Wednesday, December 22, 2010

presenting... the toolkit for 2011

originally uploaded by beastsfantastic.
Hurrah! After many other people worked super hard, the 2011 Toolkit is now ready to change the world! Or at least, to help it stay organized.

This is the backpage spread I submitted. I started with two illustrations of which I'm quite fond, then realized I had no idea what to do for text... After a bit of brainstorming about self-help and cryptozoology, I decided to combine the two and this nerdy randomness was born.

Yeah, I don't know either. But it feels right.

Thanks to the brains and brawn behind the Toolkit and thanks to RECLAIM for makin' print magic.

Man, it's been years since any of my art/design was used in an awesome project, so I'm immensely grateful and delighted and stupid-giddy, like I won the lottery or something. Yeah, it's sweet. It's just super uplifting that I can set goals and achieve them. And to be a part of something involving so many other super talented folks, totally a dream come true. Good goddess, I am stoked.

To transition from the awful muck of earlier 2010 to a blessed kinda-new beginning... I'm so glad to be a part of it.

Have a happy week everyone/anyone reading this! Merry happy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hello from here

Hello again, or, for the first time.

So it's almost a whole new year. Different circumstances, familiar rhythm. Life unwinding.

Speaking of life, I'm going to attempt to update this here space semi-regularly with inspirational, motivational, and personal tidbits. I'm a wee embarrassed by some of the previous posts, though I don't want to erase them. It was all quite constructive, but I don't think I'll be sorting my shit out on the interweb again. Unless I do, but it won't be here.

I'd rather talk of the lovely, dark, and deep here. Myth and magic, creativity and spirituality, arts and crafts. Fantastic beasts, y'know.

Speaking of fantastic beasts... I recently had some illustrations and a weird self-help guide published in a monthly planner that's printed here in Philadelphia. So that's awesome.

Yeah. Here's to a blessedly soul-stirring year with ambitions stretched, goals achieved, and passion renewed.

Goodness to all.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Bit Later

Wow. Amazing what can happen in a few months. :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

4/20 Comes and Blows

So, happy day, that special day that was days ago. I huffed-and-puffed with some good folks and all was well.

I feel so darned pleasant right now. I've been picturing myself as a sturdy sapling with strong, wandering roots, yearning/learning to grow tall, wide, and flexible, composting old shit as fertilizer for growth.

Lots of busy busy going on. I'm surprising myself constantly these days. With income comes the opportunity for more creative pursuits. Plus, getting back into school. I visit my cantankerous grandmere for the first time in years, and she offers to pay for whatever. How blessedly awesome is that? Holistic animal medicine, here I come. Haha. Oh, I'm not kidding.

New memories, new friends, new good times ahead. And, hopefully, some traveling!

Ooh, and I sold a new ring on Etsy! One of my most favorites; simple, but potent. Wish I had more supplies, I'm all inspired by the magick in the air. I'm kissing bushes and tree trunks, singing nonsense into the night air, savoring the glow of the waxing moon.

Also: guilty pleasures. Re: Project Runway finale. Subject: Well, okay then.

Um, more... Updating? More updating to come!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Few Quotes

So it's the new moon in Aries, that's a big push for renewal & strength, but boy, there sure is a lot going on for me -- I'm updating my Etsy shop for the first time in ages! I joined Handmade Philly! And a Witches Meetup! I've been exercising & getting out for 6am runs, which was wildly intimidating at first. Plus, I've just scored the job interview of my dreams (the work involves exotic animals) and then there's the big party to-dos later that I can't freaking wait for. New friends! Good food! Smoke sessions! Still need to sew up some presents. Not gonna lie, the days are still topsy-turvy, there's still a sorrow in my heart, but I'm starting a new love affair with 2010. Hopefully the world doesn't end before I really start going, ha. Um.

Anyway, in lieu of more substantial material, here's some quotation goodness:

Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning, a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.
— Bruce Lee (THE Bruce Lee? Sweet.)

First there is a mountain. Then there is no mountain. Then there is.
— Zen koan

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
— Kahlil Gibran

No matter how painful [an] ordeal may be, it must be treated as an adventure. Keep in mind that, up until this point, every ordeal’s purpose has been to prepare you for the kind of life you are now living. See where current circumstances are leading you, and how they are changing your life, and use this information to find out where you are going. It is an honor to know that you have been worthy of instruction. Remember that you placed yourself where you are now. Remember the ancient dictum: “I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my Soul.”
— Gerald del Campo

I'd never encountered the last quote until today, but it's awesome when unexpected things reaffirm how you've been feeling all along. Like, yeah, I'm on a path here. Not the prettiest, not the most extravagant, but still dazzling for its being mine.

(quotes via dedroidify, via Living with Magick)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Best Revenge

The pendulum swings both ways. There are black holes, there are white holes. Leaves fall, new leaves grow. The birds fly south, the birds fly back. In other words...

Fantastic things are in the works. Like, life-changing shits. On the heels of the most maddening, saddening bullshit in my puny life, there's suddenly the potential to sprout like I ain't never sprouted. Grow how I ain't never grown. One person's loss is another person's gain.

In a weird way, I especially thank my neurotic fixation with Project Runway Season 2 for getting me through. "She said Andraaae, what's the matter with Andraeee?" will always make me laugh. It struck a chord, tickled my feathers, reminded me of the awesome year I spent at Pratt. My self-doubt prematurely ended my college run in Brooklyn, and I wish I'd never left. Can't change shit now, but oh goddess, I wish I'd stayed at Pratt.


And soon, there will be more talk of arts and crafts, as there should be. More talk of the fantastic, of the beastly, of the magickal.

Big happenings.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


So, time goes on.

Inconceivable, but inevitable?

Time's going on, carrying me along, and there are bright spots on the trail. Brighter spots than darker spots, a peculiar evolution for me. And this is all about evolution, this time.

I'm not changing, I'm evolving, which may amount to the same, but I'm particular to the idea of evolution. It's taking what's happened and growing because of that, growing because what's happened has happened. Right.

I've never been so devastated. Or maybe I have, but I forgot. This could be a positive sign. If it didn't hurt so much. Which it won't, not always.

Time goes on.

I had hopes that the love would keep us together, not TOGETHERtogether, but in agreement. But in the end, you can't fix a broken love like a broken chair. The chair doesn't care, whether it's broke or it ain't. But a person doesn't always want to fix, to repair, to reconnect, to relive. Of two people, both have to want the same goal. A person isn't a chair, isn't a tool, isn't always in need of repair.

I am, though. In need. For my own good.

I understand all of this. I'm evolving into someone who understands. It's shocking, really. I'm sure I haven't felt the worst of it, but that's a part of growing and healing. Denial, then recognition... And so it goes.

This spring and summer will be the most eventful in years. And it's all because of me, because I accepted the challenge to step outside of myself while also feeling my self in her purest state. Alone, unknown. Grateful?

Thankfully -- honestly, thank the Goddess thankfully -- I've discovered that I have friends, I have family. I have others who will open their arms for me. It's not a lot, but it's enough, you know?

So, on the 2010 itinerary:

1. Becoming an unofficial herbalist with her own herb garden
2. Developing a crafty business with new crafty friends
3. Attending every damn craft fair I can with said crafty friends
4. Starting a "womanist musings"-type group blog
5. Partying with new trippy, hippie-type friends at various gatherings
6. Perfecting my physical self with some ass-kicking... and Pilates
7. Taking a trip up to NY to commune with other Wiccan-minded folks
8. Working, working, working on earning money in a spiffy new job
9. Getting back to school, most likely for massage training -- hey, it rules
10. Going to any kinda group meet-up I can, for fun or for therapy
11. Moving (back) out of my mom's into a group house filled with activity and life
12. Loving myself in this great big unknown
13. And so forth and so on

Anyway, it feels good to remind myself of what I can do, what I will do.

D, if you ever read this: thank you. For the love, the hurt, the goodbye, the eternities cloaked in moments.

So it goes, now it's gone.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ending, Beginning, Both the Same

I keep telling myself it's "understandable" or "it's natural" and it seems to help. Even landslides and earthquakes and tsunamis are natural. Understandable.

Change, turmoil, devastation. Rebirth, renewal. Nature is nothing if not ever-changing. Thus, change is purely natural. Anyway.

The lonely room I find myself in, it's comfortable and it's safe. I've lived my life unthinkingly, for the most part, and I was so terrified of change that I boxed myself into the exact situation I've dreaded.

What DO you do when you've lost touch with friends and family? Lost your job and your lease? Lost your relationship with a person you esteemed and loved more than was bearable at times?

I don't have a fucking clue or I would've been prepared for all of this. Basically, I'm telling myself until I believe it that change is natural. Even if it really fucking hurts. Being open to change is freedom. It's why nature doesn't stress itself out when transitioning from summer to fall, it just goes with the flow. It's all connected anyway. This is what I'm learning to hold as my truth, rather than the truth that said we'd be in love forever because it was meant to be. No, the truth is like the natural world, I suspect. Ebb and flow. Wax and wane. Destruction and reconstruction.

If it weren't for a few choice herbs, though, I doubt I'd feel this sane. I'm actually slightly happy about the unknown right now, which is an unbelievably huge step for me. I still ache like a rotten nerve, but I don't want to die and I don't want to be dead while living, so I have to feel and breathe and move and so that's what I'm doing. I'm trying to savor the moments when I do feel love for myself and the world around me. I used to focus ALL my love on this one person and it strangled us both. I never thought love could cause such pain, but it makes sense. It couldn't hurt so much without the depth of love.

But it's not all gone, nor is it all fixed. It's part of the universal ebb and flow, now. Nothing ever truly disappears. I do believe, as does he, that love exists like any other energy, that it can't be destroyed entirely, but it can change. And I know that we still share that love we always have. If only love were enough to pay bills, to pay rent, to buy food, or to make all the darkness go away. It isn't, even though it's unfair to love to blame it for perceived failures. Those failures are within the individual. I feel so awful for not taking my life seriously until now, after possibly losing my best friend for good. How could I have existed as I have for the past two years? It's unimaginable, but it happened and I have to learn from it yadda yadda. Sigh.

I just wish I had close friends. The quiet moments, like now, are so hard. I start to feel so anxious, so claustrophobic, even if I'm outside. Trapped in my mind. Blech. He's got friends to distract himself with. Heck, he probably relishes the lack of emotional compromise. I get that. That shit makes sense. I can't begrudge him wanting to live his life without the black hole of my anxiety. Fuck, I don't want to live like that either. And I guess he knew how much it would take to shock me into getting back into the driver's seat. I love metaphors. I also want to love myself like I never have before. I want to. And I kinda am. These are some of the most extraordinary developments in my life. The burgeoning relationship with sanity.

Anyway. My most exciting goals right now are to find gainful employment and to find feminist/pagan friends.

Things I'm Doing to Keep Sane:
1. DIY Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Catch each negative-irrational thought and render it powerless with positive-rational thoughts.
2. Find the sunshine in each moment, if you can, when you need. Don't forget how it feels, the warmth, the brightness, the comfort. That's when you're loving yourself.
3. Feel gratitude. Toward the world, the universe, the Goddess. Toward change.
4. Take herbs that want to heal you, like St. John's Wort, Skullcap, and the other HERB-that-shall-not-be-named. We are so connected to the plant world, I believe nourishing one another is magick.
5. Meditate. I'm into meditating with the help of I-Doser, this strange little program that interacts with your brainwaves to calm, stimulate, or excite you. I'm not sure if it works like it promises to (does anything?) but I've felt remarkable during my few sessions.

Lists are good. So is this fucking weather. I haven't felt this healthy in ages. Thank you Spring, thank you Goddess. Gonna take the pup for a walk to a park, gonna enjoy the random experiences of the city, and I'm gonna job-hunt and work on Etsy until I feel accomplished. I mean, what I stand to gain from all of this, if I make it through alive, is absolutely thrilling. A dynamic life, one that I actually want and strive for, rather than a meek existence of fear and taking what I could. Bah. No, I don't do myself justice, I know. It's not all this black-and-white.

The fact that we experienced such good things together means that despite all the bad, it is possible to feel exhilaration and love and joy, not just heartbreak. I'm gonna go with that. It's all good. Mostly. Anyway.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday Without Rain (Finally)

Eleanor Wood

The Nonist



How marvelous is that collage from Eleanor Wood?

I made the last picture for my sweetheart (the hippie-haired centaur) for our second anniversary many moons ago. I tried to salvage what I could from four years of high school French classes, but I probably botched it, but it's okay because I suspect that between the two of us, I paid way more attention in class. Please pardon the sneaky cat hairs on the frame, which was made by wrapping a thrifted wooden frame with faux suede and then gluing on lace strips. The image was inspired by an old illustration I found in a Dutch Graphic Design book from the 60s. It all turned out way better that I was expecting (note: I always set out with low expectations so I'm always pleasantly surprised) and the faces made me happy. He loved it, of course. If it wasn't out on display it was stowed safely away with his few "special" mementos.

Then I ripped it up after a fight last year and was immediately the world's silliest asshole. Has anyone else ever done something that ridiculous and awful and shameful?

After we calmed down, we picked up all the pieces. I just haven't had the heart to put it back together.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

friday with rain

"Strange" and "sad" sum up my headspace this week. This year. Every year? I just don't think the rest of it means anything without the bittersweet, mind-bending, heart-aching parts. Some people focus more on it, the strange & the sad, and that's just fine. I just wish I were as adept -- adept as say, Rozz Williams, brilliant dark magickman -- at channeling said brainwaves into something helpful. Helpful as in, a psychic hand-holding with other beautifully melancholic minds. Music, images, words, the results of creative transformations nothing short of magick. I like them. Others like them. It's the beauty of being human, seeing, feeling, thinking, appreciating the thoughts, sights, and feelings of others. Why? What's it all for? The infinite unknown? I don't know. And around we go.

My brain is constipated. Bloated, churning gassy, painfully unproductive. Sigh. Brainfart. Sigh.