Monday, August 31, 2015

August Joys & Favorites | perhap’ you have met me twixt sleep and wake, in the penumbra of uncertainty you call “unconsciousness”. Or perhaps you’ve met me at a book signing

Lughnasadh--just saying the name is a joy, and then there's the joy of collecting offerings, of snipping pieces of my beloved houseplants, of searching out flowers in the yard with my boy. The "forest spirits" (racoons) destroyed my little offering/pie plate, but I'm not that mad.

Tie-dye birthday cake! Mads and I stood in the baking aisle of the grocery store for a very long time while he picked out which color frosting he wanted on his cake. He'd even settled on yellow, and we'd walked away, I thought satisfied, when he announced some aisles later, "Want green!" The tie-dye birthday cake is, I think, a new tradition, at least until Mads is big enough to choose what flavor cake he wants. This was as fun to make as it was to eat. (The dinosaurs were Wolfman's contribution, and a brilliant one.)

I will never not be awed by the act of eating something that's grown in my own back yard, or my neighbor's. We're in tomato heaven here.

We are Autumn-ready, and Nature is complying.

In preparation for our Yule festivities, Wolfman has already crafted a Krampus doll. No pictures of the final product yet, but trust me--he is adorable and just slightly sinister. 

This month, I started working at my shop full-time, and though I miss my baby, always in a general way and often throughout the day in a precise way, I am really enjoying my work. Wolfman teases that I'm being paid to "dress mannequins and look pretty," and he's not far from wrong. This month we also opened a Facebook expressly for the exchange (resale) section of our store, and updating it has been way fun.

Favorite stationery item - Hallmark's new(ish?) Studio Ink line is proof that Hallmark just gets better with every year. I had a hard time choosing a favorite artist's postcards, but finally chose Mirna Stubbs'. Her designs are witchy and gorgeous, and any one of these postcards could be framed or used as a bookmark in the family grimoire.

Favorite beauty product - Kiss My Face olive oil soap. Three ingredients: olive oil, salt, water. So simple, so gentle, so full of antioxidants.

Favorite life-changer - This big, fat planner was a gift from my Grandma for my birthday. In just a month, it has kept me so organized, it has helped me keep this space updated, helped me in budgeting, helped me put holiday planning into perspective. Of course, though I like the size of it, and the way the pages are laid out, really I'm the one doing all the magick, and this book is just a conduit. But, still. I love it for that. I consult its pages every morning at the breakfast table, and every evening before getting ready for bed.

Favorite Television Show - Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (2004). I described this to a friend as Stephen King (or Clive Barker) meets Ed Wood set in 80's General Hospital with just a splash of The A Team. As if that's not impressive enough, I also might be a tad in love with Richard Ayoade, or at least Wolfman accused me of being so (to which I responded, "You are!" -- Got him). Darkplace is one of those things that became immediately beloved in this house, within the first few minutes of watching the first episode (like The Mighty Boosh or The Boxtrolls). It will most certainly head up our annual Halloween Horror Countdown from now on.

Favorite Movie - The Babadook (2014, Australian/Canadian). This is a horror movie I would recommend to people who don't typically watch horror, because what's scary about it isn't the monster (Spoiler: I'm not even sure the monster actually existed). The best horror movies are the ones that make you feel completely unsettled as you watch--afraid to see what will happen next, but unwilling (or unable) to look away. And, for me, the sign of a truly great movie is one that I wake thinking about the next morning, and continue to think about for days to come. It's no surprise to me that The Babadook was written and directed by a woman, Jennifer Kent (a rare enough occurrence in the horror industry to take note of it), because, ultimately, this was a magnificently told story of motherhood (single motherhood, specifically) and grief--a story of a woman on the edge. I loved this. Even if you don't watch horror films, watch this.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Wolfwardrobe | I walk inside a little printer's mind

Bandana (on head) - AC Moore | Tank - C'est Moi, resale (Butterfly Exchange) | Cover-up - Funhouse, thrifted (GCF) | Jeans - Chaps, thrifted (GCF) | Shoes - dv8 (Burlington Coat Factory)
What can I say? It was a gloomy day, so I decided to dress like a clown.
Earrings - Light Years | Bracelet (turquoise) - gift (April) | Necklace (hamsa) - gift (Mom) | Necklace (diamond) - antique, gift (Grandma) | Necklace (harmony ball) - gift (Grandma) | Ring (Buddha) - Raleigh Flea Market | Ring (silver) - Silverwear by Christy Clark (Aria Gifts [closed])

Blouse - Sunny Leigh, thrifted (GCF) | Skirt - New York & Company, resale (Butterfly Exchange) | Shoes - Two Lips, second-hand (Grandma)
I think the combination of the embroidery and crochet and the color red must've been what put me in such a Catholic-centric mood. For the record, I am not, nor have I ever been, Catholic. But, I saw the first Nightmare on Elm Street at a very impressionable age, and the crucifix hanging on Tina's wall when she wakes from her first bad Freddy dream really, I don't know, it just stayed with me. My entire childhood I wanted a crucifix to hang on my wall above my bed--because of Nightmare on Elm Street--and, as a teenager, I finally got one. Perfect, gold, slender yet heavy enough that it could be used as a weapon if need be. I no longer have the crucifix, out of deference to my husband mostly, but I still have my rosary jewelry. The beads on the necklace are made of crushed rose petals. When I was a pre-teen, they smelled of roses, but that smell has since dissipated.
Earrings - gift (Grandma) | Bracelet (rosary) - gift (Grandma) | Necklace (rose petal rosary) - gift (Grandma)
Ring (peridot and aquamarine) - antique, gift (Grandma, Ordinary & Extraordinary [closed]) | Ring (red) - gift (Sierra, Light Years)

Bandana (on head) - second-hand (Grandma) | Dress - hand-made (Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival) | Camisole - Christopher & Banks
I wish I'd thought to take a picture of the back of this dress.  The whole thing is sort of stunning, and I hate that I don't remember the name of the woman who made it.  It's hand-made and stunning, and partly so stunning because people can tell it was made with love and attention by real hands from real scraps. The back of the halter is tied with what might be strips of old bed sheets.  I got this thing many years ago at the Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival in Cary, and it looks exactly like the kind of dress one would pick up at an arts and crafts festival, and it is perfect.
Quartz ring - gift (Grandma) | Wooden bead earrings - vintage, second-hand (Grandma) | Purse necklace - second-hand (Grandma; I think this may originally have been a gift to Grandma from my mother)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

#ThankfulThursday | come inside where it's okay

What a f---ing doozy of a week, of a month. This has been a rough one, but we're surviving, and god, Mads is smiling and laughing, and there is food in his belly (and food in his hair), and so I am grateful. Whatever else, I have a happy kid. 

I Am Grateful
  • to be writing notes on the back deck on a 60 degree morning, with my love, my child, my dog, in a diluted spot of sunshine.
  • for Martigan sleeping through the night 3 nights in a row!
  • to come across two season 3 episodes of The IT Crowd Wolfman and I had somehow never seen before, like coming upon unopened Christmas gifts months later.
  • for the relief of Pay Day.
  • that after an unpleasant outing, "Got My Mind Set On You" by George Harrison (my favorite song when I was 5) plays on the radio the whole car ride home, and Mads and I both shake and wiggle to it.
  • to come home to a friend (in my partner) who will listen to me rant about said unpleasant outing.
  • for the sight of cats napping in drive ways.
  • for MacGyver, Wolfman's comfort show (though he corrects me and says it's his "inspiration" show, whichever).
  • to catch sight of a daddy long legs moving through the grass at my feet so that I may step out of its way and simply admire the sight of the thing, without experiencing the heebie jeebies of it actually touching me (my relationship with spiders is complex, I admit).
  • for signs of Autumn in the mall--a table of cinnamon cider scented potpourri at the end of a department store escalator, the Halloween Alley sign hanging over the doorway of a previously vacant spot with skulls and ghouls peeking out over the tarp covering the windows, back to school and college sport displays in windows I pass on my lunch break.
  • that after hours of charging the car battery, as Wolfman stands in the drive way thinking in the car's direction, "If you don't start right now, when I finally get you started I'm going to drive you off a cliff," she starts for him--so he tells me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Photo Journal | Historic Oakwood

A few months ago we visited Historic Oakwood Cemetery with our friend, Crist. I never posted the photos, so. I have an old photo of my little brothers, Jordan and Josh, in another, smaller cemetery in Raleigh--taken when they were not much older than Mads above, on a walk with my mother, back when our relationship was different. I don't know what it is about my family, that we find ourselves in graveyards. There's a graveyard up the street from Grandma's house, and I used to roller blade there with Dusty and Sierra on the weekends. It's just one of those things.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Wolfwardrobe | the hands of he and the promise that she is blessed among women

This is one of those one-size-fits-all muumuu-type dresses one finds at the flea market (though I found it hanging in Grandma's closet, and she found it before me at GCF). I'd been wearing it as a house dress exclusively the past couple weeks, but on this particular morning, glanced at myself in the mirror and thought, "but what if I belt it?" So, here it is, likely the only time this dress will see the light of day. 
 Scarf (on head) - Laurie Cabot color-a-day scarf, gift (Grandma, The Pyramid Collection) | Dress - WEWA, second-hand (Grandma) | Cardigan - INC International Concept, thrifted (GCF) | Belt - thrifted (Bargain Box) | Scarf (on waist) - resale (Butterfly Exchange) | Sandals - Clark's, resale (Butterfly Exchange)
Necklace - antique, gift (Grandma) | Bracelet - Baik Baik (BeYOUtiful Butterfly Boutique) | Earrings - vintage, stolen (Sierra)
Buddha ring - Raleigh Flea Market | Silver ring - SilverWear by Christy Clark (Aria Gifts [closed])

Bandana (on head) - second-hand (Grandma) | Top - Costa Blanca (TJ Maxx) | Halter top - hand-dyed (Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival) | Pants - Liverpool Jeans Company, resale (Butterfly Exchange) | Sandals - Bandolino, second-hand (Grandma)
I have this rule with denim, a new rule I just made up this year--I don't buy just plain jeans anymore, no matter how good the fit, how impressive the brand (I barely have enough brand recognition to do my job [resale buyer] as it is). No, if I'm going to shell out what little cash I allot my wardrobe for jeans, they have to be a fun pattern, a funky color, bedazzled as heck, distressed as hell, splattered with paint, or maybe have some applique hearts and flowers on the rump. These snakeskin pants fit the bill. The halter top I've had since high school. Back then I'd wear it not as a layering piece but as, just, a top. Oh, the taut ballerina torso of high school Michelle, you were not appreciated enough at the time. You can see me wearing this cold-shoulder top, a few years ago, here.
African trade bead necklace - repurposed antique, gift (Grandma, Raleigh Flea Market) | Watch - vintage, gift (Grandma, Raleigh Flea Market) | Copper cuff - gift (Grandma) | Amber earrings - gift (Grandma) | Quartz ring - gift (Grandma)
Top - Old Navy, second-hand (Grandma) | Skirt - Orchid Lane (Sugar Magnolia) | Shoes - Mansi Collection, second-hand (Grandma)
This skirt has now been retired. It was loved, utterly, deeply, and it wears that love in a collection of runs, picks, and holes throughout (thus why no close-up photos). Purchased for 15 bucks at Sugar Magnolia on Hillsborough Street, it is at least part of the reason I got my job--this one I love so much (I wore this skirt to my interview). For the past few years this skirt has been my go-to whenever I felt uninspired or lazy--you know, the thing I pulled out of my closet when I could think of nothing else to wear. Luckily, though this skirt is going to the cardboard box on my closet floor that is home to all my clothes awaiting reincarnation (reuse), I have two like it, in relatively good condition, hanging in my closet still. And anytime I want to buy a replacement, I can do so--for fifteen bucks, on Hillsborough Street.
Cardinal necklace - hand-made, gift (Selena, Etsy [though I forget the shop name!]) | Rosary bracelet - gift (Grandma) | Quartz earrings - vintage, stolen (Sierra) | Buddha ring - (Raleigh Flea Market) | Red ring - gift, Sierra (Light Years)

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