March, 2017.

March has been so good. I'm feeling like I'm waking up (maybe waking up from winter, honestly), I'm feeling so creative and hopeful for all the possibilities. I'm slowly getting better about actually maintaining my goals, and I feel like April will be even better than March.

So let's go through the list of my goals for March. Poetry-rise, I've finished compiling my list of poems. I'm a bit behind on finding publishers and editing them, but we still have time on that front. I'm also starting to work on a poetry/photo project, which I'm really excited about, but it's one of those things that I have just started thinking about, so it will probably be months or maybe even a couple years before I share anything too substantial with it.

For yoga, I did okay again. April I'm going to go back through the 30 challenge I've been doing (and that has actually taken apparently three months for me to do, smh), and I'm going to try to be really dedicated with it and do it every day so I don't fall behind.

For my books, I actually read three books for March, which is good because I'm also a bit behind on my book goal. For this month, I read The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, which was pretty good, but probably something I won't read again. And then I read two Raymond Carver short story books, Will You Please be Quiet, Please? and Beginners. I love Carver, so obviously I loved these as well. If you like modern fiction that has metaphysical undertones (and they're really under there), then you'll love Carver. Also if you just love books about human relationships, or just middle America. It's so good.

For saving up for my New Zealand trip / planning it, things are going pretty good (except tax season might destroy my savings so far, blech). But I have a pretty good general direction of places we want to see.

For my book, I'm still slowly chugging away. I haven't had much structure but I have been writing about 400 words a day (which may seem like not very much but it's an accomplishment for me). Who knows if they are good words but right now I'm just about quantity. Apparently I scheduled a first edit for May, buuuut haha I'm not sure I'll get there.

A big March project has been to create my porch garden, and I finally (ie yesterday) got it to a place where I'm happy with it. I have some flowers planted that will attract bees and butterflies and hummingbirds (supposedly), along with onions, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and kale, as well as some herbs (I was planning on cucumbers and bell peppers as well but I think I'm going to save those for next year). I still want to add a little rug for the space and some string lights and a desk (okay that's more of a pipe dream, I'm pretty sure there's zero room for more furniture). And it's aaalmost warm enough for me to do yoga outside (we get morning sun, so it's pretty chilly still in the afternoon/evening shade).

Another big project has been working with Into The Woods ecological preschool doing volunteer photo and video work for them. I've been hanging out with the kids a lot and it has really been a dream come true to see everything that I'm interested in come together. I'm beyond excited to share with everyone and it just makes my heart so happy!

Okay, here's some images from projects from March!

February, 2017.

Man, February was such a crazy, new, exciting month. I'm still on a camp high from coming back from Yeah Field Trip, so maybe that's gonna make looking back at this month a little rose-colored, but oh well. 

To keep things short, I pretty much failed my monthly goals. But I'm really okay with it because I've learned so many things this month, and those have really captured the spirit of my goals, instead of the letter. And also I was so busy this month there wasn't quite time (at least, that's the excuse I'm believing). The first week of February Matt and I flew down to Vegas with Pic-Time for WPPI. We sales-pitched until we were so tired we accidentally fell asleep in our hotel room, we ate way too much macaroni and cheese (baked in truffle oil--it was soooo gooood), and learned that I was really good at Blackjack. The second week (and a bit of the third) I caught a cold, so I was pretty out of it and just trying to recover. I did manage to get a couple shoots in though! And this last week I flew out to California, again with Pic-Time, to Yeah Field Trip, where we froze every night, made friends we might never see again but will keep in our hearts forever, and had our lives changed.

I did end up writing four poems (but all in the first week, so I don't think it actually counts as a poem a week?). I made just a couple clothes this month, made a lot of sketches, and cooked a lot of meals. I neglected yoga and writing my book, but thought about it a lot and got a taste of meditation, so I'm excited to add that to my practice in March. 

I did finish reading another book, this time A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I was warned that it was a rough, emotional read, but I think that warning ruined it just a bit for me (an emotional read in my mind is along the lines of The Bell Jar), because I expected that and waited for that type of emotion and didn't feel it. But I really loved all the main characters, and really saw bits of myself in all of them, especially in the first third of the book. I felt the second third dragged on for a bit, hoped that there was a theme in it dragging on, then didn't get that, but by that time the last third of the book picked up and I was over it, obviously distracted by the end and conclusion if you've read the book. It definitely made me cry a couple of times (thank God I had a row to myself on the plane because I was bawling like a child when I got to the end). This is one of those books I'm going to buy for my own collection (now that I got a library card I can filter through books before actually buying them, hah), and I'm planning on picking up her other novel. 

Okay, here's a few images from February because I didn't do my 52 week project, as per usual.

March, I can't wait to amaze you.

January, 2017.

Here we are, one month (almost) down! I think the biggest thing I'm learning with these daily, weekly, and monthly goals is to find that line between giving myself grace and being lazy. I don't want to feel bad if I skip a couple days or if I want a lazy day or get busy, but I also don't want to use being graceful with myself as a crutch. Because I miiiight have crossed that line a little bit. All in all though, I'm pretty happy with this month. Here are just a couple highlights.

I've written probably about twenty poems for this month. They are all very bad, but I think some have promise.

For my novel that I'm working on, I definitely failed at writing 500 words a day. I need to just come to terms with the fact that I'm terrible at word counts and it stresses me out too much. I'm changing the mini goal a little bit to finish one scene a week, and hopefully that will be vague enough to not leave me freaked out. But I do have a good direction and outline going, and it feels really good to have an idea in my brain that I can take over a longer literary ride than, say, a poem or something like that.

For yoga, I've been working through Tim Senesi's 30 day videos. I'm only on like day fifteen, which tells you pretty explicitly how well I've kept up with it, haha. But man, it feels so good to ease back into it. I'm so sore but it feels amazing. 

For reading, I read through Last Child in the Woods which was actually given to my by my roommates. It was for their camping class and they knew I would love it, which I did. There was a section that got pretty "parent-y" so if you don't have children, your train of thought is "oh, this might be good a million years down the road but for right now I really want to skip this part", but overall the book is incredible. I think every human should read it, especially people who are interested in the environment and/or have young children and/or are interested in children. So it was perfect for me, because I've been interested in the child-land relationship and was pretty much just doing research myself based on my own childhood. It's very uplifting to read others' works on it as well, and it's a good reference book for further research.

I also *hopefully* brought back my 52 week project, starting with the two photos above, (the weird cloud jumping one to document my 23rd birthday) and today's photo:

Other random things that have happened:

  • Celebrated my birthday
  • Matt and I got Radiohead tickets (!!!)
  • We threw our housewarming party
  • I've also been sewing a lot of clothes and making lots of drawings

And I think that's about all! I can't believe January has flown by so quickly already. February is going to be even better, albeit a little challenging to stay focused on my goals because Matt and I will be doing a bit of travel, but I'm so excited for it all.

Year in Review

Here I am, starting to write this with still twenty days left in the year. What can I say? The transition between years is my favorite time and I spend a lot of time reflecting, thanking, and preparing. It's been a crazy year and yet again I'm amazed that I was able to do the things that I did. It's always the same story, how I'm so scared about the next transition, the next "adult" thing I have to do, but I always ease into it and then it's not a big deal. 

With that, some highlights:

1. Getting my first (and then second!) tattoo.

2. Presenting my senior art exhibition.

3. Graduating from university!

4. Marrying my best friend and moving into our apartment together.

5. Getting the best job in the entire world: working for Pic-Time.

You can also see my photo year in review here. And now to look back at my resolutions for 2016. Granted, I pretty much failed miserably, buuut at least that's on par with most people, right?

  • Book fifteen weddings for 2016.
    • I photographed/filmed ten beautiful weddings, and booked three more (maybe four), so I actually was pretty close to this goal! I am so thankful for every one of my couples and seeing them so in love gives me so much hope.
  • Travel internationally at least once.
    • Okay this didn't happen, but I did get to do a bit of travel for shoots. Being newly married kind of put a kink in our bank account (real life, ah), but I'm starting prep for a girl's trip in 2018.
  • Read at least twelve books for fun, not for school.
    • I didn't keep track of this one, but I have gotten to read several fantastic books. Three of my faves were "Full Moon Feast", "Spill Simmer Falter Wither", and "Bright Before Us". Ah, so good. I read a lot of mediocre books too. I need to get a library card so I can stop spending money on books I'll never read again. Ah but I love reading my own books too. 
  • Be better about my finances + business marketing/managing/social media.
    • Luuulz I failed this one too. I'm slowing integrating more marketing-ish stuff, but it's hard when so much of the wedding business is based on word-of-mouth referrals. Anyways, finances will be a goal for 2017, hah.
  • Book an exhibition.
    • Nope, this didn't happen. I did apply to a couple, but I haven't been feeling too confident in my art stuff, nor to I really have enough to show.
  • Write a book.
    • Okay, confession, I kind of put this one in because I knew I would do it for my English Senior Thesis, haha. I do want to one day actually compile everything into a real book form. But I think the surprise of the year was the fact that I started writing an actual book, which I'm excited to continue on to 2017.
  • Minimize clutter + live more sustainably and ethically.
    • Yes, and no. I think there's always room for improvement, especially in my case.  I did a huuuge konmari clean of my apartment before we graduated. And we have made an effort to buy as much produce as possible from local farms, and purchasing made in Oregon/USA products.
  • Bring my camera.
    • Yes, I think I've done a pretty good job of this. I would like to do it even more, just to capture those daily moments, even if it is with just my phone camera.
  • Publish my poetry.
    • No, I didn't do this one. It's hard being confident in your work. But I need to do it.

Okay so there we go. It's hard because I didn't do some of these not because I forgot, but because of fear of failure. But I guess that's all of us. I just have to try, you know? Otherwise I'll never know what could have been. I have to keep reminding myself to just go for it, despite any feared outcome. So with that, here are some resolutions for 2017. I'm trying a new (albiet OCD) system to keep my goals/resolutions, where I have an overarching yearly goal, and then it's broken down to each month, and each week. Yeah, it's ridiculous, and if I find it's too constricting then I'll reevaluate, but I'm excited about it for now.

1. Publish my poetry
- January: write a poem every day. (low key research when submissions generally open)
- February: write a poem every week, edit one poem a day.
- March: every Monday, compile a list of publishers/magazines; Wednesday, continue editing/creating a document of the best poems; continue to write one poem a week.
- April: Week 1-2, create any cover letter for publishers and build specific portfolios for each; Week 3-4, send them out; write one poem a week.
- May-Dec: repeat

2. Have a regular yoga practice
- January-February: go through 30 days project; focus on two complex poses.
- March: 20 minutes at least every day.
- ?? (I need to do more planning)

3. Read 24 books a year
- January week 2 (since I haven't done anything this first week, hah): compile a list of books I want to read / get recommendations; dedicate an hour a day to reading.
- February: get a library card, create a list and keep a journal of my readings.
- At the end of each month: do a monthly book review.

4. New Zealand Trip 2018
- My friends and I are hoping to return to NZ, this time to the South Island, and I've taken it upon myself to plan the trip.
- January: figure out plane tickets and general plan (how much will it cost?)
- February: create monthly budgets and timeline of when things need to be paid for.
- March: compile list of activities we want to do and sites we want to see.
- April: plan hotel/hostel/transportation reservations.
- May: plan activity and hike reservations.
- June-October: begin booking? and honing in itinerary.
- December: Group budget/saving update/book plane tickets.
- February: Final prep, confirm bookings, dates, etc.
- March: finalize schedule.
- April: Confirm everything.
- May: Let's go!!

5. Write a book
-January: compile all writings; write 500 words a day.
- February: write 700 words a day.
- March: write 700 words a day, start playing with structure.
- April: write 700 words a day, add final descriptions and scenes.
- May: First edit?
- June: think about the poetic nature, characterization of humans and the scene and objects.
- July: Dichotomies of meaning.
- August: Second edit?  
- evaluate final months after this.

Yeah, I know, it's insane. But I think if I don't give myself weekly to-dos then they will never be done. Here are also a couple little things I want to do this upcoming year (with a bit of overlapping from the 5 big ones):

  • read every day.
  • write every day.
  • draw/create art every day.
  • yoga 5 days a week.
  • create one garment a month.
  • create my own compost/garden.
  • get involved with a local farm.
  • save money for New Zealand.
  • less social media, more connection.

2017 is the year of taking and creating. Taking and creating opportunities, taking time, taking nothing for granted, taking chances, taking too many breaths of fresh air, creating a space for conversation, creating memories, creating art and creating myself, and on and on.

p.s. with all this in mind, this is a sort of replacement to the dice project--which I loved but didn't like that the rolls were just limited to one week. I'm still hoping to get back into the 52 week project--I took a little break for the holidays, and maybe that will also be a good way to recap what happens each week. We'll see. Sorry I'm always writing my long winded train of thoughts, hence why this post is ridiculously word heavy. 

2017, I'm ready.

Week Five

For this week's 52, I rolled "recreate an old photo", so I took a little trip down memory lane and looked through the best and worst of my old 365 photos. I decided to recreate one of my favorites, this one, and also just realized it kind of looks like this one. Hopefully I did past me justice!

For writing I rolled "write about a dream or memory." I'll be honest, I didn't do this one. I wasn't really feeling in the mood to write this week, but I guess I need to do it even when I'm not in the mood. So I'll do this one this upcoming week.

For art, I rolled "ecological piece" and created this: 

It took a little bit of troubleshooting figuring out how to make the string stiff enough between the two pieces of wood. And I'm still trying to figure out how I should mount it to the wall. It's pretty fragile with those strings, so I think it needs a more sophisticated mounting solution than just hanging it with string or wire. 

And my rolls for this week:

Writing: dream or memory
Art: inspired by a song or quote
52 Photo: #4
 

Week Four

Sorry this post is a bit late! Matt and I were both busy a lot of this week hanging out in Newberg, working on some film sets, and of course Christmas decorating. 

This was my 52 week sketch that I created for this week. I still think I need a couple more years of photoshop and/or shoot preparation (hah) under my belt to fully undertake this, but I'm pretty happy with this result. Thanks Jessica for being my model, and be on the lookout for more photos I snapped of her on my photo website

For writing, I rolled the 3 word prompt poem, and the three words that were randomly selected were "dance", "car", and "fishing boat". So here's the poem so far. It's in the very rough draft stage as I'm still working out a lot of kinks:

 

I sit in this boat on the browning marsh,
reeling in between the lines,
flipping a dime through my knuckled
power plays, sitting for a jackpot.

It's a waiting dance that the cattails accompany,
a bob and a dip between each ripple
made by someone else, someone who won.

I catch failure on my line, tug on it like I need it;
throw it out and read it again.
Maybe the bait is wrong, maybe
my fishing boat is scaring away what
should get under my skin instead.

But I drive my rusted car away, nothing
for my table, just my socks
still soggy in my boots.

20161120_172615.jpg

And then for the art portion I rolled "inspired by a song or quote" and went to my ever trusty weekly spotify playlist for something new. This song is really beautiful and the mood of it lead me to this little abstract guy.

And for this next week:
- write a memory or dream
- ecological art
- retake an old photo

20Proj // Week Three

This week has been good in terms of creating. A little lacking in the whole "write over a thousand words a day" front, but oh well. It's hard!

The 52 week prompt I rolled for this week was "String Theory" with a sketch of a person with a fish draped over them. I don't know either, man. But it felt so good to finally get outside and shoot self portraits again. It was really hard for me to do this summer because I couln't find a place I liked that was close enough to home. But now, this field, ugh, it's perfect. It's a giant park with fields and powerlines and forests and little beaches and minimal people, and it's so perfect. I love it and it makes me v happy. :)

Anyways, here's some more outtakes:

For Art, I rolled "fabric piece", so I made a little nature-y secret collection book thingie. It has a couple more secret compartments than what the video shows, and I like it because when you stick it on a shelf it just looks like a piece of bark. I want to add more pages and buttons to it in the future as well.

And for writing, I rolled "writing inspired by a vintage photo", and I did a little piece on it which I conveniently incorporated into my longer piece that I'm working on.

And for this week:

Writing: #1 - 3 word prompt poem
Art: #6 - inspired by a song or quote
52 Week Photo: #16

20Proj // Week Two

Okay, week two down. This was a very lazy week for me. I don't think I've gotten quite into the mindset of working without inspiration, so it was just a little rough. I promise I'll do better this next week! 

So first of all, this week's 52 week photo. The concept I rolled was "Constellations" which had a sketch of a very different idea. I sneaky made a photo I shot with my friends Molli and Daniel to fit the prompt, which, though it wasn't my original idea and might have been a bit of a cop out, still looks a lot better than the photos I actually made for the project. Whatever, I do what I want. 

20161104_151040.jpg
20161104_151054.jpg

For the art portion, I rolled "Ecological Art", and continued to work on these little tree portraits. Just a bit of experimentation--I've stained and stamped a bunch, and attached moss to these two. Not sure if they are done or want something else on them, but it's a good start.

And then for writing, I rolled to write 500 words in my longer fiction that I'm writing. I kind of went ham on this, when I remembered that November is national novel writing month, so now I guess I'm doing that too. I'm 3,000 words in right now and getting into the swing of writing every day. I contemplated keeping nanowrimo a secret, especially because I always say I'm going to do it and then never do, but I can't help sharing things I'm doing. Maybe that's selfish, but that's for another time, hah.

Anyways, here are the rolls for this upcoming week!

Writing: Inspired by a vintage photo (I have a collection of them)
Art: A fabric piece
52 week: #10

20Proj // Week One

Week one of my new project is finally at a close. It took a bit of time to get into the swing of things--I'm pretty bad at self motivation. But once I worked on the project, I felt maybe I need to add something more. I'll keep it at three projects for now, and we'll see how it goes. Either way, it feels so good to finally have a schedule of creating again.

We'll start with my 52 week photo.

This is week nine for my 52 week project. I took a break to shoot weddings this summer, but I'm happy to get back into it. The number I rolled was #5, which ended up being just this song. I've had this song written as a photo idea for years, so of course I forget what the original idea was. It's a beautiful song regardless of its ambiguity, so I took the emotion of it and translated it to a photo. Erika kindly agreed to model for me last minute, and you can see the rest of the photos we made together here.

For writing, I rolled "inspired by a photo," so I sort of did a cop out and chose a photo from one of my favorite photographers ever, Greg Ponthus. All of his photos, this one included, really emulate adolescence and childhood for me, especially because I looked at his work when I was a teenager. It's a bit of a cop out because I write about my childhood all the time, but whatever. Here's the poem, it's still needs a bit of work so I'm okay with sharing it as is:

 

Adolescent summer,
so serious of dreams
creating some wrinkles
of expectations;
cascades of light-
ning down among the greens.

I always remember
something about that summer
I can slug to the next,
like the way that girl does
her "y"s and I cheat
on summer math sheets.

Everything multiplies
over my shoulders but
you knew that would come.
Wasn't it so witty?

A summer rain in the light,
running between the back
yard and front,
wet and dry,
back and palm.

I dream the same dream
again and again
but can't catch it when
I wake up to fall.

For the physical art portion, I rolled "intimacy series", which is a series of drawings I've been wanting to start working on, about intimacy. Pretty happy with how this one came out, especially since I haven't drawn anything more than a sketch for a few months. I definitely need to work on my shading a bit more, and I want to play around more with sketch vs. realism.

And now for this upcoming week:
Write 500 words in my long fiction.
Ecological Art.
52 week: #6

p.s. I added another item to the writing section. :)

20 Project

It's been a crazy summer/fall season of photographing weddings. I got to meet and document so many beautiful couples and their love, and I can never say enough what an honor it is. Now that the wedding season is slowing down and I'm adjusting to that post-grad life, I figured I'd follow the footsteps of my friend, Victor, and my husband, Matt, and also start a weekly set of projects.

The basic premise is that on a particular given day, you roll a twenty-sided die (I'll just use the first ten numbers), and whatever number it lands on, that's the project you do. I'm going to do it such that I roll three times, once for a writing related activity, once for an art related activity, and once for a 52 week project idea (I know, I've failed at that project but I'm going to resume it). It will be a bit different for me though because I'm not going to post every project I do (mostly the writing related ones) and I won't share which 52 week project idea I roll until I actually share the photo.

So here are the numbers:

WRITING

  1. Write a poem (3 word prompt).
  2. Inspired by a song.
  3. Write a 500 word flash fiction.
  4. 500 writing prompts -- for this one I will do an additional random number generator, and will also make it a fictional piece.
  5. Inspired by a photo.
  6. Write a poem (unprompted).
  7. Write 500 words in long fiction. -- This is another project I've been working on on and off for a couple months.
  8. Write a memory or dream.
  9. Write about a daily scene/encounter.
  10. Twitter progressive story. -- This one will be partially written by my twitter followers. (all will be revealed in time, haha.)
  11. Inspired by a vintage photo -- I have a growing collection of random photos I collect from thrift stores and antique shops, and would like to write a poem or short paragraph about the photo.

ART

  1. Page in my sketchbook.
  2. Goodwill transformation. -- Find random objects in the thrift store and make something new from them.
  3. Collage.
  4. A pencil/charcoal portrait.
  5. A fabric piece.
  6. Inspired by a song or quote.
  7. Paint a face.
  8. Ecological art.
  9. Intimacy series. -- I've been collecting particular images and want to create some pieces from them.
  10. Inspired by another art piece.

And then of course the photo prompts. So I'm very excited to do this. I'll roll on Friday, and then post the results and next week's roll the following Friday. Except I'm too excited so I'll roll this first week's right now:

- Writing inspired by a photo.
- Intimacy series.
- 52 week: #5

transitions

It's been a quick minute since I've blogged something personal, and an even quicker (?) minute since I've created tangible art. I blame the summer heat, which makes me want to curl into a ball and hide in a dark corner of the apartment, so I think maybe it is a legitimate excuse. I loved Alaskan summers, but now I realize I loved them because they were a lot like Oregon springs / falls. An Oregon summer is no good. Regardless, I've been keeping busy since graduation. I got married, we moved into our dream apartment, we spend way too much money on daily coffee dates, and we've made a pretty good switch to married life. I've been shooting lots of weddings, Matt's been working on film sets / post audio, and we're content and excited for our future endeavors. Our apartment is turning into a little home and I love every inch of it. Just last night our favorite bartender made custom drinks for us and our friends and let us name them, so you could say we are loving our little downtown community. It's simple times right now, so I'm trying to keep things slow and really enjoy each moment, while only being excited for the potential of the future.

a little like breathing

I always say I'm trying to get back to where I once was creatively--always willing, never resting, never letting limitations be such, making magic. But maybe it's a little like breathing. You sometimes are hyper aware that you're doing it, but most of the time it's a quiet second nature. You think you've lost your breath but it's there, ever present. You don't realize the connections until you've past them.

dec 23. 2010

dec 23. 2010

may 27. 2015

may 27. 2015

the snow of a space

It's weird to me how snow can be disgusting in one place and magical in another. Is it right for our experiences with humans in a place to affect how we feel about the land itself? I'm trying to disconnect others from nature, and at the same time connect everything together.

When I moved to Alaska in 2010, it was the hardest move. Part of my childhood had been spent there, so I expected this second move to still be as beautiful as the first. I was met instead with a lot of heartache that is still taking its toll on me, from people in many different places and from myself. It's a pendulum swing where I love the land, but don't think I could ever live there again because of the society. And now I'm wondering what those things given to me in 2010 mean for today.

When I woke up to social media saying there was snow in Portland, I didn't believe it would fall where I lived. But I looked out the window and there it was, white snow, and I was happy for it. Compensation for hardship comes slowly, and maybe Alaska is trying to say she's sorry. Or maybe she's saying, "Hah, you'll never escape me!" Maybe she still has some things to teach me, even after all these years. Maybe that's why I'm still talking about it, because there's still unfinished business.

resolutions for 2016

  • Book fifteen weddings for 2016.
  • Travel internationally at least once.
  • Read at least twelve books for fun, not for school.
  • Be better about my finances + business marketing/managing/social media.
  • Book an exhibition.
  • Write a book.
  • Minimize clutter + live more sustainably and ethically.
  • Bring my camera.
  • Publish my poetry.

2016, let's do this.