chasing the rabbit again….

Hello!

megandowntherabbithole has moved over to a self hosted WordPress.org site. All of my new posts will happen over there. If you still want to follow me it’s easy:

www.megandowntherabbithole.com

Hope to see you there!

*Megan*

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bright light city, gonna set my soul, gonna set my soul on fire…

Ahhhh….Vegas.

What else CAN you say?

I’m kind of mad at myself after my trip. Not for the reason people usually get mad at themselves after a weekend in Sin City. I’m mad at myself because really, I didn’t take enough photos.

I didn’t even bring my good camera. I thought about it, but who wants to lug around a big DSLR when you’re hitting up bars and clubs? You have to worry about it getting broken, lost, stolen…and it took me too long to save up for a nice camera to want to worry about that. Plus, the reason I was even in Vegas was for my sister’s bachelorette party. The weekend was all about her, and going out, and having fun (as it should be). There wasn’t a lot of down time, or time alone to go wandering with a camera. Still….part of me is a little annoyed with myself, because I keep saying I want to improve my photography. I had my little Canon Powershot and my phone camera, and I did take some pictures. I just wish I had taken more. After all, the place is nothing but eye candy, and who knows when I’ll make it back?

I’ve noticed that it’s very, very hard for me to shoot great pictures without being very intentional about it. Meaning, I have to wander off alone without any other distractions. It’s just too tricky trying to capture a moment or a scene when you’re immersed in the action. At least for me it is. It’s almost like I need to separate from it, to view it with an artist’s eye, and block out everything else. I need to stop every couple seconds, find a vantage point, and interesting angle, or combination of neon colors.  I need to wander aimlessly. I need to be slow. For me, photography is a very solitary endeavor. Maybe that’s a skill I need to improve…the ability to capture moments on the fly.

Still, I had a blast. It was the way it should have been. As much as I wish I’d taken some great shots, I wouldn’t trade the fun I had for an entire album of them.

It just gives me a reason to go back.  😉

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I am SO in love with…..my garage???

We moved into our new place about a month ago now, and it’s nothing less than AWESOME. Keep in mind that I’m coming from a tiny third floor apartment, so moving into a house is quite an upgrade. It was built in the 50’s, but it was completely renovated on the inside, so everything is new, and sparkling clean, and all the appliances are functional. Oh, and we have a GAS stove, which is thrilling for someone who likes to cook, especially after years of crappy electric stoves. Oh, and now when we get groceries we can simply carried them 10 feet to the door instead of making four or five trips up and down all those freaking stairs. It pretty much rules.

Among the other things that I’m super stoked on is that we have a garage now.  Joy. A place for Christmas decorations and tools and empty boxes, and all the stuff that you want and need to have, but don’t necessarily want in the middle of your living room. The garage has a storage room where all that stuff went, which means the rest of the garage is empty.

For my car? I think not.

I probably WILL park there in the winter when it’s freezing cold, but since it’s just now turning to spring that’s a long way off. No…I shall do no such thing as boring as PARK in my garage.

(and this brilliant idea came from my boyfriend, who actually suggested it not at ALL expecting me to go along with it)

♥ STUDIO SPACE ♥

I actually LOVE this idea. The space is roomier than I could possibly need, I have an old kitchen supply rack that I bought at Target back in the day when my kitchen had no cabinet space and I needed a place to put things, which is PERFECT for art supplies. Cases full of markers, pencils, pastels, etc on the bottom. Scissors and rolls of tape hanging from the hooks. Cans of spray paint and spray mount and fixative and jars of brushes and bottles of gesso and all that fun stuff on top. And of course, my easel right next to it. I put everything together on Sunday afternoon, and honestly, it makes me happy just to go out there and look at it. I’ve been wanting to learn how to do screen printing forever, and now that I have a space to do it I got a kit for my birthday.

I can be messy. I can spread out. I love seeing all of my supplies consolidated in their own space. I’ve had them in drawers, on bookcases, inside closets, but never everything out in the open where I can see it all at once. It makes me remember how much cool stuff I have, and even better, it makes me want to dig in and USE it.

We got new couch for our living room, so we dragged the old couch into the garage. Another win. Cha-CHING! I have big plans. I want to hang up some stuff, like a bulletin board to post all of my references and sketches. Another cabinet to hold some more misc supplies. A dock and speakers for my ipod so I can play music out there. And when it’s nice out, I can open up the garage door and paint “outside.” The potential is ridiculous.

To quote Ren and Stimpy…..

Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Happy Happy Joy Joy!
Happy Happy Joy Joy!
HAPPY HAPPY JOY! JOY! JOY!

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…like a psychedelic Cat in the Hat

The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss
Ever since I was in preschool I’ve been a huge fan of Dr Seuss. To this day I can recite “If I Ran the Zoo” word for word, in its entirety. In my freshman year English class when we had to give a speech about an author, I chose Dr Seuss. It was actually pretty fascinating research, learning how he wrote Green Eggs and Ham on a bet (that he couldn’t write a book using fifty words or less), and how The Butter Battle Book was a nod to the nuclear arms race. You never picked up on it as a child, but he actually touched on some pretty heavy subjects. Yrtle the turtle a reference to Nazi Germany? Yup…really.
 
For my birthday eight-ish years ago my mom got me a book called “The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss.” Its page after page of brightly colored watercolors that he did, just for fun. It’s actually kind of strange, because the style is definitely Seuss like, you recognize that right away, but its hard to get used to all the bright vibrant colors. Most of the illustrations in his books used two, maybe three colors to help the publisher save on printing costs. What you get in this book feels like Seuss to the tenth power. Its colorful, and silly and weird and everything I love. You really need to check it out.

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there’s no place like home…

So… no posts for quite a while. And that’s probably for the best. The last month has been a mad frenzy to find a new place to live after informing my old apartment that I would NOT be renewing my lease (one reason being, among others, that they used cheap, crappy materials for EVERYTHING, and that at any given time at least three things were broken, and I felt like I couldn’t have maintenance inside my apartment to fix anything without me there because of their track record of stealing stuff…but I digress).

Of course, when I gave my 60 day written notice I had no idea how difficult it would be to find a house to rent. I don’t know what the rental market looks like in the rest of the country, but around here houses are going INSANELY fast. As in, I get an email about a brand new listing on Wednesday night, email our agent ten minutes later asking if we can view it, and by the time he gets back to me mid-afternoon Thursday they already have three applications handed in and aren’t doing any more showings. Crazy, right? What’s even crazier is that there are TONS of houses for sale. I never really noticed until we started keeping our eyes open for rental signs in people’s front yards, but very, very few were rentals. In fact, every rental house we looked at was for sale as well. I guess owners are figuring if they can’t sell their house, they might as well get it occupied and not be losing money on the mortgage.

But I digress AGAIN (sorry, I do that). As I was saying, it’s probably best I haven’t posted much, because it would have been a steady stream of bitching. House hunting was getting to the point that it was like a second job, all of my belongings were packed away in boxes, and I moved not once, but TWICE in two weekends. Why would I do that, you ask? (and no, it’s not because I have some crazy masochistic streak) Well, because my lease was up on the last day of the month, which was a Thursday,I figured that I’d need a few days to really clean out my apartment in order to get my security deposit back.  That’s much easier to do in an empty apartment. Plus, it’s CRAZY hard to find friends to help you move in the middle of the week. It was hard enough scrounging up a few people over the weekend. Anyway, since I hadn’t found a house yet (and no, I wasn’t lazy and waited until the last minute…I started looking in February!) all of our stuff had to go into storage before I handed over my keys.

And wouldn’t you know it….I handed in the keys to my apartment around 6pm. I went back to my mom’s house (where my temporarily nomadic family would be staying until we found a house) and got a call that we got the rental house we wanted around 8:15pm. Talk about everything coming together at the last possible minute!

So…I got the move AGAIN the next weekend. Only the second time it wasn’t nearly as bad. For one thing, we weren’t moving furniture down three flights of stairs in a building with no elevator (even remembering makes my entire body hurt). Plus, it’s a lot easier unpacking stuff into a place that’s BIGGER than the old place.

Anyways, all that business has pretty much been consuming my life lately. Now that it’s over (or will be officially over once I’m fully unpacked) I can get back to normal life. Plus, the most exciting thing is that instead of parking my car in our garage, I’m going to turn it into my studio (at least during late spring, summer and early fall). It will be no less than awesome. I love the idea of opening the garage door and being able to paint “outside.”

Funny though, to have the weight of the world suddenly off your chest. Makes everything we have now seem so much sweeter. Our new place is beautiful, and spacious, and has brand new appliances, and we’re thrilled with it. After a couple of months of life doing an unfair amount of dumping crap on us, everything is starting to really look up. It’s like the call that we got the house is the beginning of a whole new chapter. I’m excited.

To be continued. (Dot dot dot…)

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nothing stops your heart quite like the White Screen of Death

oh Mac...why must you hurt me so?

In an attempt to be organized (Stop it. Stop laughing. Right now.) I’ve made these huge elaborate lists of goals and timelines and things I want to get done in the next year, art-wise. I figure since I’m not currently enrolled in school, and won’t be again until the fall, it’s time to quit slacking. So I have plans to rebuild my website, price out some paintings, do more blogging, blah blah blah etc etc. The problem is, that although I’m an awesome list MAKER, I’m not so much of a list completer. I’m not a person that thrives on schedules (ask my kids). I’m more the type who feels compelled to write things down simply so I don’t forget about them, and so that maybe in two weeks when I go to do laundry and find said “to-do” list in my jeans pocket, that I might actually feel guilty enough to spring into action and accomplish one or two things on the list.  I realize that I’m making myself seem like a lazy blob. This is not entirely true, but considering between kids and work the only “me time”  I get lately is the drive to and from work, I have a semi valid excuse. It’s difficult to get any artwork or marketing done in the car (see my last post). Ideas…yes.  Execution….not so much.

But, as always, I digress. I went home the other night, went to “wake up” my Mac and…..nothing. Uh oh. My first thought is that maybe the power had gone out (I never bother so set the clock on my microwave, so there was no telltale blinking “12:00” to clue me in on whether or not this actually happened) so I turned the power strip off, then on again, then tried to restart. After an uncomfortably long time, my Mac settled on a white screen with a blinking folder with a question mark.

The White Screen of Death. Ohhhhhhhhhhh………SHIT.

Not good.
NOT good!!!
In fact, very VERY BAD.

So I did what any normal person does when their computer crashes.

I burst into tears.

Now, I’m not entirely stupid and I DO back up my stuff from time to time. All of my music, art projects, and photos are backed up to an external hard drive. The problem is, that I probably don’t do it as often as I should. The other problem is that I tend to save works in progress to my desktop, then file them into the appropriate folders later. I racked my brain trying to remember the last time I backed everything up. It might not have been since December.

  started to panic. What if, for some reason, the backup is bad? What if the stuff isn’t on there like it should be? What if I lost EVERYTHING?

That’s too scary to even thing about. I will literally flip out. Screaming and throwing things will probably happen. It would not be pretty.

So, I took my poor crippled Mac to the Apple store last Saturday afternoon. Of course, the mall was RIDICULOUSLY crowed that day, and I had to park my car in one of the LAST spaces in the parking lot. And carry it. And all I could think is “thank God this computer was built in 2007 and not 2000” because then it would be some crazy-heavy-bulky separate tower/monitor combo. Which would have been a LOT heavier. Even so, when the dude at the Apple store asked if he could carry it to the back of the store for me (after I had lugged it through the parking lot and across the entire mall) I was quick to hand it off.

There IS a bit of a silver lining to this story. Even though my Apple Care expired over a year ago, since I’d never used it they said that they would replace my hard drive for free. Plus, when they reinstall the OS, I’m getting a new one since Tiger is so old they don’t even reinstall it anymore (by the way, although I love all things Apple, I hate their stupid system of naming the OS after an animal. What are they going to do when they run out of sleek, cool sounding jungle cats? Apple OS 12. 3…..Wombat!) So, I’m getting an upgrade on that too, which would have cost me over a hundred dollars. Finally, they’re going to try to recover my data, but I only have to pay IF they’re able to do it. So that’s a win too. At least there’s a positive side to this story. This could have cost me several hundred dollars to fix, and it didn’t, so for that I’m grateful.

Back to the original point of my post….my computer is out of commission, and my elaborate to-do lists and timelines are most definitely NOT getting done. Plus I’m moving in the next few weeks, and most of my art supplies are packed away.

*Sigh*. Que sera, sera….I guess.

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frazzled, overstimulated, and in creative hyperdrive

Why is it that when life gets chaotic and even the idea of spare time is a joke, that’s when all the creative ideas come pouring out? It’s never on a lazy Saturday afternoon when the kids are napping, or one of those rare (exceedingly rare, actually) days when someone else is watching them and I have the day to myself. Nope…it’s when I’m stuck at my desk at work, wading through a sea of emails and desperately plowing through my “to-do” list…that’s when inspiration strikes. Or when I’m sitting at a stoplight in the car with the music on full blast, and I hear some song lyric that strikes a chord and turns on the lightbulb above my head. It’s when I have my little sketchbook in my purse but can’t a single pen. Or pencil. Or highlighter. Or crayon. Ideas just LOVE to pop us when I have no time to actually execute them.

Life has been slightly insane over the last few months. Between looking for a new house, packing everything to move, sick kids, sick babysitters, crazy work…I’ve barely had time to breathe. Yet, oddly enough, I’ve been bombarded by idea after idea for art projects. Maybe my brain is so frazzled and overstimulated that it’s just gone into overdrive and started firing off ideas like crazy. I’ve filled the little sketchbook in my purse with 30 second scribbles I HAD to get out between emails at work. I have a list of words and phrases scratched out in a notebook that I’m just SURE have the potential to turn into something. There’s that fear that if I don’t get the seeds of these ideas OUT and physically recorded somehow, that I might forget about them and I’ll lose them forever.

I’ve redesigned my website in my head but haven’t had time to pick up my Dreamweaver book to refresh my memory and really dig into the project. I painted over a half-baked canvas on my easel that just wasn’t working out and sketched out the framework of my newest idea over it. I started a new marker piece, thinking it would be easier for me to work at that for minutes at a time (because sometimes that’s all I get) than working on a painting with all the messy supplies involved.

What gives? In a way this rush of creativity is awesome, and in a way it seems horribly unfair. I just want to get these ideas OUT, bring them to fruition, and get at lease ONE completed piece out of this whirlwind of creativity. But so far, I haven’t. And I almost feel like I need to build myself an arsenal of ideas to come back to later, for when I do actually have time (ha!) but I’m feeling somewhat uninspired. Because I guarantee, as soon as I have the time again, this gush of ideas is going to slow down to a trickle.

All I want is a day to lock myself in a room and paint for ten or twelve hours, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon. So I guess the best I can hope for is for those ideas to just keep coming….

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