I am inspired right now by a few people . . .

Mary Lekoshere, who was inspired by Melissa Muth, has decided to blog one work of art daily during the month of October. I admit that I am jealous of her truly artistic abilities. Not only is she a fabulous artist, she has a way with words that will command a smile with almost every blog post. The one thing I can brag above her is that I know my way around computers. :) In this transition time, I have found myself with quite a bit of down-time. I am actively seeking employment, but there are only so many places you can apply. Now has begun the online search while waiting to hear back from other companies. Anyways, I was just trying to say there’s a lot of free time. Between cleaning the house and car, laundry, and meals, I have . . . nothing . . . to do. Maybe I will devote some time to redeveloping the quickness necessary for designers. I want to pick up sketching again. So, Mary, thanks for your inspiration.

Deb Buckingham has also inspired me. She is the only person I have ever personally observed work coupon magic. After sending me to a couple websites (A Full Cup and My Frugal Adventures), I got hooked. The one problem I’ve  run into is that I don’t have a printer at the same time that I have internet service. (Thank you, Internet Cafe.) I’m definitely not complaining. It just makes it hard to print all those coupons. After returning home tonight, I will see if my plan to print will actually work. This is another free-time spender. It requires a little more research, but once I get started, I know I’m going to enjoy it a LOT! I love saving money (even though my dad might argue otherwise).

Web designers in general have inspired me. Yesterday, my amazing husband decided it was worth the investment to purchase a book that will help me master web design. In all honesty, that was the only class during college I didn’t feel benefited me. It didn’t click then. I could make a website look good, but I couldn’t guarantee that it would work. And I have been wanting to figure it out ever since. So, now I have the time and the resources, and I am determined to become a proficient web designer. This is where most of my free time will be spent. (As soon as I get done with this crazy blog post.)

Today was the first day I spent separated from my husband since our wedding day. It was good. And I can’t wait to see him when he comes home. Look at him, out there bringing home the bacon. Yes, that is my husband. And after dinner ( . . . maybe before?) we will have our second tennis date. Last night was fabulous. We are horrible. :)

honey, salt & sandburg


My senior year in college, I went to a fine arts contest where one of the dramatic interpretations was the poem Honey and Salt by Carl Sandburg. I had never heard it before, but within minutes it became a favorite. It could’ve been the style of the interpretation, or the ease of the delivery. It might have been that it was humorous timing [for my life], or that I liked the pictures painted by the the words of the artist. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I doubt you will.

Honey and Salt
Carl Sandburg

A bag of tricks—is it?
And a game smoothies play?
If you’re good with a deck of cards
or rolling the bones—that helps?
If you can tell jokes and be a chum
and make an impression—that helps?
When boy meets girl or girl meets boy—
what helps?
They all help: be cozy but not too cozy:
be shy, bashful, mysterious, yet only so-so:
then forget everything you ever heard about love
for it’s a summer tan and a winter windburn
and it comes as weather comes and you can’t change it:
it comes like your face came to you, like your legs came
and the way you walk, talk, hold your head and hands—
and nothing can be done about it—you wait and pray.
Is there any way of measuring love?
Yes but not till long afterward
when the beat of your heart has gone
many miles, far into the big numbers.
Is the key to love in passion, knowledge, affection?
All three—along with moonlight, roses, groceries,
givings and forgivings, gettings and forgettings,
keepsakes and room rent,
pearls of memory along with ham and eggs.
Can love be locked away and kept hid?
Yes and it gathers dust and mildew
and shrivels itself in shadows
unless it learns the sun can help,
snow, rain, storms can help—
birds in their one-room family nests
shaken by winds cruel and crazy—
they can all help:
lock not away your love nor keep it hid.
How comes the first sign of love?
In a chill, in a personal sweat,
in a you-and-me, us, us two,
in a couple of answers,
an amethyst haze on the horizon,
two dance programs criss-crossed,
jackknifed initials interwoven,
five fresh violets lost in sea salt,
birds flying at single big moments
in and out a thousand windows,
a horse, two horses, many horses,
a silver ring, a brass cry,
a golden gong going ong ong ong-ng-ng,
pink doors closing one by one
to sunset nightsongs along the west,
shafts and handles of stars,
folds of moonmist curtains,
winding and unwinding wisps of fogmist.

How long does love last?
As long as glass bubbles handled with care
or two hot-house orchids in a blizzard
or one solid immovable steel anvil
tempered in sure inexorable welding—
or again love might last as
six snowflakes, six hexagonal snowflakes,
six floating hexagonal flakes of snow
or the oaths between hydrogen and oxygen
in one cup of spring water
or the eyes of bucks and does
or two wishes riding on the back of a
morning wind in winter
or one corner of an ancient tabernacle
held sacred for personal devotions
or dust yes dust in a little solemn heap
played on by changing winds.
There are sanctuaries holding honey and salt.
There are those who spill and spend.
There are those who search and save.
And love may be a quest with silence and content.
Can you buy love?
Sure every day with money, clothes, candy,
with promises, flowers, big-talk,
with laughter, sweet-talk, lies,
every day men and women buy love
and take it away and things happen
and they study about it
and the longer they look at it
the more it isn’t love they bought at all:
bought love is a guaranteed imitation.

Can you sell love?
Yes you can sell it and take the price
and think it over
and look again at the price
and cry and cry to yourself
and wonder who was selling what and why.
Evensong lights floating black night water,
a lagoon of stars washed in velvet shadows,
a great storm cry from white sea-horses—
these moments cost beyond all prices.

Bidden or unbidden? how comes love?
Both bidden and unbidden, a sneak and a shadow,
a dawn in a doorway throwing a dazzle
or a sash of light in a blue fog,
a slow blinking of two red lanterns in river mist
or a deep smoke winding one hump of a mountain
and the smoke becomes a smoke known to your own
twisted individual garments:
the winding of it gets into your walk, your hands,
your face and eyes.

design. yum.

And at this moment, I’m wishing I was at the National Stationery Show in NYC. My face is one of jealousy right now.

But ! I found some wonderful site that has great slides from the NSS. It made my face light up. Please partake. It’s yummy! From design*sponge . . .

Also, here are a few links in order to make your day more design friendly.

nantaka joy – Ok, so the site isn’t up yet, but you may want to frequent this later. Great stuff in the show!
HAMMERPRESS – Letterpress goodies. I wanted to eat them up.
Studio Olivine – More letterpress goodies. Although the size of their examples leaves much to be desired.
Night Owl Paper Goods – Fun letterpress ideas. You can even buy some cards for yourself!

I even put a couple of these links in my blogroll. Make sure to check out design*sponge which is where I found most of these!


It’s about all I can do at this point.

This week has been one hit after another. But they come in hiding . . . completely unexpected. The biggest (maybe) was the Commencement Contest. I spent a very long time on a painting. Like, my entire spring break, people. My hand was crippled due to the technique I was using (28 lines of text carved into drywall). Then, I went back to school last Saturday and spent several evenings finishing up the actual painting process. I love it. I think it’s gorgeous.

The art teachers didn’t agree. Granted, it was my first shot at this technique and there are some improvements that could be made, but I really like my piece. It turned out very much how I envisioned it. The worst part is that I spent quite a bit of time working on that when I really could’ve been putting it into other things . . . such as my creative resume or the writing of a certain state and local statistical analysis that I should be working on as we speak. I entered another piece as well and that didn’t get in. Grr.

It’s all about pride. It wouldn’t bother me to be a graduating senior without a thing to show in the commencement contest if I was meek or humble. God is still pointing out areas that I have big problems with.

That’s not all, but other things are numerous and I don’t have time to expound. Disappointments abounded this week. But so did blessings.

Last night I read Psalm 16 and had a nice little pep talk with myself and God. He promises to show me the path of life. I really want to see His presence because there (and only there) will I find fullness of joy. His right hand bestows pleasures eternally. Why do I have problems trusting? Probably because I’m looking in all the wrong directions.

T5 Websites

I have a MacBook Pro. In fact, I’m typing on it right now. I’ve had it for almost a week. Early graduation presents are the best!

I haven’t done a Top 5 in a while, so maybe I should do one again.

Hm . . . choosing a topic is the worst.

Top 5 Websites (and 5 extras)

1. www.veer.com: this is where I travel for all my creative inspiration. Ok, not all of it, but a lot of it has inspired me. And they have amazing desktops. I’ve actually designed a few desktops myself now for fun. It’s great. If you’re a designer, go to the Ideas tab, scroll down and you’ll notice on the right side some little goodies. (The left side has the desktop link) Check out Stream of Consciousness video. Explaining the designing process. LOVE IT.
2. www.jbarnettphotography.com: this is a friend’s photography site. Every photo on here is amazing. Except one. But the rest are pretty good.
3. www.prologuefilms.com: Kyle Cooper. Amazing. I would love to do this for the rest of my life.
4. www.wefeelfine.org: I love the layout of this site. (Not the initial site you’re taken to, but the one after you click to open the actual site.) Play around. It’s a pretty cool concept. I found this on Veer.
5. www.artinfo.com/theaiinterview.aspx: this was also found on Veer. (You know why it’s my #1 site!!!) Excellent source for contemporary artist bios. I wish I had this in History of Art when I wrote my Chuck Close paper . . .
6. www.jargonboy.com: I love this concept. The alphabet with design. Teach your kids with style. Amazing.
7. www.janfamily.com: the cover pic cracks me up. I only started going through this site, but I enjoyed what I saw. It will receive a return visit for sure. Probably a few.
8. www.swedendesign-hk.com: yeah. Hot stuff.
9. www.imaginaryforces.com: this was where Kyle Cooper was before he started Prologue Films. It just got too big for him, so he moved on to start PF where he could keep a smaller staff and be more hands on. They still do amazing stuff.
10. www.ikea.com: what can I say. Cheap furniture is always a plus.

So . . . I couldn’t limit myself. These were all slightly more design related choices than anything. Maybe I’ll discover some websites one day that don’t have to do with design, but for now I’m content to pick design over function.


As a designer, I’ve constantly been encouraged by teachers to be more observant. To observe is to be inspired. Lately, I’ve been feeling a lack of inspiration in my work. I’ve struggled more than once this year trying to make beautiful things happen in my design. I’m losing the feel of freshness that I had last year.

Today, my family and I went to see White Christmas at the Cumberland County Playhouse. (It was good, but nothing compared to the movie, of course. You just can’t beat Bing singing the title song.) Anyways, the playhouse is about a 1.5-hour drive from our place. The entire time, no lie, I was looking out the window with thoughts racing through my head. Most of the drive is open fields and pastures with the Tennessee hills (“mountains”) in the background. Today was especially gorgeous with the rainy fog covering the mountaintops. I kept seeing pictures.

At one point, I thought to myself, “Just keep looking to the right. On the way back you can look at the other side.” And that’s what I did. The drive was probably just as enjoyable as the play itself, if not moreso.

I have ideas.

The Beginning of Something Big

I think that I’m going to steal an idea from Stephen O’Bryan which was stolen originally from Dave Ruse. I’m going to do a Top 5. Whenever I get bored (or whenever I feel like it), I’m going to do another Top 5 post about whatever I feel like rating that day.

Today . . . Artists.

1. Chuck Close
2. Leonardo da Vinci
3. Jonathan Andrews (one of my teachers)
4. Piet Mondrian
5. Mark Rothko

This may seem bogus that Mr. Andrews beat out Mondrian and Rothko, but I seriously LOVE his style. I want him to marry my sister just so I can have some of his artwork! He’s amazing. Again, this is my Top 5. You can make your own.

Intense Hues

I love being involved with art.

I’m in the middle of brainstorming a painting. It’s been in my head for almost a year now. I think I may finally have the time to tackle it during the break. It’s really more of a design on canvas than a painting. I still don’t know what I’m going to title it.

The main focus is “Stand in Awe of Him” but I want a one or two-word title. The plan is thick gesso with phrases from Psalms carved in with some sweet colors. I’m trying to decide whether I want to go with warm or cool hues. I just don’t know about which attitude I want to portray – more worshipful (warm – burnt oranges and yellows) or more calming/comforting (cool – blues and hints of green). I’m leaning toward the warm. I love intensity.

If it turns out, it may be my commencement piece.


Sometimes you end up doing things that you thought you never would.

A little thought was planted in my mind by a pretty cool person. He said something along the lines of…”We don’t go around looking for these things. God just brings them to us, and then we know it’s our responsibility.” I’m probably paraphrasing very badly, but I think I’m still getting the basic idea across.

Tonight in prayer group we played a fun game. Take an everyday object and apply it to your spiritual life. Here’s what we came up with . . .

  • jump drive: our sins aren’t stored forever on God’s list; they can be removed.
  • watch: we need to make every second of our lives count
  • gouache paint: God brings us things that we don’t always enjoy, but they’re there to help us rely on Him and teach us lessons
  • magnets: I can’t let anything get between me and God because my attraction to Him will be interrupted
  • paintbrush: without God’s hand, I can’t do anything. I’m like a paintbrush without an artist
  • play-dough: I should be able to molded by God’s hand to become whatever He wants me to be
  • wd-40: this was compared to God’s Word. Without constantly being in the Bible, I become squeaky and get stuck in a rut. But if I’m constantly in God’s Word, things will tend to run smoothly
  • stapler: we can rely on God to keep our lives together
  • tube of toothpaste: I need to watch what I do and say, because once something has occurred, it can’t be taken back. Just like once the toothpaste is out, it can’t be put back in.
  • lint roller: A lint roller picks up black from a black sweater or white from a white sweater. It picks up whatever it’s around. I need to surround myself with godly people because they will rub off on me.
  • ball: God has the whole world in His hands

Lastly, the thing I chose was an eraser. At first, I didn’t know what I was going to say, but then I was hit with a thought. Ok, as an artist, I always dreaded drawing class because I can’t draw. To me, the most important tool isn’t the pencil, but the eraser. I constantly focus on all the mistakes I make. If you study a true artist, you can’t help but notice how free they are in their strokes. They aren’t concerned with stray lines or things that may seem out of place. They just keep drawing. And in the end, they produce a beautiful work of art. I don’t have to be so focused on all the mistakes I make. God doesn’t say, “Wow. You royally messed that one up, Stees. We’re gonna have to go back and erase that.” I limit God when I feel like I’ve made a mistake that He can’t handle. He takes whatever mistakes I make and brings them all back to glorify Himself. I don’t have the capability to mess up God’s plan for my life. Taking this back to the classroom example, a lot of the times, I was so focused on drawing the line just right that I would erase something fifty times. I wasted over half the class period at times trying to make sure I was doing something perfectly instead of realizing that sometimes it’s the little oddities that add so much.

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Apples Galore

You should be jealous. I’m in the Apple store in NYC at the moment. I’ve been gone from the bubble land for almost 24 hours. And awake for most of those. But today has been lots of fun, just hanging out with friends – in pants, feeling normal. And this makes me want my macbook so much sooner!!!

Fun times. Hopefully I can update regularly on the trip.