life, please let me know. I think it is a very concise but effective way to convey a lot of information.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cute Weekend

Tonight, we have an appointment at Sears for the kids' pictures... But do we really need to put ourselves through that? This weekend brought in a pretty good array of pix---

Sweet Ambrose was seen modeling vintage for his mama:

And also chilling on the sofa.

But I kind of can't resist those awkward studio portraits, you know?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mini Moog and Make-up on a Muggy Day

I know $95 for a pillow seems steep, but for a Moog? That's a deal. I wish I could get this for James.


James was interviewed for an article in the paper last week and we went down to the paper's studio yesterday so they could get a professional picture. It was fun and the kids were great. James looked really hot, so I can't wait 'til the article runs!! 

The only problem was that the weather here has gotten super muggy and we didn't realize how nasty it was out there until after we found ourselves navigating the crowded streets of downtown in jeans and, in my case, make-up. 

Do you wear foundation in summer? I usually skip it because I like to be able to wipe my face if I get super hot and wiping off or smearing make-up is yucky. But yesterday...

However, I gotta say, after all the positive feedback concerning my freckles/moles, I have been a lot more confident going out without any makeup except some mascara. 

So--- thank you readers who comment!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Even though we girls know the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is nothing more than a Hollywood fabricated fantasy for gloomy boys, I kinda think we all have a little piece of us that wants to be one. Is it just me?

The girl who is so cute you can hardly stand it; she's contagiously fun and funny; her smile washes away all your anxiety and self-doubt; she's so spontaneous you just about lose your balance; just being around her makes you a better person.

And she's usually crazy and quirky in varying degrees...

You know, like Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown

 and Natalie Portman in Garden State

 Zooey Deschanel in Gigantic

Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine

Come on, who are some more?

The thing is she isn't real. And it's a good thing. Can you imagine living in a manic state? Always on, always operating on all cylinders, in an extreme state of exuberance. I need some down-time just thinking about it!

I think it would be fun to make a movie about a manic pixie dream boy. You take a girl who is grumpy, gloomy and at a total dead end job. Introduce a fresh young face, full of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent, if you will. Add a section of major self-doubt. Voila! A movie. Hopefully a blockbuster.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stress Relief

Have you been following Moorea Seal's series called Paint Your Love? It is so important to remember who you are and why you are on the path you have chosen! This world is full of so many distractions that we can easily lose sight of our own "Journey to the East" as James and I call it. (helpful hint: The distractions are a test of faith.)

I want to share with you a list of activities I find comforting, that help me feel like myself again after a long day or stressful week, or even if I get a few minutes when the kids are asleep. The ones that I am able to do most often are at the top of the list ranging down to the ones on the bottom of the list that are rarely feasible. These may seem like really silly, simple, not-deep-at-all things, but they mean a lot to me.

Comfort Activities, or Things To Do When It's All Too Much

1. Settle down with a book, google reader or bloglovin. I only read books and follow blogs that I really love and that truly inspire me. It is nice to get away from my own world and be a part of what someone else shares or creates. It is an easy activity because it just takes a little bit of down time-- and the kids give me that during naps. :)

2. Take a bath/shave my legs. I know a lot of girls like to shave their legs in the shower, do it quickly and get it over with. Not me. I like to slip into a hot bath and take my time. Being a woman is such a gift and I want to enjoy the simple pleasures associated with it! I might feel differently if I had to deal with a period every month like most girls.*

3. Go to the gym. I love my gym!!! I don't go every night, but I try to get in there 4 or 5 times a week. There's nothing like a good workout and a terribly hot sauna to wash away a day of teething and terrible twos!!

4. Paint my nails. Explanation unnecessary.

5. Go thrifting. But only if it is sans kids. It is a chance to get out of the house and be in my own mind. I like to search for vintage items that speak to my personal aesthetic.

6. Sip a glass of wine and talk it all out. Red wine, please. Merlot or Shiraz. James and I in our new home filling each other in on our days. The kids asleep and the chores done. Ah, domestic bliss.

7. Lie in the sun and do nothing. I think everybody did this as a kid, so it will always have a magical pull. You are warmed by the sun all over your face and you reflect. So simple.

8. Watch a movie with James. We like to make it an event with jiffy-pop and a symphony bar to share. Sometimes we even get a coke and pour it over ice. There's usually a lot to do in the evenings, so we actually rarely watch movies.

9. Watch a simple natural phenomenon, like smoke or water in a stream or embers burning. I love to get lost in these things. When I first wrote it on my list, it just said, "watch something burn" which got James a little worried, I think. But seriously, have you ever laid down on a bridge over a creek or on the bank and watched the water dance over the rocks? It is incredibly beautiful. And it is free.

10. Go for a walk in the woods without a trail. It makes me sad that this has to be on the bottom of the list because I love to do this more than just about anything in the world. But I live in a small city. I feel like a trail takes a lot away from the experience because you aren't really in it, you know? When you go off-trail, you become much more aware of your surroundings. In a wonderful way.

(Bonus Entry: Rock out on-stage behind my viola bass guitar with a crowd of people dancing!!!)


*I apologize if there are any dudes reading this who are made uncomfortable by my mention of distinctly feminine issues.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Honesty, a confession

I am very self-conscious about all the freckles/moles on my face. They aren't the cute, light-orange ones like ginger people have, they are dark and irregular and hard to cover up. But after watching Mean Girls and wishing Lindsay Lohan would turn it out instead of wearing so much make-up, I decided to show you the honest, unedited version of the photo of myself that I included in my post earlier.

Inspiration - Gymspiration

I am so inspired by the crazy teal color that fills our athletic club. There is also a great pink, but I couldn't get it to show up right in pictures. When I say inspired, I mean I've done a number of paintings based on the glory of this color and the geometric lines and shapes I've gotten used to seeing. It's nice to have paintings around the house reminding me to work out. :)

And that's only the ladies locker room. Thankfully, this athletic club retains the original style of the late 70s/early 80s. The machines have been updated (and the entrance/surveillance systems!), but not the colors. I am in love with the pinks and teals and yellows along side woodgrains, metallics and huge mirrors. An added bonus is how nice all the other members are!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day!

I forgot it was Mother's Day until I was listening to NPR on the way to church this morning. My own mama had to work. Well, I shouldn't say had to-- she chooses to work and she loves her job.

James didn't forget and since the kids are too little to know or care, he took over and got me the awesomest gift possible in the whole world ever:

My very own macbook pro! Because I am going to school for Graphic Design. James is so sweet!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

7 Months Old

Amby played Elton John today is Bea's sunglasses...

He is going everywhere-- not exactly crawling, just scooching along. He doesn't like baby food, but he loves big people food. He screams to get his way, but mostly he is happy and adorable. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Goals for 2011

We're not to the half-way point yet, but I want to go ahead and touch base with my goals for this year. I wrote them down in this post.

1. do 12 paintings. I've got 7 completed and 1 in progress. All are acrylic on wood except one small oil painting. I've gotten to the point where painting is therapeutic and cathartic (rather than intimidating as it was as a student I guess). My style has developed, too. I feel like my paintings represent who I am more now that ever!

2. exhibit artwork. Although I still aim for a solo show at a local gallery, having my Geisha painting on display for the month of April at O-CHA was really cool and kind of a big deal to me. I'm really excited to have a second painting there as well.

3. create unique look for each family member. Nothing to report. I totally have not been sewing lately.

4. make drawing a habit. This is one that I should really work on...

5. do fun photoshoots with James. James has taken pictures of me, but we haven't had any amazing nights of pictures like I have in mind...

6. start drawing club. See number 4.

7. make music video for Rewind (a cool song by Jake Xingu). If I were writing this blog from James' computer where I have the images stored, I could impress you with my amazing psychedelic felt landscapes. Oh, well. Whatever.

8. release Darger Pop 1-9 Live. Yesssss! I had a breakthrough idea for this today. Good thing I have the rest of the year to make it happen!

9. complete Robert and Lindsay's quilt . DONE.

10. do album art for James. James, let's consult.

11. start vintage clothing line. Done and fun!! Click the link to my etsy store to your left.

So I haven't completely bombed, right? Besides, those are only my creative goals. Family goals like teaching Bea her ABCs and potty training are right on track and I'm going to the gym regularly enough. So is James. 

This has been our busiest year yet with kids, work and school. So I'm pretty happy with this almost-mid-year assessment!

How are you keeping up with your goals for this year? Any you've changed your mind about?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Transfer Preview Day

Today I went to the university where I plan to finish my degree (in Graphic Design) and learned about the transfer process (as if I don't already know). My original plan was to attend every higher education institution in this state, but I think I will stop at four afterall. It won't be easy to finish at this particular one, but hopefully it won't be quite as B.S. infused as the school in the movie Art School Confidential (which must have been modeled after College of Charleston's art department).

This is the one you need to buy for me, James!

Buy it at Anthropologie.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


What did Beatrice have for lunch today?

- a half pbj
- a scrambled egg
- macaroni and cheese dipped in "ranch-up" which is ketchup
- raisins

Ambrose had milk.

How about you?


I recently made the decision to go back and finish my degree. This is a really exciting, big step in my life. I am so ready to start this new chapter, the Graphic Design Student Chapter. It will be a huge adjustment, going back to school after such a long break-- I will be twenty seven this month and I haven't been to a college class in over five years! And this time around, I will be juggling classes, children, being a wife and keeping up this home. At least I don't have to worry about all the deadlines and injuries associated with my job as a copper-smith last time I was in school.

James fully supports my decision to go back and finish. :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fractal Geometry and an accident

This is one of my new paintings that may or may not be on display at O-CHA quite soon...

This is entitled Fractal Geometry, although it has nothing to do with the actual concept in which geometric shapes can be split into smaller parts forming exact replicas of the original in miniature.

In other news, today was our first big accident since embarking on the adventure of potty training more than a week ago. This is the second day of no diapers during naps. I may just throw the undies away and be done with it. They are cheap after all.