We Are Safe While Sleeping print by PhizzWizard on Etsy, $18.

This is just a formality. My terribly lonely little blog has been gasping for air, and attention, in the last few weeks.  My cats have been pawing at the bedroom door wondering what the heck happened to everyone (they can’t go in there, boyfriend is allergic).  The pile of dishes, mail and clutter has been steadily growing.  What happened to Audrey?

Truth be told, in the late days of February I become a hibernator.  I’ve done nothing, literally nothing creative for about two weeks.  This is a dry spell for me.  I lurk around my house in the dark after reading chapters and chapters of murder mysteries, glancing at the unattended to-do-tasks (open mail, put laundry in hamper) as if it’s the novel incarnate, but this time the killer is a seeping sense of domestic failure and artistic gloom.

Oh, so sad, Audrey!

So what have I been doing, then?

In addition to dreaming of summer, we’ve been indulging in reliving the Sopranos from Season One.  I’ve been reading “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and I’m 20 pages away from finished after staying up until 3:30am last night (on a school night!)  We’ve ventured out in to the not-that-cold to visit pizza joints, Indian food oases and dive bars with delicious breakfast.  On Saturday I lived vicariously through a MECA student who photographed Kate with  her Toyo (I miss my Toyo!) field camera at her apartment.  Like an arty vampire, I watched her frame photographs, direct her subject, snap — and probably feel super satisfied with herself.  Jealous.

After some guilt I expressed about being a puddle of inactivity, boyfriend reminded me that no one should expect anything of me at this point in the winter.  God damn it, he’s right.  I’ll tend to my Etsy responsibilities as needed but much energy needs to be stored so I can hit Spring with the full force it deserves.  I think I may start drawing because it’s non-committal and totally fun.  Dishes be damned:  I just won’t throw an elaborate dinner party any time soon.  Kate lent me the second book in the series I stayed up like a zombie reading and I will absolutely finish one (tonight) and dive right in to the other (probably tonight through 3:30am again).

Then there’s the matter of The BIG THAW.  Wow, I am so excited about it but at this point there’s nothing I can really ‘do’ until February 28th when all the applications are in.  My amazing artists are working on the poster design as we speak, applications are coming in daily (all are amazing, I hope we have room for everyone!) and I’ve already divided up the floor layout to figure out the numbers we can accommodate.  But this is what I need to focus on, this is the big deal of 2011.

I refuse to feel guilty about sink scum or scattered shoes this week.  If I get to them, I get to them — if not, who really actually cares?

Then there’s the matter of feast and famine.  I learned long ago (after four intense years of art scholarship) that you can’t go-go-go all the time at art.  Some people can, but they are totally insane and don’t have the best living/hygiene/sanity standards among us creative people.  After art school I took an entire year and a half not touching anything creative before coming to my senses.  Perhaps a busy December marked with the flourish of creating a craft sale out of thin air in January made this relaxation in February completely necessary.  Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.  Perhaps in a few weeks something will pour out of my hands so freaking fantastic that not washing my hair for three days seems totally justified!

I encourage everyone reading this to join me in a night of sloth, eat potato chips off a bowl perched on your stomach, wear the same shirt to bed that you wear to work the next morning.  Hibernating solidarity! The bears would be proud.

Slow down a bit!


Cat love, making my eyes red and puffy. Totally worth it.

In the last couple of days I’ve ramped down my productivity on purpose.  I read an inspiring post from blackgirlinmaine (who I love) about how on the internet we have the tendency to always show our best side, what we’ve accomplished, how we’ve dazzled our families with fresh baked goodies and a five-course-meal (with ZERO trans fat!) but always fail to report on the small, not so victorious stuff.

It makes sense we’d put our best face forward on the internet, just like one would at a social gathering.  But!  For how much I utilize it, frankly I’m getting a little P-O-ed at the internet these days.  Connections with friends become more and more incidental.  Invitations are filtered through Facebook events and not with a phone call.  News comes at us a thousand stories a second and all the stories, youtube videos and RSS feeds do not make up in quantity what they lack in quality.

Don’t even get me started about my cell phone.

So today I decided to take a relax.  The morning was spent with cereal and a great book, Slow Eddie.  Bruce Jones, the author, is my friend Kate’s dad and his storytelling is immaculate.  I’m so charmed with his characters and I told (okay, I texted) Kate yesterday that her Dad made me cry!  You should order this book, right now.  Bruce will even autograph it for you.  And good news for when you’re halfway through and realizing with horror that there are only 80 pages left:  he’s working on another.  Phew!  Seriously if you haven’t gotten yourself a copy by the end of this post you’re a damn fool.

After I’d had enough of that I tended to a little housework.  We’re focusing on the living room this week because of a new, amazing piece of furniture we got.  More on that in a sec.  Here’s the thing — housework can either be focused and calming or stressful and overwhelming.  I picked the tasks that were the former:  dishes (almost all of them got done!  Hurray!), cleaning the past-filthy cat litter box (gross but satisfying), and taking our enormous pile of unopened mail and organizing it and, hell yes, in some cases opening it!  Good news:  no one is suing me.  Bad news:  there are still a lot of people who want money!

Then, because I’d been a jerk for two weeks and hadn’t taken any new pictures of items to list I did some of that.  Just a little.  Then my Dad came over and we ate cold pesto while we waited for Joel to be around so we could pick up THIS:


Custom-Designed Media Console by Joel Platz.

Ohhhhh yeah.  We brought this solid wood, walnut-veneered work of beauty home today in my Dad’s ridiculous, bright yellow Pontiac Aztek.  My dad also found $20 on the ground.  Which is good because all I had to pay him in was cold pesto pasta salad.

About this furniture:  this piece was designed specifically for my home and components!  It’s substantial formally, but in our living room it is perfectly sized to get the job done but not take over the place.  I’m going to set up an anti-cat force field around it (surprised they haven’t tried to climb in already).  See that compartment in the middle?  It’s built specifically to house my vintage receiver.  Ultimately I’d like to mount our flat screen (which is currently sitting on top of the console) so that we can put our record player on top.  The bottom compartments are sized perfectly to hold records.  21st century be damned!

Joel Platz and I conceptualized the design (which only he executed, I have no idea how someone can make something this excellent) after a series of photographs I took of his other work two summers ago.  Because we’re both in to bartering and probably most likely both astronomical cheapskates we agreed on a trade.  However, little birdy told me that the design and concept was super satisfying and he would definitely make more in the future.  If you’re interested in something like this or other pieces of simple, graphic and inspired furniture, just let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Oh my god, LOOK at the way the light and shadows play in the negative space!  Ok, I’m done…back to business:

So now I find myself with a half-assembled living room (computer, sound system and video game consoles are all on the couch) procrastinating like hell on a coffee table full of coupons.  Why am I such an old lady?  Oh!  Probably because I love old ladies.

I think this evening holds mostly wallowing in clutter, grabbing a slice from Ottos (or, who am I kidding, warming up some more pesto) and clipping a few coupons while Jason rigs up the electonics so I can watch a movie before bed.  Nice!