Monday, January 30, 2012

looking up

Have I mentioned how glad I am that 2011 is long gone? I'm probably sounding like broken record, but really! 2011 had some sh%&# moments! And not just for me, for people I love. So having rounded the corner into 2012, that alone means things are looking up.

We've just about got January under our belt and February means two shows for me and Valentine's Day. All good stuff.

The first show is this Thursday. My friend Liz of Bolsa Bonita had the brilliant idea to have an out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new sale to which I said, "Amen, I am in!" You can see all of the details HERE - it's me, Liz, and our friend Victoia of Victrola Designs. I am gonna have MAJOR sales!! I'm just really ready to begin some new work and need to let go of some things that have been hanging around for awhile. So come see us - Thursday the 2nd from 5-9.

Then on the 11th is the next Austin Flea. Love, love, love this show! It's just so darn Austin-y. Great local artists, foodies, vintage gatherers sharing their finds. It's just kind of my dream show. We'll be at the Highball from 11-5.

And then just a few days later is Valentine's Day. I know, I know, it's a made up holiday by greeting card companies. yada yada yada. I don't really care. For Tom and I it's an excuse to have one more tradition that just belongs to us - rent a movie, get take out chinese, plop down on the couch and just hang out together. No big fancy dinner, no pressure.

So 2012 is off to a good start. Life is looking up.

Friday, January 27, 2012

life style.

Part of what I love about spending time in New York City is experiencing a completely different life than what I live at home. I've lived most of my life in Texas, but for about four years in New Mexico. So I have a pretty small scope of "life style". The first time I went to New York I was already well into my 30's and I must have looked like the proverbial tourist with the mouth agape, camera in tow. 10-11 trips under my belt, I now try to play it cool. But it all still fascinates me. From the sheer mass of it all down to the store windows.
If you've never lived anywhere but a big city, would it fascinate you to have fewer people living on a city block than in your entire apartment building? to live in 1,500 square feet and think it's small? to never walk past a store window? Because those things fascinate me. I can spend ages looking into all of the windows of the shops along one city block - from hardware stores to pharmacies to gift shops. They are beautiful and have a sense of humor, some are political, some are whimsical. It's just one tiny part of the city that I adore.

When you live in most parts of Texas, and the whole country I think, you hop in a car and drive past everything at a minimum of 30 miles per hour. But when you live in a city that has a true pedestrian lifestyle you notice all kinds of things. Good and bad. I notice the intricacy of the architecture, the beauty of the smallest park, the elderly woman's labored climb out of the subway, the street performances - from acting out the latest Broadway play to the Spanish "rooster song" by the little man who was probably 20 years younger than he looked shuffling past with his cane and outstretched cup jingling with coins, the graffiti, every nationality imaginable in one square block, the sky - or lack of it, the trash on one corner and the art on the next, the homeless and the panhandling, the busking, and the dogs in sweaters, boots, and rain coats. I just feel life happening in that moment vs. flying past it at 30mph.
Every time I leave New York I miss it. But I also get home and appreciate the things, the differences, in my life. I'm lucky enough to be able to experience these different lifestyles, soak them in. Of course, I'm summing it all up in terms of the superficial, but it really is worth the time to think about walking in a different lifestyle for a minute...even if it's just a glance in a shop window.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

kicked to the curb

I'm gonna be frank. The last 3-4 months have kind of sucked. It hasn't been all bad, but the bads have been big. I needed to get away the minute all of the holiday work and family festivities were done. January 6th we headed to New York. I've wanted to come here for Christmas for years but with my work being at it's peak before Christmas it just seems impossible. So I was thrilled to see that it seemed like most of the decorations were still up. But the trees, the thing that is the heart of Christmas, those were lying on the curb.
The more we walked the more we saw. It made me so sad. Christmas is huge for me. From Thanksgiving to Christmas day - that section of the year is my absolute favorite. I love the smell, the cold air, the food, the decorations, the lights, the smiles, the presents, the gift wrapping while drinking egg nog, the baking. I. Love. It. But this year there was kind of a cloud over it. And then my parents dog Tia got sick. She was diagnosed with cancer and everything went downhill so quickly. Watching my mom suffer was one of the most excruciating things I've ever dealt with. I realized that it is harder to watch someone you love hurt than it is to hurt yourself. Nothing makes you want to "do" Christmas when you've got that giant ache in your chest.

It was time to chock this Christmas up to...well, done. Just done.

So walking the streets and seeing all of these trees, big and fat, tall and skinny, tiny and adorable, lying on their sides, piled and discarded, kicked to the curb - these trees became so symbolic for me. I was so ready to kick 2011 to the curb. Done. And with that every tree I saw was more of an out-with-the-old, ready-for-a-new-start than any kind of sadness. I wanted to photograph them and give them a send off for the time they served. But more than anything each one pushed me more into 2012 and the hope that this will be a better, happier year.