create your very own fonts

 This little mock-up uses at least four of my handmade fonts over a grainy landscape image.

Did you know you can create your own fonts from your handwriting? I didn't either and, once I found out, I made a whole bunch of fonts by going here and following the directions. All you need is a printer, a scanner, (or an all-in-one thingy) and a thickish pen or marker. I used an 8.0 fine liner which seemed to work great. You might be able to experiment with smaller though I'm not sure I'd go less than a 5.0.

After a little bit of trial and error (check the arrow on the sample of Patient Zero below) and some post-scan editing, I think I came up with some fun and very unique fonts. One of them has even been used to create the logo for LOL at the top of the site.

Give it a shot, play around, do your thing. I'd love to see what fonts you come up with and maybe even do a little share/exchange. Download mine in a zip below (Windows) and let me know what you think. Happy creating!

beautiful ideas

I have a lot of ideas about beauty. I've thought about it, read philosophers opinions on it, seen how it affects the psyches of regular people everyday (including myself) and then thought about it some more. What I've settled on as a truth about beauty is that quite simply Beauty is Truth. What I mean by that is we get to define it as something that is true and pure for us. It is not something that someone gets to define for us nor is it something that is ever fixed within one concept.

"Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye." 
– William Shakespeare

Beauty belongs to each of us. Sure, maybe beauty needs to be redefined, but more than that it needs to be reclaimed. If we don’t take it back for ourselves, it won’t matter how it’s redefined. Someone else will still be defining it for us.

When we buy into conventional standards of beauty, we give up the power (and the right) to own it for ourselves. Think about it. Someone made that stuff up to make money. It’s fictional! It’s only as real as we let it be.

Everyone is beautiful. Better yet, everyone is beauty. If that isn’t seen at first glance, look harder, look longer, look for more than what beauty can give to you. Because beauty owes us nothing.

True beauty is the soulful gift of experiencing; experiencing another being, nature, life, love. If we’re not open to the experience, then it’s time to take beauty back from the commercials that sell it to us, from the products that promise it, and from the select few that we’re told have the right to possess it.

Yes, we will encounter people who are not owning beauty for themselves who will find flaws in us, call us ugly because they lack a sense of self worth, and do their best to otherwise put us down. Keep your head up, your heart open, and don’t be a jerk. Just keep on reclaiming beauty for yourself. No one can stop you.

Beauty is not a commodity. No one can sell it to you. It’s already yours. You get to define it for yourself. You have the power to own it for yourself, to embody it now and always.

Journal/Sketch Prompt: What does beauty mean to you? What is your most beautiful non-physical attribute? How would you describe it as something physical? For example, what color is your inner beauty? How big is it? What's the texture like? How does light fall on it? What do you find ascetically pleasing in the world?

with meaning... forever

I was recently tattooed a couple more times, making six little symbols on my skin since the age of 19. These are the latest additions in almost ten years or so. I think. These symbols mean a lot to me. I don't get tattoos that don't *seriously* mean some *serious* stuff to me. Seriously.

The top one is an ancient Greek monogram that was found on the inner thigh of a 1,300 year old female mummy. It reads Mixaha in Greek which translates literally to Michael in English. The lower one is the word Eros, also in Greek - but modern.

To me, Eros means a lot more than the Christian connotation and way a lot more than just being the root of the word erotic. To me, Eros is the name for Love as more than a feeling or a combination of chemicals. To me, Eros/Love is a force or a power operating in existence... very much like gravity.

Eros was originally a primordial deity, androgynous and born from the Cosmic Egg, long before he was made into the son of Aphrodite (herself a much altered deity from her original form). "The Orphics knew him as Phanes, a primal being hatched from the world egg at creation. He was also equivalent to Thesis, "Creation," and Physis, "Nature."

What symbols mean something to you? Do you have tattoos of them or do you plan to get some in the future? Maybe you're not into tattoos. How else do you incorporate important symbols in your life? Are there symbols that inspire you to make art or write about your most sacred ideas and values?

Journal/Sketch Prompt: If you were a fictional character in a fantasy novel, would you have tattoos? If so, what would they be of and what would they mean? Design your own tattoo artwork.

something pablo said

I took a picture of this quote out of a book I was reading a while back. I can't for the life of me remember what the title was which probably says a lot about the book. And/or my memory is just getting awful. Anyway... I love Picasso. Who doesn't, amiright? But I'm not sure how I feel about this quote of his.

I'm a big fan of the idea that we don't always have to be go-getting and swamped down in our lives by ambition (which tends to be something that hides more fear of failure than genuine happiness, IMO). So I guess the way this quote really works for me is to recognize there isn't much in my life that needs doing before I die. All the important things are done daily like hugging my kids, telling important folks that I care, saying I love you, enjoying good company, being grateful, making love, laughing, allowing myself to be happy... because we all deserve at least that.

As for the other stuff... it can wait. Or it won't. Either way, I'm not wasting one more second on worrying about any of it. ♥

Journal/Sketch Prompt: Does this quote resonate with you or leave you wanting something more? How do you make each day count? Is there something you've been putting off that you need to finish? If you have a bucket list, what's on top?

artikel nummer eins

Blogging has been on my mind for years now but every time I take a look at the top blogs, do a little investigative research or whatever, I feel like the odd ball out in a bunch of ways. Here's the thing...

I'm weird by most standards. Always have been, always will be. I don't really care about fashion trends or painting my nails or baking cupcakes all that much. I'm a mother of two but I don't really do the hyper-mom stuff and I only moderately do domesticy topics besides gardening, growing food, and decorating on the cheap. I shop at the VOA on a regular basis and keeping up with any sort of Kardashian makes me want to heave. But that's just me. No judgey.

Basically, I tend to do things my way (as simple as I can manage) and I believe what other people think of me is their business. I live in a mobile home and I'm not much of a consumer, though I have been known to have a weakness for cheap handbags and I go through $10 sunglasses like underwear. 

As for the other stuff blogs are usually about: I'm no good at tutorials because I'm too busy being in the creative zone and making stuff that I don't even think to document anything for future reference. I also think step by steps that are too specific can kill creativity. (You can do it! Fly by the seat of your pants!)

Due to this in-the-moment mentality I'm usually in, I don't often think to take a lot of pictures that I could blog about either. Unless, of course, something strikes my art just right or baby goats are involved. This is something I'm really going to have to work on, I think.

So I kept asking myself what the hell I would blog about that anyone would actually want to read. I probably used another word besides hell though since I swear like a sailor. (Do sailors actually swear a lot or have we just given them all a bad rap?) I'm also flighty.

Then there's the fact that I can't deny being a little nervous to reveal parts of my life that feel private or that I worry might provoke criticism. I grew up in a time before anyone cared who they bullied, let alone who they cyber-bullied. I guess I've always been pretty covertly weird because of that. But I also wouldn't bother blogging if I couldn't find the courage to be authentic.

Even with all those conundrums of derailed and gnarly-train-wreck thoughts (that should be signs to abandon any ideas of my possible-eventual blogging career) I still feel like I might have something to say that other folks could dig on. So what can I offer you, Dear Reader?


I want you to be inspired to live life the way you want to - not the way you think you have to. I can show you that following your heart and your dreams is worth it, that you can do it, and that you're not the only weirdo out there. I want you to know that your unique weirdness is the source of your personal power and that being authentic in everything you do is a strength not a weakness.

You can buy a mobile home for the price of a used car instead of a $300,000 track house and live on your terms. You can spend more time doing things you love with the people that really matter and worry a whole lot less. You can grow your own food in a small space, buy from local sources, learn to preserve your own fruits and veggies, and start a renewed relationship with the natural world. You can be brave enough to be vulnerable, to live with meaning, to love with all your heart, and grab happiness with both hands.  

If I can do it, then you can do it. Let's inspire each other.