where I feel most myself . . .

I figured it out. After a week of pondering the question of where do I feel most myself, while taking walks in the city, amongst the trees, hanging out in cafe’s, & so on. I finally realized where it is I feel most myself. It is somewhere close to me.

The archetypical urge to nest came to me later in life. I was 44 before I truly felt the desire to occupy a house, to make it my own, to make it a reflection of my creative expression. Even after having children I still didn’t feel the need. I heard about women who suddenly have the urge to create a home, redecorate, paint the walls while pregnant all in preparation for the baby’s arrival. That never happened to me.

But then after having my second child & moving to a new city into the first house that I bought with no furniture, just long dark wood floors I felt for the first time I had this need to live in this house & make it my home. I was no longer interested in travelling around the world or looking for the next adventure. My adventure became discovering a new way to cover my windows that was unique to me & my style. As I slowly created little altars throughout my house & picked out the perfect eclectic pieces of furniture I was able to witness my creative expression unfolding on a new, larger canvas, my house. What emerged over time were numerous installation pieces throughout my house. The installations keep changing, shifting with the seasons, but having a home as a canvas is a bit like living inside of myself.

we designed this - all of it!

THIS IS WHERE I FEEL MOST LIKE MYSELF because it is me.

I was told by a psychic a few years ago while living in Santa Fe, NM, that in my early 40s I would be overcome by an unexplainable desire to make roots in a home. At the time I was living in my RV (with wheels under it) and my daughter and I moved around to different campgrounds for a few weeks at a time, or sometimes we would house sit for others in some body else’s real house. We moved frequently. It seems whenever that clever North Wind picked up I would feel in my bones it was time to look for another adventure.

Antidote Coffee Shop

There are those places and things that inspire me; like trees, coffee houses, pubs, the ocean, but they don’t always make me feel myself, often I’m in their presence as an anthropologist, a visitor & stranger. It is not where I feel myself. I love being in their presence, I love watching the people, hearing the espresso machines do their thing, smelling pine needles, listening to crashing waves, smelling coffee, watching & soaking it all in but not to be myself. I can find peace & inspiration but I don’t always feel my true self in these places.

It is only in my home with my family that I can be mostly myself with unconditional acceptance.

my boys swirling in love

Well in my home & in boots. I realized this today when I awoke to a sudden, unexpected cold front & had the first opportunity of the season to wear my boots. It was heaven, like coming home, that must be why I loved being in the Marine Corps all those years. I got to wear boots everyday.

big love,
Katariina

i love my bed

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a beautiful saturday . . .

i love the details of this spread - & that adorable baby Tom

Saturday started out with a swim in the pool as usual but then we were invited to brunch at our friends from Germany. Judith is an interior designer for Ikea & Soern buys wood for the production of all that furniture at Ikea  Being at their house was like a breath of fresh air. Her dishes are in every tint of pale blue one could find. I was enamoured by all the details that it was difficult for me to concentrate on the conversation.

I begged her to allow me to come back & just photograph her shades of blue.

the germans

It is so inspiring to be around such beautiful & talented people. We live in such a different worlds but share so many similarities. It’s fun being around other beings with an entrepeneur spirit & who are just creative.

After our visit we took Finn home for a nap & put the teenager in charge for a while while we went & explored nooks & crannies in the city.

Texas Junk Store

First stop was Texas Junk Store owned by the ever-so-colorful Robby. As we approached the cash register, he was talking loudly to another gentleman about his house settling after the rain. He said, “I was taking a dump on the crapper &  I started wobbling all over the place.”

Robby the owner

This is one of those real junk shops that make you sneeze when you walk in. He had a little of everything, but his money-maker is used cowboy boots.

I found an old Samsonite suitcase which I plan to paint & an old Royal Typewriter (1941) that would be fun to type with. We got everything for a steel & of course we got to hear some more colorful stories about this year’s Burning Man from Robby before closing the deal. It was really fun.

royal typewriter from Texas Junk

finn playing with my new suitcase

Then we were off to Anthropology for mere inspiration, took a dip into their new bridal store BHLDN & fell in love with a dress but we’ll see.

the new window display

Last stop was our new favorite bar in town Whole Foods’ Bayou Bar. YES!!! I’m proud to say that our new Whole Foods has a bar! I know, right? It’s wonderful & very fun. There is something more interactive about it I guess because it is in a grocery store. I’ve actually been meaning to blog about this for quite a while so what a great time.

MArty

Lucky for us Marty our personal bartender was there with smiles, jokes & great beer. We found out that he is actually a furniture designer & started his own company recently. How cool is that? I love when people surprise me by the depth of their life or their thoughts. That night we chatted up a storm with just about anyone who would talk to us. There was a couple that served in the Navy, the hubby is now a Montesorri Principal & then the Cherokee baby named Rain. All were fully connected, deep conversations. We love those.

larry loving his beer - oh wait that is wine!

bayou bar

I’m noticing more & more that while life is happening there are these beautiful poetic moments in the in-between that are truly the life I want to focus on & live.

Does that make sense? What I mean is that while people are moving in & out of our lives, a baby is born, a job is lost, a home burns down, she fights a war, he gets a raise, the tornado destroys your town, your book gets published, he wins the lottery & all the while the most interesting moments are the ones weaving these larger events together.

Deep micro conversations, the perfect collection of shades of pale blue, watching a baby explore a new toy, slowly searching for the perfect purchase, stealing moments alone with your lover, & baking cookies from scratch are much more interesting than the BIG events in our lives – according to me anyways!

Big Luscious Love,

Katariina

my happy place

my quiet place

Well after 5 months of work & I don’t even want to say how many thousands of dollars more than we budgeted (I hope Dave Ramsey doesn’t see this) we finally are almost, just about finished with our sanctuary backyard. We love to be outside. It doesn’t matter if it is 109 degrees or 40 degrees we are outside soaking in the fresh air, stretching, laughing, reading, meditating, cultivating our garden or what have you.

Our little cocktail pool works wonders in the hot months, but it will be our hot tub in the cold months. We love the water too. Being from the clan of original Selkes, I need to soak my flesh in water everyday or I feel all dried up inside, so this little dunking pool is the perfect medicine. The water should be preferrably cold water – Barton-Springs-cold, but Larry & Finnegan need it warmer.

I love how we were able to make the antique bricks look like they have been there forever. Here are some before & after photos of the transformation. It’s amazing how much bigger the backyard feels with the new look.

Before the remodel

backyard before ipe deck

backyard before ipe deck

before back patio

extended patio

before air conditioners went up

after the a/c went up to 2nd floor

Finnegan with Mr. Penguin

crow . . .

crow stamped on wood

I signed up for a Mono-type class for this semester. It’s starts in a few weeks. I’m so excited. In fact so giddy about it that I had to make my own crow stamp now, before the class starts. I just got this stamping rubber stuff at the Texas Art Supply & drew a picture & started cutting away. It’s so fun that I can’t stop stamping everything!!!

testing, testing,

above studio sink!

on beginning of painting

I’ve had this idea for making an american flag to hang outside on our patio fence. I wanted it to look old & add my style to it. As I started working on it further I decided that it would be a painting about the Marine Corps & war, but a light one. Really maybe it is more about how I joined the wrong Corps. I should have been in the Peace Corps instead. but I don’t know, I was probably right where I needed to be and odd duck. No regrets, some sorrow, sadness, anger, but no regrets.

Everyday as I gain more insight into who I am, really am, without influence from others, I move further away from those things that hurt me more than bring me joy. I seek out those things, people, experiences that are in alignment with who I am. This lessons the dissonance & increases the resonance. I don’t resonate with dissonance.

I visited a gastro doctor last week who told me that my colon was like a jazz band all the parts doing their own thing, not playing the same tune together. I guess Jazz has its place just not in my gut & not in my relationships or work environments.

make art not war

My stars are flowers. USMC is going off the canvas. 83 was the year I joined the Marine Corps. I wrote, “make art not war,” “all we need is love.” “love is all we need,” oh &
“war is never the answer.” Then of course, there is my crow.

Crow is the protector of the castle, the castle being your psyche. He also is a trickster & a shape shifter. Two aspects I love expressing. Tricksters make us think about things that are so firmly embedded in our beliefs that we don’t even think to question. I was a trickster in the Marine Corps.

This painting is about the healing & coming home to me, the me that was me before the Marine Corps.

 

creative salmon . . .

girls in Pahoa, Big Island

The swift movement of Fall has already arrived & it’s still August, the month of doing nothing – the month where the entire continent of Europe takes off for their holiday. But just like Halloween & Christmas creeps in earlier every year. I am feeling the full blown energy of fall when everyone picks up the pace, starts moving faster to everything done for some unknown yet felt deeply reason.

This past few weeks Raine started school, we went to Austin (which reminds me i have some photos to share of my favorite city), I had tons of appointments, helped Larry prepare for audit, worked on putting together the new business & on & on. I have become one of those moms that runs errands, is in the car waiting for kids, juggling a schedule & so much more. Part of it is demand & part of it is all this new energy I have from juicing now for 2.5 weeks. Yipeeeeee!

I am accomplishing a lot. I am very “productive.” I can check items off of my list. But what is the cost?

I haven’t painted in 2 weeks, I’ve barely been able to blog, or even take photos. It’s excruciating. I feel a bit like a salmon out of water, flopping around on dry rocks trying to flop back into the flowing river of creativity. Help! Someone pick me up & throw me back in the creativity. Make this mad world of going, going, going & doing, doing, doing stop. I want to slow down again. I wasn’t ready for summer to end. I suspect I will find my new rhythm in this dry world filled with lists, time tables & drought prevention procedures. I don’t want to learn how to live in a drought, I want to splash & roll in the wonderful thirst-quenching, juicy-ness of dripping, creativity.

Last night i got a few moments in my studio & decided to try out some new textures on some old photos I had taken years ago. I got these textures from Florabella. I was a little heavy-handed on the opacity but liked them that way. so I just wanted to share what i came up with.

Ripe

riper

philippine's toe, santa fe, NM

santa fe, NM

Amalfi

some things I just love today . . .

my beautiful man

Today I am so madly in love with my handsome, soul-filled man, Larry. He takes great care of us, he is a wonderful provider & protector. He is tender & sweet as well as strong & intelligent. I love his entrepreneurial spirit & his creativity that drives him to keep creating new experiences with business. We have an incredible connection & appreciation for each other. Here there is deep respect & love like I have never known before. Out of this love was born my next love.

finnegan & daddy

finnegan

Now my sweet daughter Raine who starts her sophomore year of high school in two days is not last because of any ranking. It’s just that she hides in her room until 2 pm then emerges with her sunny face & quick wit to make us all laugh. Doesn’t she look like a domestic queen?

Raine making cupcakes

now for the inanimate objects that I love today –

old accordian

Larry bought this old accordion on ebay just because it has so much history & story just eeking out of it. We put it on our mantle & it looks great.  It fits in well in our house.

our mantle

Outside in our backyard where we recently put in our pool & this week will be building the epi wood porch, we finally finished our outside shower. I designed the cement floor with rocks & Larry put together the shower out of copper pipes & a vintage shower head. It’s so absolutely amazing to take a cold shower during the day when the 102 degree weather is getting to ya & the pool is 90 something degrees. Lar & I both now only take showers outside & can’t remember the last time we took one upstairs in our inside shower.

our outside shower

We planted some zoysia grass in old baskets & boxes I bought at the thrift store. The grass is thriving & we love the look.

our outdoor shower

our old bricks

I love these bricks. These are reclaimed vintage bricks I both found & bought for our pool deck. I found about 70 of the bricks around town over the past year & collected them into our garage. Then we bought Thurbers, Croesbecks, Standards, Coffeyvilles, Houstons, and on & on.  We wanted to give our backyard the feel that the bricks have been there forever. So we didn’t use any grout or mortar but instead put sandy dirt between the bricks. In some of the bigger spaces where the bricks didn’t quite fit together we planted zoysia grass. Well I just share that with you if anyone is interested.

the cairn i built

This is the cairn I built to honor all the gratitude & patience I have for our slowly coming together vision of a magical backyard sanctuary in the big city.

Thanks for witnessing all that I love today. Well it’s definately not all that I love but those things that crossed my path & grabbed my attention.