Thursday, May 31, 2012

New In Shop

I added a few things to my etsy shop yesterday. Am I crazy to like these dresses? Oh, those stripes, though. They are so good. 

When I look through my shop, I am a little amazed at how calm I am in the pictures. You would never know that I use the time delay and as soon as I start it clicking, I grab the kids and toss them on the couch, rush over to the wall, move the piece of furniture used for auto-focusing, try to get the garment to settle and try not to look too awkward before the camera shoots. It is a wild rush, not visible in my expression. 

Sometimes you can see a blurry toddler head or hand in there. 

I could edit it out, but I like to keep it real.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dancing Fools

We got up early and had a dance party. Ambrose found this clown suit at Goodwill on Memorial Day when everything was half off. He said, "On Me! Wear It!" the whole time we were there. Who could resist? I just wish it fit me!! Poor boy, it really is a bit snug on him. I think it will fit Arlo though in time for his circus birthday party coming up...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I wanna get alone and be with you

Painting, drawing, planning, sketching. I'm working on three different compositions right now because I never want to be at a standstill, like waiting for paint to dry before I can move ahead. This has already been a productive Summer and it's still May. I work in the afternoons between 12:30 and 3 as well as after dark. Sometimes, I wish I could have a whole day each week in addition to these slots. But, you know, being a mama is good too. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

What I Wore :: How Doth The Little Crocodile

This Summer I am trying hard not to wear jeans or shorts very much at all. Just dresses and skirts. This wrap around was a fun find. The first time I wore it, I paired it with a bright red shirt. At school, a number of people said I looked patriotic. I don't think the crocodiles have the same effect. I love this shirt because it reminds me of my brother Hudson who has a crocodile tattoo. 

skirt: thrifted
top: a gift from an amazing artist

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012


So I had a comment regarding creativity and pressure on my recent post about how much I am enjoying painting.

Pressure to create is the one thing that is always sure to stop me dead in my creative tracks. It's not like artists block or fear of bad feedback. It's like as soon as there are expectations, everything from ideas to desire dries right up (but not creative energy) and is replaced by a bad attitude. Even when the pressure is self-inflicted.

So how does one deal with this?

I can't say I have a sure fire cure, but I know what worked for me. 

A few years ago, before we had kids, two of my brothers came to stay with James and me. We were all really creative, the four of us. We liked to draw and make clothes. And we all had bands and we were all in each others' bands. No Yes, Charles and Henri/Cooper, St. Lucien's Choir and Darger. All under one roof. 

Just about every night, we sat around a bottle of wine and shared our latest songs with each other. We teased each other and picked on each other the way siblings do, but deep down, I knew their songs were amazing, mostly better than mine. Before long, we started getting a little competitive. 

Very competitive.

Eventually, I felt like I had to produce more and better material every day, plus contribute kick ass bass-lines on the spot at our almost nightly band practices. I was unable to paint anything that made me happy and my songs stopped representing me the way they should have.

So I took a vacation. I told myself didn't have to do anything. If the Spirit moved me to pick up my bass? I might. If a song wrote itself inside my head and I felt like picking up a pen to write it down? Maybe I would. But I didn't have to. I released myself from all pressure to create and I informed the boys of this as soon as the decision was made. 

I can't say everything suddenly got better or turned out ok. James and I survived as a couple, my brothers made it out alive. But we went our separate ways for a while.

I eventually got back on my feet and James came out better than before.

So there it is. Make a conscious decision not to accept any pressure -even from yourself- and maybe you will get back to where you want to be. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


reading lessons
Bible verses
dance sessions
meal planning
diaper changing
potty training

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy Post

This Summer (I know it's not really Summer yet, you guys, come on! I just call it that because it is Summer break, ok?) has been pretty incredible so far. I mean, for most of it I have been sick, BUT now I am better and I can see that the sickness was providential. Before geting sick, I was feeling like I had WAY too much on my plate. I was so, so stressed. Being sick forced me to scrap all my plans and bow out of my commitments. Now I am free.

I have had some friends over lately who have really encouraged me, especially in my art. I feel like I am finally finding my voice as a painter. I certainly don't think I've "arrived." (An artist never does!) But I'm in love with what I'm doing and want to spent all Summer experimenting. 

Now that we are in our new house, I have room to spread out and paint and make a mess and leave it. This means that when I am out here in the studio? I do not feel like blogging, I feel like working. Thus fewer posts. Oh, well. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Don't Look Back

I never thought I would use gouache without being forced, but now? I am so glad I took the time to learn a new skill. It takes me a long time to plan and plot and make swatches. Totally worth the time as far as I'm concerned. I love it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 20th

Today is my own very much birthday. And so far so good!

Last night when I sat down to paint, I realized that I didn't have enough titanium white to do a darn thing, so I switched to gouache. Good idea, you guys! I am really excited about the painting that I am working on now. And who cares if all those famous artists only used gouache for studies: I saw a gouache Picasso at the High.

Also, Mama gave me three new fiesta plates for my collection (turquoise, scarlet, lemon). And my friend Josh gifted me the entire discography of a band that is right up my alley: Tennis.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pink Elephant

Here's a song about pink elephants and various other animals. It was recorded in our new studio/lounge. The room is so stinkin' disorganized in the video, but I swear this place is going to look like a genuine mom cave before I'm through with it...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


So my blog fits fairly comfortably in a little blog niche. We girls blog about our outfits and our kids (human or feline) and how much we love vintage and a variety of nerdy and/or craft related things. I love these blogs so much and I really hope that this post doesn't get me knocked right out of the loop...

Because in our niche? We avoid politics like the plague.

I mentioned on here recently that I have been interested in some things and I'm ready now to explain myself. Here's what I am interested in: Occupy Wall Street, a people powered movement to end the monied corruption of our democracy.

After spending a good deal of time looking into the movement and what it is all about and the goals and strategies, I find that I really do identify with it. (If you are interested in learning about it, try this site, read this article, check out this blog.)

However, I differ in one area: VOTING

Part of #OWS --as I understand it-- is that the system is so messed up, needs to be completely restructured, overhauled, that participation is moot. In fact, you are actually contributing to the problem if you vote. But I disagree.

The way I see it, there are two parties, right? One that accomplishes very little and one that actively tries to destroy everything good. So, even if you are voting for the lesser of two evils, as they say, at least one evil is much, much lesser than the other. You know?

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Taste

Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, I saw something beautiful and then heard a grown up call it "tacky." I had not ever, ever heard the word "tacky" before. Well, in this context, you can see how the confusion arose. I thought the word meant beautiful.

Then, I saw an acquaintance (a girl who wasn't always very nice to me) and she had curled her hair. It looked nice, so I told her it was tacky. She cried. I got in trouble, etc. etc.

But the point is, this was an early indication of my taste. I like tackiness. I think it's beautiful.

Mama Day Date

Yesterday, we had a family home date. We had pizza and a movie and Cherry Garcia for dessert. After showers and jammies, the children "skated" on our floors! What a fun night.

I have been home all week, but I don't have cabin fever. Oh, no. Not in my new house. There is so much to do. Still setting up and all. Plus, I have paintings and sewing projects and drawings to draw, etc.

Besides, being sick all week has meant that chores were left undone. Now to sweep and mop these hardwood expanses...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

To My Mother in Law

Rose kept the kids last night. And when we picked them up, I got presents. Jewelry presents. Thanks!

I love this picture of my mother in law with her boys. Danny is the older one and that cute little guy is James. I turned this black and white because it was overwhelmingly orange. :) The picture was taken in the house where we live now!

To My Own Mama

Mama is a homemaker. This is something I took for granted until I had my own home to make. A home is a place you want to come back to, where you feel absolutely comfortable, where you belong. Mama has a knack for this. Even though I haven't lived at Irene for 8 years, it still feels like home. But mostly when Mama is there. 

My mama is funny and intelligent. She has a great appreciation for scholastics which she passed on to all of her children, even Reuben. She also instilled manners and respect in all of us, even if some of us choose to rebel. She taught us Latin and some French, a ton of History and some Mathematics here and there and gave us Music lessons. She taught us all how to read and to love books.

Mama always prays for us, especially when we think we don't need it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What I Wore :: Well Day

Today was my first day of feeling fairly ok. I got up at 8 and within an hour was ready for a nap. But, then I showered and fixed up a bit. James took the little Darge-lings to their grandfolks. Then he took me out for breakfast. It was lovely and only wore me out a little.

When we got home, James took these pictures of my outfit in our new backyard. Like the treehouse?

Thursday, May 10, 2012


When you don't have medical insurance, you have to be creative in battling illness. Online shopping does wonders for me! Here's what I scored:
Please get here soon, pretty summer dress!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


So I guess I got some kind of bug. I spent about 24 hours asleep! My family stepped in and took care of my children while I battled extreme fatigue and body aches and a disconnected head. I have no clue what it was, but thank God it is over. Now I just have a few lingering cold symptoms.

The cosmically interesting part is that my financial aid took so long to process that I was purged from my class the day before the sickness got me! No school!

Now, as soon as I recover my strength, I will have no responsibilities beyond caring for my children and painting for the rest of Summer. James got his full time job back which means I don't have to work!

I am so blessed!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Our studio "Paradise Lounge" is so far away from the bedrooms that we can watch Twin Peaks (the tv show) at a nice, comfortable volume and not disturb the children sleeping. Amazing.

Moving In

Settling in, putting things away, inching toward organization. 

Friday, May 4, 2012


The day after my last final, we moved to our new house. Thankfully, we had a lot of help with the move because I was pretty worn out already.

Boy, am I glad to be done with finals! I made As in all my classes.

But now I am taking a maymester class. BIO 206: Genetics and Society. So far it has been a ton of scientific jargon so that I really don't know which end is up. All about the stages of the cell cycle. It is accelerated for the short, one-month term. A chapter a day. A quiz every day. 20-30 short answer questions relating to various articles beyond the chapter to relate course material to current events and ethics. Every day.

Wanna know how I have time for this on top of being a mama and settling in to a new home? I get up two hours earlier than usual to get all my schoolwork done before I start my day. Yep. I am one sleepy lady.

Mama came over this morning and brought me Starbucks to remind me that it is May afterall and that means My Birthday! I already know what I want: 24 hours of childcare so I can SLEEP.