Makin’ Stuff Monday, 4/14

Most of my art journaling is done the way I did my list books – dry media, no painting, nothing that would require a wagon to carry the supplies to Starbucks. But the traditional art journaling media are a lot of fun; I’ve discovered a fondness for ink sprays, and now have giant splotches of ink all over me at any given moment.

Since the Moleskines I’ve been doing my lists in and the lined journal where I do my other stuff in won’t take wet media without much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I decided to start another journal where I could play with all the messy stuff if I liked.  I took an idea from one of my favorite YouTube journalers, RachO113, and dedicated the journal to song lyrics.

You can find all the pages I’ve done so far over on my Flickr photostream, but I finished one this morning that I really liked so I thought I’d share it here.  As you might guess the text is from Alanis Morissette’s “Thank You.” (Don’t freak out, they’re not in order.) All the materials and such are listed below.


Canson Mixed Media pad, 10×7″
Liquitex gesso (stamped for resist)
Dylusions ink sprays: Postbox Red, Pure Sunshine
Tim Holtz Distress Ink: Barn Door, Vintage Photo, Black Soot
Stamps by Inkadinkadoo (Flourishes), Tim Holtz (Boundless Flight, Nature’s Elements, Urban Grunge)
Alphabet stamps by Studio G (font unknown) and Recollections (Elegant Double Script)
Sharpie pen, fine, black ink
Butterflies by K&Co.
Pitt artist brush pen, black ink


Friday is for Lists, 4/11

Since the 30 Days of Lists challenge is over but my need to make fun lists is insatiable, I’ve come up with my own challenge.  I made a big long list of lists (proving that I am indeed an insane person), cut them up, and put them in an empty jar.  Whenever I’m bored or need something to focus on, I shake the jar and pull out a list topic!  I can do a few a week, and just like with 30 Days, each one will be a surprise.

First, of course, I had to start a new list journal (the 30 Days one was two pages from full anyway); I had another Moleskine just like the first, so I treated it the same way, covering it with paper and gluing every two pages together.  Yes, it’s bunnies – I bought this Easter paper last year for a calendar gift I never made, and I always thought it was adorable, but what was I going to do with it?  Something like this is the perfect opportunity to make something silly, knowing it’ll fill up quickly.

list journal 2 cover

I’m only doing one side of the pages for now; I may come back and use the back sides too, but working on the right hand side is more comfortable for left-handed me.

childhood characters

Favorite Childhood Characters

I kind of love this one. It makes me smile.

  • Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web
  • Kira from The Dark Crystal
  • Rainbow Brite
  • Bunnicula
  • My Little Pony (all of them)
  • Red Fraggle

ten years ago

Ten Years Ago, I…

  • Lost my older brother
  • Wrote The Body Sacred
  • Moved into my current apartment
  • Led my first ecstatic dance ritual
  • Went back on antidepressants (have been on them ever since)
  • Started having heart issues (arrhythmia)
  • Got my first official royalty check
  • Did my first Drawing Down
  • Got utterly wasted with my new coworkers
  • Made my first (and only) wedding cake
  • Decided to go vegetarian

2004 was a busy damn year.

what im wearing

Everything I’m Wearing Today

  • Texas Rollergirls tee
  • Cacique bra and panties (cotton)
  • Fat lady jeans (elastic)
  • Stripey socks (at the time I wasn’t wearing shoes)
  • Stainless steel wristwatch (right wrist)
  • Steel bracelet (right wrist) (I wear mostly steel jewelry because I have a nasty nickel allergy)
  • Rings:  right hand, turquoise; left, Tanzanite and wee diamonds
  • Nickel free silver earrings
  • Midnight in Moscow on toenails

memoir titles

Possible Titles for my Memoir

  1. Shit, This Again?
  2. OMGWTF: Selected Tweets, 2009-2014
  3. Eat, Pray, Eat
  4. Pants Optional
  5. A Fistful of Vampires
  6. Such Writer. So Insecurity. Wow.

Sylvan Points at Stuff – 4/10

If you finished reading Shadowbound and are still jonesing for more of your favorite characters, be sure and check out the Shadow World Extras page – there are short stories and other treats taking place throughout the entire series timeline (and before).  There aren’t any related to Shadowbound itself just yet, but there will be soon.  I have updated the Song Lyric Reference page to include the fifth book.


I just finished Sweetness and Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee by Hattie Ellis.  It was in fact the inspiration for the story I mentioned last week in the anthology of Southern Gothic Romance.  I learned a lot from this engaging, accessible book.


I have a new snack obsession:  Snapea Crisps.  They sound like the worst idea ever – a snack made of puffed green peas – but they’re so addictive.  I had a sample bag a while back and have been hoping to find them in a non-Whole-Foods store (shopping at Whole Foods is depressing when you’re jobless and broke), and lo, Target provideth.  I’ve only had the Lightly Salted variety, but they work on me the way Lay’s Potato Chips work on other people – I eat to the bottom of the bag!  At least they’re baked, lower in fat, and a good source of fiber.  The company also makes Lentil Snaps, but I haven’t tried those.


Check out these needle-felted animals – they’re amazing.  The owls are particularly stunning, but there’s a little Arctic fox that gives me the squee.

While we’re on the subject of art, have you ever come across an artist or writer or what-have-you who was so amazing at a medium you’ve been working in that you want to just throw in the towel and switch to something else?  I used to do a lot of polymer clay work – I haven’t touched it in quite a while, but I’ve been thinking about at least getting it out again to make things for my shrines, and I keep thinking of things I could make – and I recently found this woman on Tumblr whose work is, shall we say, balls out awesome.  Have a look.  She hasn’t posted many pieces but the ones she has are insane.  My favorite is the enchanted forest pendant, which is labradorite surrounded by branches, but the anatomical heart made of branches is gorgeous as well.

Let’s have a video.

I can’t help it – I can no longer hear even the name “Nicolas Cage” without thinking of Howard Wolowitz as Dungeon Master.


These Baklava Cookies sound amazing – the original recipe is almost vegan, but given it’s baklava, you can probably guess that honey is the problematic ingredient.  Honey is easily substituted with agave nectar, and there are even some out there designed to mimic honey completely.

(Mostly I’ve just been looking for an excuse to link to the Killer Bunnies website because their logo is freaking adorable.)

Yes, I’m fascinated with bees but I don’t eat honey. Of all the animal products out there honey is the one I find least morally objectionable when it’s locally produced, but it’s also the easiest one to avoid.  Cheese is a monster to abstain from, but not eating honey isn’t exactly martyrdom, at least not for me.

My grandfather was a beekeeper, and in honor of that proud family tradition I leave you with another video, this one a classic.


30 Days Friday #5

Big Header M14small

Well, the 30 Days of Lists challenge is over, and I’m sad.  I had so much fun with it!  These are the last few days’ worth.  I’m thinking I might keep doing a list every Friday – there are plenty of listing art journal prompts out there, and surely I could come up with one a week.

28 and 29

28 was one of my favorites – I love how the frame came out and how the color scheme looks.

Day 28: I Feel My Best When…

  • Not constantly stressed about money.
  • Among trees.
  • Busy with projects and events.
  • In the flow with writing.
  • Eating and living vegan.
  • Dancing.
  • Sharing my baked goods & feeding my friends.
  • Making people laugh.
  • Well-rested and sufficiently caffeinated.
  • Getting enough sleep.
  • Arting around.
  • Sharing my favorite movies, TV, and music.
  • Not afraid.

Day 29: Favorite Local Businesses

  • Kerbey Lane Cafe
  • Fair Bean Coffee
  • Mom’s Tattoo
  • Cherrywood Coffeehouse
  • Galaxy Cafe
  • The Clay Pit
  • Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse
  • Wheatsville Food Co-op
  • Open Lotus Studio
  • Capital City Bakery
  • Epoch Coffee

Day 30

Day 30: Historical Figures I’d Like to Meet

As I told the people on the Facebook group, I chose all women because we hear the history of men every day.

  • Mary Magdalene
  • Hildegard von Bingen
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • Mirabai
  • Virginia Woolf
  • St. Teresa of Avila
  • Benazir Bhutto
  • Marie Curie

(Most people in America at least have heard of most of these women, but I linked the two I suspected would be least familiar to folk in the West.)


Sylvan Points at Stuff

Welcome to what I hope will be a new regular feature here on CrazyBeautiful – Sylvan Points at Stuff! I’m always finding neat or thoughtful things I want to share, so I thought I’d gather up four or five a week and post them here for you. All sorts of subjects, from all sorts of places. Find out what catches your author’s attention.

Vicky Papiaoannou’s art journaling is different from the style you see most often in YouTube videos; it’s a cross between art journaling, scrapbooking, card making, and…other stuff I’m sure. But I love watching her build her pages, especially in this one – that stack of books is fantastic! In later videos you can hear her lovely voice and accent on a voice-over describing her process as she works. This one, though, is just set to music.

Next, we have the perfect flash mob: The Australian cast of The Lion King musical burst into “The Circle of Life” on a plane. As if that song didn’t already give me chills – imagine hearing them sing it two rows away! I kind of thought someone should have picked up the little boy in the aisle at the end and held him aloft to show Pride Rock their new king.

Interesting: Lorde has had a face to face run-in with what Hollywood will do to her as a celebrity.

I probably should have posted this one before SXSW, but oh well: Austin’s Best Coffee Shops, Winter 2014. I’ve been to Epoch, Flightpath (long long ago), Thunderbird, and Cherrywood; Epoch is open 24 hours and is a good place to go if you need to study or write alone or with a group. Cherrywood’s food and drinks are fantastic (get a Luna taco). There are a couple, like Fair Bean and Strange Brew, that I think should be on the list, or at least they’re on my list!

I just finished a short story for the Mammoth Book of Southern Gothic Romance, which will be out I believe in November (In the UK, not sure about the US, I’ll let you know). I’m particularly proud of it because I absolutely suck at short stories – not the writing, but the coming up with ideas part. However the people who beta’d the story thought it was damn cool. If I had to sum it up in three words they’d be

What do you do when the world’s problems become unbearable? I think a lot of my kindred around here know this feeling – I know most vegans do. You see so much that’s awful and your contribution is so small that it’s easy to either give up, become angry, or do both. Stephanie Vesseley offers some insight she received from Ram Dass.

One last thing along those lines, for Austinites – the Texas VegFest is this Saturday at Fiesta Gardens! There will be food vendors, all sorts of goodies to buy (Last year I got hold of a Fluffernutter Whoopie Pie from Capitol City Bakery and HOLY CRAP was it good!), and speakers including Mac Danzig, 2007 Ultimate Fighter Welter Weight Winner; Nicole Sopko, Vegan Business Owner, Yogi & Animal Activist, and local favorite Chef Inge Bothma, owner of Happy Vegan Baker. I won’t be volunteering this year for personal reasons, but trust me, it’s a great event with live music and beer and everything that makes Austin great without all the damned bacon. The website has more about the venue, parking, et cetera. I recommend you go fairly early before all the good cupcakes are sold out.