Friday, May 27, 2011

Today I marched (ok, sauntered maybe) into the paint store, picked out a purple and bought it. Finally, as I was slapping it onto the wall, I didn't get that horrific sick feeling. I must say I'm surprised at how difficult it's been for me to commit to a color for the bedroom, maybe it's the change on top of all the other changes and during all this changing. Either way I am finally happy. I chose a grapey red-purple so that it would feel warm and wombish -as it is the room of inversion and gestation (and, ahem, passion), it's deep and also vibrant without being electrifying. I think that may have been the trouble all along with the blues, they were just too cool or too serious. I'm also happy about all the colors that can go with it and am even thinking about painting gold a small chest of drawers I have, a la that photo a few posts down that has the electric purple wall and the gold sofa. Ofcourse what I've really come to realize is that I don't like the process. I would rather be outside on a gorgeous day like today was (not that I spent the whoooole day painting because, as I'm explaining, I simply can't bear it) and I don't like the chaos of furniture all out of place and the "in progress" look. I really should have done this when it was raining except then all the nasty fumes (another thing I don't like) would have been trapped inside forever. Which brings me to: no, I don't have photos yet because it's not finished. Soon...
Not only is it the dark of the moon, but the dark of the moon before an eclipse (on Wednesday), and last night I dreampt I was stuck in a bus station for so long that it almost seemed I was living there temporarily with a bunch of other people who were stuck. I must be in limbo again, which certainly does seem apparent in my real life, as recent events seemed to drag me back into a position I've already outgrown. I'll be focusing intently over the coming days on the changes that are coming, as everyone should be. During times of transition it's good to not only identify what you are letting go of but also what you are ready to embrace.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I am so screwing up on practicing my new bed time tonight but I can't help it. I'm not tired and last night it took me forever to get to sleep and then I had weird dreams so I'm not really in much of a hurry to try that again. In the meantime, I just looked up the symbolism of violet even though I swear I already chose a blue for the bedroom.... So check it out:
"Composed of equal proportions of red and blue, violet is the color of temperance, clarity of mind, deliberate action, of balance between Heaven and Earth, senses and spirit, passion and reason, love and wisdom... violet lies directly opposite green. Thus it stands, not for the springtime passage from death into life, but for the autumnal passage from life into death, involution rather than evolution.... linked to the symbolism of the mouth. Violet... is the mouth which swallows and puts out the light, while green is the mouth which regurgitates and rekindles it. This explains why violet is the color of secrecy since, behind it, the invisible mystery of reincarnation or at least of transformation takes place."
What better color for a room to sleep in? It also makes me think about how half my wardrobe is shades of violet... And ofcourse, now comes the collage!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Alright, yesterday and the day before I hauled home compost and soil for the first bed (can't fit it all in my trunk at once!) and finally got my first sprouted plants in there. On the right are my cucumber plants and to the left are my peas -all sprouted from seeds! In between are a couple rows of very small sprouts you can't see in the photo and through most of the rest of the space I sewed seeds that had been recommended to plant directly outside, not sprouted indoors ahead of time. Soon I hope to be looking at a bed full of peas, celery, lettuce, beets, carrots, kale, broccoli, spinach, cucumbers and brussell sprouts! As this is the first time I've ever planted a garden on my own and I was too impatient yesterday to go back and re-read I may have planted things a little too close together so we'll have to see what happens. My only complaint so far is that it really doesn't take that long to plant and I really seem to be enjoying working in the dirt. Next on my to do list is to dig up worms (as I've already found where they all seem to be living) and move them to the garden area. I'm just not sure I want to do that before everything sprouts though because I'm not sure if they might eat my seeds? Anyway, isn't it lovely? I've so been enjoying making it, I'll have to think of something else to build next!
I still have the second bed to fill, as you can see, and I think it will be mostly herbs. I've already got chamomile started, found some echinacea seeds and have some basil seeds, too. I'll need to spend some time researching what else will be most delicious and useful (some I already have in mind, ofcourse) and then make another seed shopping trip. 

The latest on the inside of the house is that I gave myself a few days off from looking at paint swatches. In my cleaning out frenzy I managed to sell off a cat tree (which my cats have been ignoring for years) and a broken record player, the proceeds of which recouped my wrong color losses -yay! And today I finally went back to the paint store and picked up new paint chips because no matter how much fun the Benjamin Moore website is, the online swatches are not accurate. I think I've found a blue I like now and am just going to give myself a little more time to look at the color in all different lights: morning sun, dusk, and under the overhead light only -once it's dark out. Just to complicate things I started looking at purples, too, and found a shade that is toward the redder side, making it a warmer purple. I had a purple bedroom for the last few years I lived with my parents and I certainly liked it back then but for whatever reason it hasn't been appealing since. Maybe for the bathroom? 
Here's a photo I came across just after returning home with the purple paint chips, gorgeous shade but not one I'm considering for inside.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Maybe a year and a half ago a friend took me to a psychic. Believe it or not I'd never been to one before. It's a little hard to have faith in someone who claims that they need no tool but their self. It could just as well be you or me claiming to see the future, couldn't it? Anyway, she told me only good things and so my decision was to suspend judgement in regard to whether or not she knew what she was talking about and just believe in all of those good things happening to me. Everybody wins. And she may well have been right, some of those things have actually happened. I did leave my job, which she predicted, and I didn't really believe that I would back then and she told me that was definitely going to happen. In fact, that was one of the few things I tried to translate into some other possible event because I simply couldn't see it happening. Anyway, I think where she lost me a little (as far as taking every word she said literally) was when she prescribed for me the bottled Vitamin Water drinks -particularly blueberry, I believe she said. And told me they had a deal on them at Costco or some such place. Right then I took a little step back inside me. I just remembered this for some reason and thought, it's like prescribing someone cookies, "Especially chocolate chip, that's the best one for you."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

These Blues Are Making a Fool of Me

Who knew painting the bedroom would become such a production? I finally gave up on Mermaid Treasure teal and hunted out blues on Apartment Therapy. I found this image from their Room For Color contest, Newburg Green by Benjamin Moore.

I think this is the one, I thought, it's subtle and sophisticated and moody and stark and the colors in the room pop out against it. It looks like the sky late at night with a full moon or being at the bottom of the ocean. As usual I rushed home to start painting and have so far a quarter of the biggest wall done. Good things about it: either because of the quality of the paint or because of the darkness, it covers well and I don't think I'll have to do two coats which is really nice because my arm is about to fall off. But again I am slightly doubtful -not the way I was with the nausea inducing teal, but more like: this doesn't look blue or green at all. It looks charcoal gray. When I turn on the overhead light it looks downright black. So again, I'm not going any further until it dries. If it doesn't look like it does in that photo it'll be off to the store a third time, I suppose. Brother, I'll be a laughing stock at the paint department soon!
PS: Benjamin Moore has a great website that shows you really large color swatches. 
*     *     *
45 minutes later: I spent some time pulling weeds and Morning Glory in the yard, played with the dog a little and came back. Still looks like charcoal gray. Maybe even just plain black. I've posted it all on craigslist in hopes that these colors do appeal to someone and I can fund a FINAL replacement can. I'm thinking this time I'll buy a few of the sample size cans first. Here's to finally using my brain...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I woke up this morning feeling great and decided I liked the blue on my bedroom wall well enough. I don't think it's the one I intended to use but maybe overnight it grew on me or maybe it did dry more and change. So I got back to work on the painting and got a whole nother corner done (x 2 coats) plus I vacuumed the pop-up closet and move it back into the corner and put everything back in because my least favorite part of painting is the upheaval. Having furniture and things that are usually stored in furniture and out of sight littering all my usual open spaces and pathways puts me in a foul mood. Getting a thorough cleaning done, however, is always nice. And I've been finding random pieces that I'd stored away because I didn't know where in the house I wanted them or if I wanted them in the house anymore -like the parasol I use as a lamp and an old painting- and have been finding new places for them to be used in my bedroom, which is changing how it looks even more.
So here's the funny thing: now I don't love so much the blue again. Does it have something to do with the time of day / quality of light? Does it have something to do with all the messes I've been making and cleaning up again? Does it have something to do with breathing the fumes??? It's ridiculous. I'm even thinking about the psychological effects that color has on mood. I guess I'm just going to have to do the whole damn room and see how I feel a week after that. I'm thinking that even though I'd really, really outgrown the last color I don't think it ever had this effect on me but at the same time I've never been pleased with the bedroom over all and this was intended to be the first step toward remedying that. Fingers still crossed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mermaid Treasure -Yet Another Update

I am freshly again on the fence about whether this blue is going to stay.... I am putting the second coat on the first wall and promising my self I won't go any further until it has dried completely and I've lived with it for a few days. Cannot decide: Mermaid Treasure, beautiful vibrant oceanic blue or neon that will burn your eyes out?
*    *    *
Here is the wall with two coats. It hasn't nearly dried yet so I know it's still not showing it's true shade. I couldn't resist putting up my old parasol turned lamp that I just rediscovered while cleaning out the closet, seeing it up made me feel both better and worse as I love that thing but it just makes it more obvious to me that this is not the right blue (...yet? fingers crossed!)

I'll give it 'til tomorrow morning and then I think I'll put my nearly full can of paint and my living room leftovers (another half full can) up on craigslist to try to recoup some cash toward the RIGHT color.
The Scorpio full moon was accompanied by a weird little storm here in Los Angeles, beginning early in the morning and consisting mostly of tree whipping wind with just the lightest spray of rain by the time I got up. Along with that I got a fitful night of sleep due in part, I fear, to my new bed feeling a bit too firm for me -not to worry, a feather bed is en route to plush it up. Also I'm still adjusting to the sensation of being about a foot higher than in the old one. And also due, in larger part I suspect, to the bizarre dreams.
This morning I feel average/normal but my brain is also reminding me yet again how entirely different my life has become in the last few months and that there is yet another revolution on it's way into my life. (It's something I "know" but I'm not telling until it begins.) A year ago I would never have thought that I'd have this chance to start something entirely new and now I'm feeling like I just got out of high school. Finally released from the seemingly endless stronghold of school, starting out in the world to do just what I want. It is sometimes unbelievable to me that I finally left my old job and am now going into something entirely different. And at the same time I've already made so many adjustments to these changes that it all seems like the most natural thing in the world.
Update on the blue room: I think part of my issue with it yesterday was feeling a little nauseous from the combination of paint fumes and the fact that I didn't eat a very good lunch so was feeling a bit wonky anyway. Also, I knew that it needed time to dry completely to achieve its true shade and also needs a second coat because the old drab green is still showing through in places and I'm sure that's screwing up the color. This morning it already looks better and even though it's cold out (which makes me not want windows open for airing out) I'm going to keep working on it today because I can't stand to have it sitting there half done. All this painting is getting combined into a massive bedroom clean out/up, as well, and I aim to have an entirely transformed bedroom by the end of the week. Hopefully by then it will have warmed up outside, as well, and I can finish up the garden.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Scorpio Full Moon 'Vision Board'

Update on the Transforming Blue Bedroom

I'm painting away and alternating between thinking it's too light and bright and thinking that it's perfect. In some ways both may be true considering the source of the inspiration for the color. I think the key is to get more art up on the walls so that it's not such a huge expanse of color -a problem I have had with this room for a long time. Here are some preview photos with one wall done (alright, it needs another coat but it's "done" enough to see the color). I'm thinking this was a subconscious Scorpio full moon urge honoring the transformative and water properties of the sign. Sun in Taurus has me focusing on home-making.

This first one here is what the color looks like with only the lamp and the north facing windows dusk light. You can see a patch of the old color on the adjoining wall there, I swear when I painted it looked like a bluish olive green, sort of a 40's or 50's era shade but over time it's looked drabber and drabber and  as I was painting today it looked downright gray next to the new vibrant blue.

This photo here is a bit over exposed but I couldn't resist having Juno in it. Not her cute-est pose but always adorable. 
Ultimately it's a pretty shade and I'll get more and more used to it but it's giving me a bit of shock right now and I've wondered if I should have gotten a shade darker even. Future goals for the bedroom are a new spread in either peach, gold or dark fuschia -again: can't decide and have a million vintage finds favorited on etsy that are waiting for me to cave in and purchase. Also, as mentioned before: huge bare walls desperately in need of more art. It's a work in progress.

Blue, The Obsession Continues

Due to a long unfortunate story I will not relate here I had to replace my bed this weekend. As I've had it for 15 years it certainly wasn't a minute too soon but I'd been putting it off in hopes of waiting until I felt I was in a position to invest in something a little more luxurious. Overall, the new one is pretty darn good. I found a local company who manufactures mattresses reusing sanitized spring assembly's and all new stuffing and fabric at an unbeatable price, plus there was a special going on. I was able to buy a new king size mattress, box spring and metal frame for just under $300 including delivery. That's pretty much unbeatable.
Happy to finally have a new bed I though what a shame it was I didn't have a chance to paint the room before the bed was delivered as it would have been so much easier. But I still hadn't decided on a color. I think everyone is aware that I have been obsessed with blues for quite a while but as I already painted the living room blue I felt I should have some variety and have been trying to convince myself of pink or peach  for the bedroom. Perhaps due in part to some earlier unfortunate choices in shades of pink I haven't been able to decide on a shade for months and have still been obsessing about blues all the while. There's just nothing like a rich water or sky image to drive me crazy and I want to be enveloped in it, as if I were in this photo.

So I finally gave in and chose a blue called Mermaid's Treasure (or something like that) and came home and immediately painted a corner of the first wall to see how it would look. The following images are others I used for comparison to the paint chips including a couple of actual interiors using a very similar blue. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Language Through the Looking Glass

I've just come across the most entertaining thing (recommended by Bust magazines new 'blog of the week'). It's a blog for Swedish Elle by Elsa Billgren (pictured above), but that's not exactly what I mean -yes, the blog is great but just wait. It's entirely in Swedish except at the bottom of each entry is a little summary of what the entry is about in English. One of them happened to say 'click the flag to translate to English'. Oh, brilliant! The first one I read in English was a recipe for a fruit and nut smoothie -never would have thought to put nuts in a smoothie, that's pretty brilliant too! The next one I translated is about Elsa and her husbands first anniversary. The translation is so off that while you can follow the basic idea of what she's saying it becomes, in English, a little nonsensical. And adorable. Here's the translation for the post about the anniversary, I love how she refers to him as 'the wolf':

Today celebrates the wolf and I am a whole year to married! He may be the finest thing that walks on two legs, has a long nose and warm belly, the world's biggest laughs and serious eyebrows. Today we're going out to the country and I thought I'd dip my toes in the water and sleeping on a lawn blanket. Then we'll get a key there and play with adult country home and planted rose bushes in the alley.
For dot A year ago we got married, and it rained on the town hall and we got on other people's rose petals and rice grains. It took five minutes and does nothing but so much anyway. Now it's May again and each time the rain I think of us. How do we drink champagne on the floor and is exciting, to go away, how we knökar us into the taxi with umbrellas and dress shoes. Then we said yes and that was clear and now we have anything left. A thousand dinners at crane and a thousand fall asleep in your arms. Too many arguments, and make it up, throw in the doors and repent. Lots of running races on the bus and quiet Djurgården ferry rides with views and wind.Then he keeps on me and it flies off his hat.
When he put wax in my hair and I get to comb the pile, I know it's true. We went on gut instinct, and now we celebrate the lawn blanket with Donald Duck and earthy fingers, and we hear something in the wind I know it is you who send kisses. <3

Friday, May 13, 2011

We Want To Be Free! To Do What We Want To Do!

Finally, finally, finally. I seem to have figured it out. I've enrolled in beauty school and each time I've visited (first for info and a tour -to see if I liked it, second to enroll) just being there makes me feel incredibly happy and energized and mellow at once. I knew it was what I wanted to be doing but had worried that it wouldn't be much different from my previous beauty school experience which kind of sucked -the environment, the "education", and sadly even most of the people. I have been assured, in fact, that I had previously attended one of the worst schools in the area. Super.
This one, however, is amazing. Or at least it seems to be so far. The space alone is dreamy: a big open warehouse. The director is young and very nice. The program is intended to provide you with training enough to go straight to work as a stylist after your licensing exam rather than getting stuck as an assistant for years after you finish school. Small to many, perhaps, but a very good sign to me of "what's really important" is that there is no uniform or crazy dress code either. I love this because I've always felt that uniforms and dress codes have no place in creative schools or professions. I really do believe that people telling you what not to wear infringes on your creative urges on a daily basis and grinds them down over time. Not to mention the obvious message of mandatory conformity. This could be a whole 'nother post for me but instead I'll just keep on with it here for a minute longer: When I was growing up and all through my 20's I wore some pretty wacky things. I even sewed some not-quite-right pieces and wore them unapologetically and often. Dresses with unfinished hems, necklines and arm holes. Tops that were nearly perfect had it not been for them being ever so slightly crooked or lopsided. Oh well. Once I was promoted high enough at work that I became "visible" on a new level I had to alter what I wore. It became a source of stress for me, to find an outfit that was both appropriate for work and that I still felt like myself in. Something that wouldn't create a nasty expression on my bosses face. I despise all attempts to control me on any level. After a while I fell into a rut of bland basics. All of this has a lot to do with my unemployment obsession of wearing whatever I want to. Not only did I actually get excited to get dressed in the morning but I sometimes even felt a little confused about what I might want to wear and whether most of my clothes suited me anymore. So these days I think I am back to feeling like myself and wearing what feels natural to me on any given day and I kind of promised myself that part of finding a happy occupation was to find one which allowed me to be truly myself at all times. I didn't want a job that made me go out and buy more clothes that I didn't actually want to wear. It's just not for me. Style is a big part of having complete freedom of personal expression. So after a week of weighing options and feeling concerned about making the best commitment for myself and my unknowable future I've chosen a career that encourages me to be me and I seem to have found the best possible place to start. I couldn't be more excited.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I am back to having crazy dreams and last nights was exceptional. I don't think I'll be able to describe it in a way that truly relates the bizarre spectacularity of it but I'm going to try to at least give a few parts of it in detail. First of all, a man who in the dream was supposed to be the father of someone who, again: in the dream, was a friend of mine. For most of the dream I regarded him as a man, though I did notice and find a little peculiar (for an average straight man) that he was wearing eye shadow very obviously, although for some reason it really barely registered. But then a little later I saw him from a distance and thought he was a woman. I remember this whole part as I first thought he was a woman and then realized, no, that's her dad... He was wearing totally ambiguous jeans and shirt, plain wire frame glasses, the eye make-up ofcourse and then a pair of suede platform flip flip style sandals that really seemed a little more suited to a woman but were, again, kind of ambiguous. (And he was wearing socks, by the way.) It seemed he was there, as well as a few other people, to see my garden (I think he may have helped me with it) which was gorgeous and had many plants that absolutely do not exist in nature. Next we're joined by a few gay guys (one was actually someone I used to work with) and suddenly it seemed I was hosting some kind of party slash weird custom truck rally. All of the trucks arriving were completely unusual: the one I remember distinctly was covered in tweed rather than, oh I dunno -paint? All had been designed by the gay men who owned them and each one was intended to pull into a particular spot for judging or something as they arrived. It was freaking weird! I'm really curious what it means to dream about a transgender (as I believe that would accurately describe the father of the friend), not to mention the rest. The only thing I could find was about dreaming of a garden which ofcourse generally represents paradise. Here's a little more on the symbolism of the garden in dreams, "...gardens are often regarded as agreeable expressions of pure desire free from all anxiety. They are places 'of growth and for the cultivation of vital internal phenomena.' " Sounds great to me and gave me some new ideas for adding large containers around the yard to grow flowers and decorative plants raised about two to three feet off the ground for variation and to keep the dogs out of them.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Escape Into Life

I will freely admit that I prefer to live in a world that probably seems like a fantasy to anyone else and ever since I saw all those scientists in What the Bleep Do We Know? talking about how we create out own reality I see no reason why I shouldn't. That being said, I'm trying to make decisions about my future while following my self prescribed advice, see below for the new moon collage: What makes me come alive? I am having such an amazing time these days that I'm having a harder and harder time trying to decide what I want to do next because doing whatever I want is pretty brilliant but I still haven't figured out how to get paid for it forever. I don't mind doing something in the meantime -until I can decide, whenever that is... But what? The idea of that terrible creeping feeling that I'm working off some kind of jail sentence returning, should the choice I make begin to feel that way (God forbid!!!), is whistling around the back of my head. Right now I'm trying to decide between taking a job walking dogs and playing with kitties or going to school full time for the next ten months. Or somehow doing a variation of both -if I must. And that's where I get confounded: must I? I don't HAVE to do anything. What's my other self prescribed advice? Something about not making plans for the future so that the future can create itself. But it's hard. You don't want to see too far ahead, you CAN'T see too far ahead and yet you want to make choices that will be good for your unknowable future. So I guess I'll just keep investigating until the little whistle in the back of my head screeches: Not that!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Garden Grows

Here are some of the veggie plants I've started that will be planted in the raised beds in the near future. Peas, lettuce, spinach, celery and carrots here. I've also started some chamomile, kale and broccoli and have even more seeds still to come! Sadly I got myself a painful sunburn the other day while I was building the beds -just in the area's on the back of my shoulder blades (foolish of me to change shirts and not think to touch up the sunscreen application) and it's excruciating to wear a shirt much less use my arms for much of anything which causes my skin to move. Ugghhrrrrrr. So until the pain subsides I am carefully tending my sprouts. I got them started using compressed pellets that expand with water and a tray that holds them and has a clear plastic lid to create kind of a mini greenhouse. Yesterday, to satisfy my need to continue on the project, I transfered the already sprouting ones into peat pots with soil which stinks like hell which then promptly led to me taking them outdoors for the first time. Coincidentally I just read that you should move indoor started seedlings outdoors into a shady area first before planting them in full sun so I considered that this was their first step toward the garden. Because I don't have an area that's shady all day that can accommodate them I left them out overnight and let them get the morning sun but brought them in before the mid-day sun burned them. It seems to have agreed with them  as they all straightened up nice and tall while previously they'd begun leaning at almost a 90 degree angle toward the window. Anyway, brought them in for the middle of the day and took them back out once the sun was behind my building and the porch was shaded again. They'll stay out tonight and we'll do the same routine tomorrow and on until it's time for them to be planted. So exciting!!! 
Considering how far along this part of the yard and garden project is, I've begun to obsess about the rest of the dusty lot. I love succulents and have quite a few potted and would love to have some beds of succulents in the yard but that's a lot of plants. To get me started I decided to prune my flapjack plant which I've had for probably ten years. It was all of about three circular leaves when I first got it and now is crowding and overflowing from a large pot. I used to start new ones all the time from cuttings and used to have a pretty sizeable container garden but I guess I was too generous and gave most of them away to friends. I generally hate to cut plants up (beyond just taking one piece off here and there) but as I began pruning the flapjack I found that there were just as many babies underneath that wanted to come out but had nowhere to go. Also, the plant was crammed with dead leaves that had fallen underneath where I couldn't see or reach them so I'm sure it's a lot healthier now, too. Look at all the clippings I got just from that one plant! 

And just a few more from another plant.

I'll still have to invest in some echevaria, as any of the variety are my favorites, and some of those that look kind of like cabbage (don't know their name) -both grow long stalks with beautiful bright flowers on them. And I'm also entertaining the idea of making them all their own (lower) raised bed once the vegetable garden is up and running. We'll just have to see. 

New Moon in Taurus