Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When you tell me my Baby is ugly

As a bookshop owner you can imagine the daily ‘agitation’ of questions and comments I am made party to. I can’t say I like all of them, nor can I say I necessarily want to hit people with the hate stick. You adapt a certain level of what I like to call “Tour Guide Barbie Smile” when working with the public. I knew it with my previous job and I most assuredly am well versed in it with my current position as owner of a bookshop.

I don’t often allow such honesty about the inner workings of the business to see the light of day as my friends are customers and customers have become my friends. You see the trickiness involved? It may be you I’m complaining about (insert wink). However, while listening to my favorite podcast in the shower this morning (What? I have to make good use of my time!) I was enlightened, or what have you, about an experience that could form a blog post before my very eyes! I haven’t written in ages, but I’m always hungry for the words to see the light of day on here. Here follows my line of thought, which I owe in part to the Book Riot Podcast . . . so thank you.

I found myself in the aisles of a chain bookstore this past weekend and felt two things tugging at my heart strings. People swarmed the bookstore in a dizzying fashion and I wanted to be the crabby bibliophile in the corner shouting, “Oi! Clear out, I need some peace and quiet while I commune with these tomes of greatness.” I’m picturing the, according to, ‘Ancient Booer’ from The Princess Bride. Not a pretty picture, eh? A sense of great triumphant accompanied that thought as well. BOOKS! REAL BOOKS ARE NOT DEAD!?! Bookstores, low and behold, still hold an importance in a person’s life, not that I didn't know this already. Reality hit again, though, when the sight before me made me wish our shop was half as busy.

It could be customers, friends, family, you name it; I have heard the sad prophecy/proclamation many a time that the creature that is the bookstore is a dying breed. “Aren't you worried that bookstores are on the out?” “Soooo, you are doing well, I mean bookstores aren't you know…erm…well the place to get your books anymore; what with eBooks and Amazon.” It will never cease to amaze me people’s ability to open mouth and insert foot. Now this isn't to say the people who are heart felt about their concern are to be silenced. No. I’m talking about the gossipy, proud to where their negativity badge, pointing out the “obvious” people. Do they imagine this is a thought a bookshop owner wants to hear?

On the same coin, there is this beast known as Amazon. I am a card carrying member (not really, but wouldn't be cool if we had cards?) of Amazon Prime. The reasons are numerous and I find it important to be open about this fact so as not to seem a hypocrite. Amazon is not my go to for everything I need or buy. Yesterday I bought yarn from them that I had to have in order to finish a project. It was not my first choice, but as my luck would have it, my only choice as the yarn is no longer made. I didn't even get the Prime shipping because it was a seller rather than an Amazon distributed product. Where am I going with this?

How can customers possibly be persuaded to believe I want to hear the ominous, curse like words, “I’ll just buy it on Amazon”? And yet we continue to hear this response from the book browsers. If my baby was ugly, do you think I would desire you tell me in so many words? NO! Amazon has its place and purpose, even in my life, but by no means do I want to know by your own admittance you will be shopping there instead. You know what Amazon doesn't have that Pete & Freddy’s has in spades? Passion. Drunk, palpable, yet immeasurable passion for the written word. The books, for the time being, are our children. When we sell them to customers, we are trusting they will be loved just as much, if not more, in your hands as they have been while in their spot of honor on our shelves. If you make the decision to tell us and then to move forward with that decision to shop vocally not LOCALLY, you are hurting an economy that is finding an increasingly difficult existence in today’s world, your local small businesses.

I am by no means trying to shame you into being an anti-Amazon shopper or to even turn you off from my shop. Monopolies are bad for a reason, too many to go into here and now. When you support your local businesses you are supporting someone’s dream or hope for the future. A passion you may not find anywhere else or may only find in similar realms, a world of hard and ever loving work. So when you tell us you are going to shop at Amazon instead of our shop, great go have fun with that, but please keep it to yourself. My baby is a beautiful bit of genius that I know others love and cherish as much as I do. They don’t like it any more than I do when you tell us it is “ugly”.
Give the best gift you can possibly give a shop owner this Thanksgiving and Christmas season . . .



Keep things simple and sweet . . . don’t air your “dirty” laundry to us. (insert wink and side hug)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Remembering to THINK

"Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors."
-Andrew Boyd
I know beyond any shadow of a doubt I am guilty of not practicing the 'Think' adage. I know you've seen it and I know you quite possibly have been on the receiving end of a parent, adult, or someone 'kindly' reminding you:

It is a very simple concept and perhaps this is why we refuse to apply it in our day to day lives. Humans are ever want to make things complicated. (insert smile) However, that’s where I cut you slack, the end of the line so to speak. I am trying to calmly remind myself people are ignorant and refuse to hold compassion for the world around them. I try my hardest to not sit in judgment of people’s actions. In any given situation I have no idea how I would react or what lengths I would go to relieve myself of the shackles of my burdens. I won’t know until I am there and Lord willing I may never have to know. This means I shouldn’t, we shouldn’t, cast our eyes upon them and call them foul or whatever form of rebuke you find handy. You are not the expert on anyone’s life. Until your life is perfect, bluntly, shut the hell up.

The past two months it would seem death is on parade in my world. It would seem that with this week being National Suicide Prevention Week, suicide is even more prevalent or at the forefront of many conversations. Locally a young man ended his life earlier this week. The book I finished yesterday battled with the concept of assisted suicide. Then today I am party to the ignorant comments of would be ‘wealth of knowledge’ experts on why people resign themselves to ending their lives, why people are depressed, or why self-injury exists.

“She cuts her arms because she is depressed——” meanwhile the adults remain oblivious to the ‘cheerful’ chatter going on. “Well I think suicide is definitely the better answer if you are depressed.”

“Depression, cutting, suicide, you name it…people are self-seeking attention grabbers.”

“Parents need to teach their kids to not take everything so seriously.” (in regards to the young man’s suicide)

First off, if you are the person(s) who said these things and you are reading this, perhaps you are getting mad. Well as someone reminded me with a pin on Pinterest yesterday: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.” Exactly! We should all be immensely happy I’m not writing what my actual response to these comments was, as they were quite colorful.

I am struggling to remain calm and collected while writing this post. My friend Joy calls me Momma Maddie and let me tell you, right now Momma Maddie is ready to seek vengeance!

I do not wish my struggles on my worst enemy. I have to remind myself of that statement again and again when I am hurt or frustrated by the lack of compassion or understanding people have for each other’s predicaments and journeys. If you have to suffer through it to understand it, then I will deal with you not understanding.

You will never know the immense despair someone must live with day in and day out that drives them to seek an end to their suffering. There is not a simple this or that answer to stopping it. Each and every situation is unique.

Our role in this world is to remind the burdened that A. They are needed. B. Your story is not over. You will impact people. C. You are not alone. It may seem like it, I know, but there are other people of every age, shape, location, walk of life out in this big world struggling alongside you from a distance. They understand your story that is being written. They want to hear you. They want to see you live. Just as they need the reminder of the very same things!

You are extraordinary. No one will ever fill the shoes you walk in. There will never be another person in this world with the same makings that make YOU a precious human being, no one to fill in the ‘gap’. I know it is easier said than done, but shake the dust of this world that tries every day and every minute, it would seem, to bring you down. There will always be ignorant people. I wish I could fight them for you because that would mean I have learned how to fight my own ‘demons’.

Oh dear hearts hold on.
If you have incurable ignorance of the mouth, then please learn to keep your thoughts to yourself. Do you even comprehend the impact your words can have on an innocent bystander hearing you or even the very person you are waylaying with your trifling rubbish?!?

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else."
Charles Dickens

I dedicate this blog post to Mum. A woman who continues to be a lightener of burdens in my life and so many others. Sunday's Project 365 is for her too. (insert wink)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tattoo Tuesdays: Open to Interpretation

Perhaps you have heard the scripture, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,"*. We live in an increasingly curious, some would say nosey, world. We live in an age of TMI to the extreme, but still there are some things we should always be willing and ready to share. Faith is a huge can of worms, but it is as essential as air in my opinion. The older I get the more I realize how important it is to have an answer for just about any curious/nosey question that comes my way. (insert schoolmarm voice) "Decorum Madelyne!"

I am not saying that your life and your choices have to be an open book, but I am saying don't be caught unaware. The times I have been caught off guard by a line of questioning usually set my hackles off and I go into defensive mode. "Why do you want to know? Are you judging me? You are just a gossiping busybody." That is not always true, though. Einstein said, "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." Some folks are masters of curiosity and have an eager desire to constantly be learning about the people living their lives day to day around them.

Honesty can be refreshing.

Recently my older sister's boyfriend "put me through the ringer" of questioning about the bookstore and other "life line 'me' things". Among one of his questions, "So why the wolves?" At first I thought he was referring to some of the cheap cards we are desperately trying to sell at the shop (bye bye old less desirable inventory). Then I figured out he was referring to my Mudlove band featuring a howling wolf. I suppose it never occurred to me (hence this post) to have an explanation for my love of wolves. Needless to say I was little fluster because my love of wolves is not just "my love wolves". Wolves are Rilke. Wolves are Werewolves. Wolves are Maggie Stiefvater. Wolves are mighty, like I wish to be. Wolves are me. (insert wink) So explaining all that and not feeling like someone peeled back the flesh covering your heart to see your secrets, someone you just met, is the sort of moment you start word fumbling. Be ready with an answer, remember? When you set yourself up in life, whether it be Faith, your style choices, your bracelets, your gauges, your ready for the curious seekers to come knocking.

So wolves... I could spend hours researching the symbolism behind wolves in various cultures, etc., but that would not be why I like wolves. In 2010 (thank you Goodreads for keeping track for quick reference) I read a book by an upcoming author, Maggie Stiefvater, called Shiver. Shiver (spoiler) is about werewolves (queue the "Ohhhh so not wolves, werewolves" reaction). It is one of the most refreshing takes on werewolves I have ever read. The myth is made poetically scientific...believable. Maggie is an enormous source of inspiration to me. In Shiver she name drops often and among the pages of Shiver I met my long since dead lover...Rilke. Are you keeping up here? Wolves -- Maggie Stiefvater -- Rilke -- Inspired. I feel strongly that God blessed Rilke with words and earthly wisdom to write about this "affliction" we call life. I believe God can speak to you through the words of others (hello the Bible). I need to wrap this up because it is far longer than I intended, my apologies.

Rilke's words, with my own interpretation/take, will be among the first to grace this canvas known as my flesh. "So why the wolves?" (insert smile) Here's another reason for the wolves.

Sometimes you let people make their own way in the mystery of why you do what you do too.

Today's Features:

While I love the placement of this tattoo (and the guy of course is not half bad looking), what I love is the meaning behind it. I don't know what his intended meaning of this piece of art ink was, but my mind has already named it 'Oil of my heart'.

There are so many reasons to like this tattoo. Reminiscent of Howard Pyle's pen and ink art style. I am a big believer of the "weight" our hands hold in the decisions we make. Also speaking as someone who has a difficulty forgetting the things that need to be forgotten...this! This tattoo speaks to that dilemma for me.
Any tattoo that tempts me with notions of grandeur in the realm of "Get a tattoo with color...lots and lots of glorious bright colors!" is an awesome tattoo in my book. Plus squids, octopuses, cthulhu, and anything of the Cephalopoda class (and yes I had to look that up) is a safe bet for an eye catching inking.
I won't end with a quote because I have name dropped enough in this post and it is closing time and this has been quite the wordy post. Are you ready?
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Foot-tastic Notes (TOM's One Day Without Shoes Day...Holla!):
  • *1 Peter 3:15
  • Tuned into Mumford & Sons' Pandora today
  • I was reading a portion of my post out loud, as I often do to check grammar, etc., and didn't realize a customer had come in. Insert token embarrassing moment for the day. (insert smile)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Prompt #1: Location, Location, Location

Here's the challenge details from Qwiklit: click these words for awesomeness Thanks to the good folks at BookRiot I have accepted this challenging starting today! Up, up, and away we go. If you are interested in joining head over to Qwiklit's site and get the words flowing.

Where are you? Your room? A hotel lobby? the top of a burning building? In the finest detail possible, describe everything you possibly can, from the sound to the smell to the temperature. Be extremely specific.
Length: 500 Words

I watch the door for interruptions, welcome and unwelcome; they are interruptions all the same. There is a surrounding silence as I stare at the walls filled with maps and stories of other lands, other times, and other creations. On occasion, while sitting in the rather discomforting “Blue Room”, you hear the laugh tracks from a sitcom playing on the television next door or chance it to be the News droning on about the latest political upset or why health insurance will save my life, while taking me back to the Middle Ages of “Hello I am Maud and I am an indentured slave? Servant?”  I have good ears for the conversations I hear too. If I step into the “Orange and Yellow Back Room” (which you would think “’Orange and Yellow Room’, that’s sure to be bright,” but alas it is rather dark for a room holding portals to every childhood adventure you could imagine) I can hear the old men bent on the business of yarn telling, colorful and amusing language abounding. Charlie’s new tractor, Marv’s thoughts on the President, the mixed up bag of a Midwest farming community are sure to be interesting and enlightening in a conservative radical way. I walk back to the “Blue Room” and find my seat waiting for me with the days packed amusements. The blue and white checkered sofa is nice, in a 1990’s Full House sort of way, but I could have sold it 20 times over in the last four years of peddling the inheritances of generations. Deep breaths as I continue to stare ahead listening to what the masters and novices are telling me. At times the smell is dusty and ancient, but then the next day could be the harsh exciting smell of something new. I gather the words together and let them tell their stories. They have spines that tell me much or nothing at all. Spines that are thick and strong — stronger than what I believe I myself am capable of in this world of words and talking on paper — spines with better names than guts. I eye them and think, “Guts and glory, guts and glory it takes so much effort or so little depending on who you are or where you are in life.” I check the door, 2 rooms from me, another “Yellow Room” and then a “Green Room”, and I will for it to open. I will for it to open so the silence that is these thousands upon thousands of other’s stories might become their stories or their friends. That they might leave a loyal “Thank you come again sort”, hands heavy with their discoveries and pockets lighter for their work or is it my work? It’s difficult to be certain. Perhaps they will grieve me in some way with their words of the world outside of “Progress! Progress!” and I will wonder why they bothered to break the silent meditation I had with the walls and shelves surrounding me in fortress greatness.

No one disrupts the bells by opening my door though, but I can see the steady traffic passing by. Small-town madness, you are always wishing to be discovered, but simultaneously content with the simple solitude it is want to bring your way.

I push myself deeper into the checkered sofa and let the florescent lighting wash me in its flashy, nearly mesmerizing hues of a truly ugly nature. I am tempted to turn off the lights and look at my friends in the shadows, in the eerie reverent way the darkness can sometimes allow. I think better of it. As I want so many in this world to see me for who I am truly, I want to see these pages and pages for their true selves. They are not all great or worthy of the ink that they were impregnated with by a starving artist in the hours of a midnight epiphany or a college student drunk on the narcissistic idea of “I am brilliant so hear me roar.” No. They are great because they are letters and words printed on pages and pages and bound and shelved until a chance interrupter opens my door and finds what they are looking for. Perhaps the shelves will be lined with the spines of their discoveries and experiences tomorrow because they opened my door. My door, with maps and stories of other lands, other times, and other creations lining the walls like so many books on so many shelves.

Leave a comment with a link to your writing "entry" for the prompt today. I would love to read it!

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Tattoo Tuesdays: Crazy Slow and Calmly Fast

Hello and welcome to April! I can't believe, and honestly would rather not put it this way, that we are already 4 months into 2014. Here's to hoping the old adage of "March, in like a lion and out like a lamb" is in full swing this year. As much as I adore winter, my mental state and my body physically could do with high doses of sunshine and morning jogs/walks that my snowy friend, Winter, doesn't play nice with. April means taxes and taxes means crying, sleepless nights, elation, worry, and shopping lists created. Then at the last minute deciding, "I guess I should be more wise and grownup with this list and add pay off this and that...blah, blah, blah." It really is a double-edged, scratch that, Medusa mad situation.

My "shopping list" may or may not have tattoo money listed (insert wink).

I started Qwiklit's 100 Day Writing Challenge today and thus this post will be rather "word dry". A girl can only go to the writer's well so much in one day. I may be posting the Day One challenge on here later, so stay tuned!

Today's Features:

Photography tattoos are always winners! Great placement too.
Typography and music.
There is a lot going on here, but I is all good. (insert wink) Sleeves!
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.
~Robin Williams
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tattoo Tuesdays: Give me some vulnerability...I am your neighbor

Gone are the days of my youth, the days of chubby cheeked innocence and a naïve soul you could gamble on. I don't miss the chubby cheeked days, in fact I often shutter at the thought of looking at the old me. Mostly because I have a low toleration for pictures of myself and the days of curly-headed ignorance...short hair and me don't go well together. However, many are the times I miss the naïve Maddie. She was not weighed down by the bitterness and grudge ridden years of the girl before you now.
" have a courage and feroicty inside of you that I admire."
~Best Friend*

Old and new me have always been stubborn and determined. I'm not sure my determinedness has necessarily been a positive always, but it is there nonetheless. The very thing I "demand" of others I struggle with conjuring in my own day to day life. I'm not for certain I demand, per say, that people in my life be vulnerable, but I frequently write a code of ethics in my mind's eye of which honesty, of character namely, ranks extremely high. I admit to having standards that are borderline unattainable, to a ridiculous level in fact.
Perhaps I see my own downfall in the area of being vulnerable and thus so adamantly require it of my friends and family. I test you, I weigh you, I find you wanting, and I don't even tell you. How do you like that for trial by fire?
Putting it lightly and rather ineloquently...being vulnerable sucks. Yet I find myself in this mode of repeat time and again of having opened my heart to someone(s) and being burned again. I let my mind wonder at the many thoughts and schemes of a self-reliant, wall building, "you ain't gonna hurt me" attitude. My efforts go so far as to include the people that love me at my worst, the God who created me, and the people who don't even know how they hurt me. I find it to be further manifested, in those ignorant of my hurt, that I have projected a good deal of my hurt onto their "little" infractions as to render them damned in my eyes. A bleeding heart is want to believe the worst in everyone and every situation that comes across their path.
I hate to toot my horn--or do I?--but this post is of an extreme vulnerable nature. I'm coming clean. That I fall short so often of the character attributes I so fiercely clutch to my bosom, I blind myself and in the end I hurt me and by default I cut the ropes that bind me to an ever forgiving Lord, an eternal lover of this sinner you see before you.
I know I have talked about it before, "a few good men friends" and so therein lies my encouragement for you and for me. From one of my greatest friends and encouragers found in this Mum's advice to me today:
1. Let your vulnerability be sprinkled with love...and mostly this comes from others. The people who mend your broken resolves, after what you feel is one too many times of being open and honest.
2. Turn your hurt over to the Master. This is so hard, I know, but shall we try to do so more...together?
3. Realize you are not exempt. I am not exempt from this unending game of hurting each other, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Once we remember this, maybe we will be more willing to forget our bitter promises to never be real with those around us.
4. Remain loving no matter what. If God (aka the Master of the universe) is big enough to forgive our everyday sins and still love us...I should be able, or try Lord help me, to remain steadfast in my loving nature. More bees with honey and all, right?
“Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.”
~Maggie Kuhn
There are times the notion of letting another person in, another person see the me I might not show everyone else...makes me sick with fear. The wall builder begins to take residence in the background of my mind, ready and waiting. Send the wall builder flying and surprise the hell out of it by remembering you are never alone.
In light of this "heavy" post, today's featured tattoos are of the wordy variety. By no means do I wish to come across as "preachy" or "condemning". I speak from my heart, and often my own words flowing out as a means of comforting others, oddly enough, are the very thing I should be enacting in my own life. Hello kettle?

Get wordy with it

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There will be a pop-quiz (Footnotes):
  • *Anna's encouragement from Korea. I'm missing her like crazy.
  • Tuneage today, everything Grouplove!
  • There is so much "practice what you preach" in this post. Do you think I'll be struck by lightning?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tattoo Tuesdays: Pass the Change

Welcome to a Tuesday that feels too much like a Monday. I had a bad start to my morning, all because I couldn't find my black zipper hoodie. I have this way about me that I let the smallest detail send me on a highway to negativity land. Finishing up my hair in the bathroom this morning (the color still 'frightens' me a little) I whispered to myself "Bad morning, does mean a bad rest of the day. Get with it Maddie!" Yes I talk to myself, don't you?

Today's Features:
Needle and thread by Dr. Woo, Shamrock Tattoo, California.
I'm all about 'wearing' your passions. Simple, sweet, and great placement.
Hearts and know we go together. The vintage appeal of this tattoo, not only because it features a gramophone, but with the inking style (sketchy pen and ink) really sets this tattoo off for me. I am not always a fan of back tattoos, but I like the creativity behind this one; manipulating the heart and gramophone to make one unique piece of skin art.
'Wearing' your passions for the win in this post! A chef, foodie, minimalistic tattoo...on the shoulder...on a guy. He can cook for me (insert wink)!
Honestly? At first I didn't like this tattoo, but for some odd reason the more look at the more I like it. The wispy typography taking over the arm is a definite eye catcher for me.
“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn't stop for anybody.”
~Stephen Chbosky
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thrive Thursdays: Finding Your Sixty Seconds

I will be honest with you about two things. One, I didn't think I would be writing a post today for a number of reasons, but one being I wasn't feeling very thrive worthy. Two, I am an extremely negative person; more often than not I find the glass half empty. However, we shall thank Pinterest for a quote and numerous other people for their curiosity. It was the motivation I needed for a short (hahaha who are we kidding, I nearly never write short blogs) blog post.

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I waste so much time and energy when it comes to anger; not only anger with other people, but a vast amount of anger with myself. I realize and fully stand behind the notion that as a believer, life is not necessarily written to be happy go lucky for me. There will be trials and many tribulations, but somewhere here I believe there is happiness. I want to be happy, but I let the dregs of the day or hour continue to drag me down. How many more seconds of happiness could I have each and everyday if I decided to forget my anger? I don't have a special remedy for you forgetting your anger. I'm not even sure how I will go about this, hopefully, new attitude, but I encourage you give up the anger. Happiness fuels so many things, creativity especially! Look up Lamentations 3:22-23 and feel free to "throw it in my face" every now and then. I can use reminders too.

 Many times, over the course my 6 year blogging career*, I have mentioned the 365 project. Yet I still have people in the everyday world asking, "What is a 365 project? What is it all about?" There is truly nothing complicated about a 365 Project...well except for motivation and inspiration. I have days when I'd rather throw my camera at a wall for kicks and giggles than think up something new, fresh, and exciting. Most definitely work is involved, but it can be fun to see what will come of the days inspirations.
A 365 Project is a photo-a-day challenge. Many photographers upload self-portraits each day, in some form or another. I have done such a 365 before; when I was an extreme novice photographer (though I still categorize myself as such) and with a much cheaper camera. At one time I even attempted a 365 Project of different hands everyday. I didn't have many enthusiastic takers for that project and it was soon abandoned. Another 365, which had nothing to do with photography, I attempted to write a letter to someone different each day. Wow was that too much to take on!
My current 365 Project is "simply" a photograph each day with my thoughts. I love writing and this gives me an opportunity each day to "pour a little of my heart out" with a photograph as my inspiration. Some days are pictures of me and other days are photographs of random still-life or at times other people I come into contact with that day.
I realize there is a huge stigmatism with "selfies", but I've discussed this before on other sites. There is a fine line between the narcissistic everyday "selfie" and the learning to realize you are beautiful self-portrait project. My first 365 project helped me learn to like pictures of myself. I still have my days, but for the most part I've learned to take what I got and make it great. I credit much of this to the 365 Project.
The 365 Project is not for everyone, but I would challenge you to try it and see it where it takes you. You may discover things about yourself and about your creative skills you didn't know before.
Thriving Moments: Flickr (again) and learning to kill my anger with happiness!
Did anyone take notes? (Footnotes):
  • *Oh my Atlanta! I can't believe it has been 6 years since I started With a Flower! ?!?
  • The computer shutdown twice and I took a break for a painting party in the midst of writing this...busy frustrated lady.
  • If you are on Flickr leave me a line and I will follow you!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tattoo Tuesdays: If you give a girl a brick...can she make it bleed?

Life so often is about the courage to keep going no matter your circumstances. It is the strength to endure the hardships day in and day out with the knowledge that around the corner things could be better or things could be worse, but knowing that ultimately God is in control. This. Is. Beyond. Difficult.

In the span of a day I may whisper a thousand times, "Remember my frame," and I have to muster the hope that my whispers are heard. Let's collect courage and hope in jars to battle these "days of woe". There is no sense hiding away. You can't, I can't, we can't waste what we have been given. In these moments of courage seeking for another step, another day, I always desire to live my life out loud. Harder than you think with trust issues and a jumper judging world.

Love me or leave me... I'm a tattoo loving gal. I can't help acting like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to ink gazing.

Today's Features:

Tattoo via Pinterest and a new blog (Click. Wow! I'm now a follower.)

Sleeves! I wish we had a better view of this gorgeous man's ink. Sleeves are best, in my opinion, when the concept ebbs and flows to make a grand impression. Random is good too, but I "like me some cohesiveness". (insert wink) Honest moment: His tattoos are great, but I really like this shoot from a photography standpoint...hello eyes!
Face and Neck tattoos equal brave to me. There's a definite risk the tattoo could turn out looking so "hello I just got of prison" and truly only a select few can pull it off. I'm not a flower tattoo kind of gal, but I like this placement, glad that the tattoo isn't "eating her face" either. I hadn't noticed her gauge before, first being drawn to the ink and then her hair (jealous!), but I'm even liking it too!
Sleeves are almost always a winner for me. Either this girl is wanting to do some filling in later or for her someday children to have coloring time on her arm...I'm good either way; even left to its outline glory, this flower has my vote!
My life and all it has to offer (i.e. in other news):
  • Via Facebook - Anna arrived safely today in Korea at 5:30 AM Indiana time!
  • Via Snail Mail - Anna made me cry ... all in love and goodness.
  • Since it's upload (17, Feb, 2014) 'Resilience' has become my third most viewed photograph on Flickr. So. Blessed.
  • Keep an eye out on RC's Facebook page because I may be having a giveaway soon.
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What went on (i.e. Footnotes)
  • Tunes for today, Mumford & Sons' Pandora
  • Pondering the need to Skype with Anna when I get my tattoo...excited and scared for that day.
  • Scripture on my mind (something I want in my life): Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! - Psalm 116:2

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thrive Thursdays: We've got you surrounded

Hello! Long time without words...too long. I'm writing to tell you life has settled down.


Life has fallen into a steady and pleasant buzz of busyness. Some days are overwhelming and some days are a fountain of frenzy youth giving greatness. My main agenda is to keep busy, and honestly there are days where I want anything but the covers pulled back and to have to greet the day. All I can say is by God's grace, I am taking each day one at a time.

I always miss writing. I can't quite understand the mechanics of my own mind, that for durations of time I give it up and miss it desperately simultaneously. My mind has found a way to punish me without much work is all I can come with as an excuse. The words still churn and find other ways of escaping, namely my photography.

In quick succession...UPDATES

-While I opted out of a New Year's Resolution List this year it doesn't mean I don't have goals of a sort. I am trying my hand again at the fantastic (and sometimes stressful) Project 365. There have been days of discouragement, but there have been utterly awesome days. I can't help thinking over and over again how blessed I am to live an era of the Camera and Flickr. I love you Flickr...
MadMadelyne's A Hundred Pockets - 365 (2014) photoset MadMadelyne's A Hundred Pockets - 365 (2014) photoset

-I am selling on Etsy! RapaciousCurls is up and running. I also have a Facebook page.

-Hopefully I will be able to blog more regularly because I have been waiting all day to have the time to write today's post. No more waiting...

On to the my Thriving moments (and advice)...

I believe I have talked before about the necessities for a creative environment. (I couldn't find the post, I know it is here somewhere.) Foremost on my list lately has been the importance of creative "bedfellows". The people you talk to everyday or run to for advice. The dear people you are blessed beyond measure to call your friends, your family, your sisters (or brothers) from another mister.

Cuwe Minnehaha* (Jen)

I hope Jen doesn't mind me bragging on her. (insert wink) I have known Jen off and on for 10 years. All those years we were what I like to refer to as "surface friends/acquaintances", meaning we waved, we said hello, but didn't know each other. In August last year I was extremely stumped on a knitting project. Mum encouraged me, "Call Jen, the lady who spins her yarn and is a knitting expert." Every knitter needs a 'Knitting Guru' and Jen is mine. Once we started talking, I knew God sent me this woman for more than just knitting advice. We laugh, we cry, and we love through the ugliness this world brings out at times.
Yesterday she surprised me with a gift and beautiful proof of her 'Knitting Guru' ways. The beautiful cowl above is a Herringbone Cowl and it is all MINE.
Deven...Pyrography Master

I was trying to determine when Deven and I "met". I know where! I owe Google+ a big hug and a kiss for this magical friendship. Initially I admired Deven's artwork and purchased a piece from her through Google+. We continued to "plus" and comment on each other's posts. She eventually asked to be my friend on Facebook (late 2012) and from there it is history. No! It isn't is a grand continuous adventure. Deven's talented nature extends further than her awesome pyrography (wood burning) skills and creating artist maniac. She is a listener, advice giver, bookstore business advice enthusiast, and so, so, so much more! Deven continues to be one of my foremost supporters for continuing down this path of being independently employed and the creative creature that beckons to me. I nag her for advice frequently and sometimes she knows me better than I know myself...scary I know. I don't think "thank you" comes close enough to what I wish to say to her.

Above is my most recently acquired piece from her, Mabon. Isn't she beautiful? You should be jealous you go look at more of her work! Here. And Here. Oh yes and here!
She who gave you life
25 years, 9 months, and 9 days ago a woman brought me into this world. My mum is a woman of immeasurable strength and grace of character. She is my number one fan, president of my fanclub, and oftentimes coconspirator with Deven. I swear they have a secret club, but I've yet to figure out when or where they meet. (I will pay for information 'wink'.) She is a light in my dark times and I frequently wonder out loud "how can you love me," but she does. I think know she gets more excited about my projects than I do at times. She is a fountain of ideas. I know I have tried her patience over the years with my flighty, stubborn, and unconventional nature. Never let her fool you that she doesn't like change, because my Mum has endured SO MUCH CHANGE. If I've ever met a Proverbs 31 is her!
The artwork above is by Mum. I admire this on a daily basis and I have tried to convince her to finish it. She is extremely artistic. Where else did her brilliant (insert wink) children get it from!?!
Thriving is having the thrive givers...the enablers. The weekly, daily, and even hourly people who remind you why you are doing what you're doing and to toughen that upper lip...keep going! It is important to me to recognize the blessing I am surrounded by. I have many more and I WILL be bragging most definitely.
Remember these people are important and don't take them for granted! Surrounding yourself with encouragers and fellow creators is such a blessing.
Just as I am encouraged, I want to encourage others in this world. A few weeks ago I was blessed and surprised by the kindness of a young blogger/photography. Kennedi recently started her own blog and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank her for listing my blog as one of her featured blogs. Thank you Kennedi and don't give up on your writing!
Thriving Moments: Flickr, Etsy, and the treasures that are my friends and family.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tattoo Tuesdays: Talk Shop To Me

It is 2014 and you know what that means?!? Honestly I don't know what that means, it just sounded like an appropriate beginning to a post...the first post of 2014.

The latter part of November and the entire month of December were CRAZY for me. One of those occasions where you are stuck between wishing the time away and wishing for things to slllllllllloooowwww down. Yeah that kind of crazy.

In other news, Tattoos have been on the brain. Ideas are floating closer to the surface and they are all pleading "Me! Me! Me!" I got a quote...oh didn't I tell you? (insert wink) I'm not quite at the necessary funds level to go for it, but I'm close. I've been chatting it up with my fellow ink crazies, all the "inky" details. My honest to goodness hope is before mid-February. My best friend is leaving for Korea and I have wanted her to be my tagalong since darn near the beginning of the ink madness. We shall see. My Tattoo budget is being heavily "preyed upon" by the impending need for more piercings as well. We all realize, as a writer, I have voices floating around my head, right? Well they also plead for the ink and the holes as well. Confusing, right? (insert smile)

I have many thoughts right now, some good and some none too pretty. That being said this post is an update and a sharing time, rather than a wisdom/from the mouth of babes (me being the babe) time.

The Tattoos:

Wow, talk about crazy for color! I'm still up in the air about color, but I absolutely love the strikingness* of this tattoo. The purple/pinkish/magenta? color is bam in your face. I am not a huge fan of placement, mostly because I personally don't like my back and therefore do not own backless clothing. How would I show off such gorgeous ink? Octopuses are always a winner in my world.

I am all about showing off your craft, your creative outlet...and yes being a beautician is a creative outlet. Placement is spot on for me. The red works, it helps with the over all "popping" vibe. The scissors are by far my favorite part of this ink. I like the old-fashion appeal. According to Pinterest this tattoo is by Xoil Tattoo.

Why are you looking at me? Oh...wait...because I picked another Octopus tattoo? I can't help myself, this tattoo made me sigh. (insert wink) I am a sucker for forearms, what can I say? The shading and detail is awesome. Can I touch it?
Updates and in other News:

I'm giving the 'ole 365 photography project another go. If you would like to follow and/or encourage the process please do so! You never know when you might be a part of it. (insert wink)
I reopened my Etsy shop today! I'm putting my knitting and other creating techniques to the task of some Etsy fun. Take a look and tell me what you think. I have more things listed than I have before and I'm anxious for feedback and of course to sell something.
From the shop of yours truly, RapaciousCurls!
If you guessed that I'm hyped up on caffeine while writing then...Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
"Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE."
~Joss Whedon
Find me on Pinterest
  • *Is strikingness a word? (eyebrow raise anyone?)
  • I wrote this post in silence, can you believe that? No music today (insert sad face).
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