Thursday, June 30, 2011

las vegas 2011: the trip

Yes, our Vegas trip was eons ago, but I still think that the internet needs to see these pictures. I'm going to split these posts up into The Trip, The Pool, The Strip, and The Food, not necessarily in that order. There are just that many photos. Don't want to crash your computer or anything. ;)

The Trip

(notice my artwork to the left of the photo)

And that, my friends, is how we got to Vegas. Pretty much the same way everybody else does it. Coming up, more pictures of my vacation! So daring! So new! Nothing that the internet has not seen ten thousand times before!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

outfit: typewriter shirt

After taking these photos, it suddenly hit me how young I dress sometimes. I'm pretty sure that I have not progressed in maturity since high school. No wonder I get carded so often.

Photo on 2011-06-21 at 16.17
Photo on 2011-06-21 at 16.17 #2
Photo on 2011-06-21 at 16.18 #4

I basically wear this shirt to work every other day. Way, way too often. It's ok if I pair it with a flouncy floral skirt, right?


On a less depressing note, who's ready for the 4th of July!?!? This is one of my favorite holidays (not there are many holidays that aren't my favorite.) It's really wrapped up in wonderful memories for me. This year I'm making red, white, and blue jello shots.

Time to make some more memories. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

new painting: you're just what i needed

It has been a seriously long time since I actually posted a new painting. I've worked on a few things here and there, but mostly as gifts (I've got something special in the works for a birthday coming up soon...who will be the lucky boy or girl!?), pieces for my home, or simply false starts.

Man, false starts are the worst.

This one was inspired by my and Corban's song, "You're Just What I Needed" by the The Cars (yes, we have a song because we are cheesy that way.) It came on the radio while I was driving to work and I was like, SHAZAM! Painting!


I lovelovelove how it turned out! Just perfect (and now that I look at it, definitely inspired by Red Velvet's Elsie.) It's posted here in the etsy shop.

I am still slowly but surely making progress on Operation Make Our Bedroom Look Amazing (and, yes, the clown painting has been hung.) Hopefully I'll pictures later this summer!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

a walk in the park

Some of my favorite memories have happened during completely unexpected circumstances. Almost getting caught in the sprinklers during a routine walk in the park and then hunting for rainbows definitely ranks up there.


Monday, June 20, 2011

las vegas 2011 preview

It's been an entire 11 days since I last posted. How can this be!? How could I deprive the whole wide world of pictures of my cats? And minute details about my day!?

After all, the life of a semi-housewife (I cringe at the term, but let's be real here, that's what I am) is a thrilling and ever-changing saga of excitement and adventure.

Sarcasm aside, the hubs and I did just get back from a Las Vegas vacation. That makes us kind of hardcore, right?

Kenji took most of the photos (his camera is better than can't argue with science) so all I have right now are my Instagram photos. Just to give a little taste.


An amazing vacation, but happy to be home. Stay tuned for more!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

the kitty saga

Remember when Harley was first supposed to have her stitches out? Yeah, that didn't exactly happen the way we planned...

May 14: Surgery
It is determined that Harley has a stomach blockage and has surgery for removal.


May 16: Home From Vet
We are happy to have our no longer sick, but sore kitty home.


Welcome Home, Harley! from Shertown Studios on Vimeo.

May 20: Bandages Come Off...
So much more comfortable without bandages!


...And Then Back On
But, Harley is a dumb-ass and started chewing on her stitches, one of which broke off.


Kitty Shirt from Shertown Studios on Vimeo.

May 25: To Vet For Suture Removal...But Then More Stitches Are Put In...Thus More Bandages
Due to stitch chewing, Harley has a gaping hole in her tummy that must be re-stitched.


Kitty in Bandages from Shertown Studios on Vimeo.

May 31: To Vet For Bandage Removal...But Bandages Must Remain
Yep, still not healed. We proceed to re-bandage her at home approximately five times in the next 4 days. We are total pros at this point.

June 7th: Stitches Come Out
Harley is (finally) given a clean bill of health! Incision is healed up nicely!


Nine trips to the vet, four trips to the pharmacy for bandages, three rounds of antibiotics, and three-and-a-half weeks later the ordeal is finally over. She's so much more comfortable now and is getting back to her usual bitchy self. Our sincere thanks to everyone who has asked about our little fur ball and wished her well. We are extremely relieved that she is better.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

on beauty

I swear, Sarah on Yes and Yes is a total genius. I feel like we would be best friends if we met (Sarah, if for some wild reason you a reading this, please don't think I'm a creepy, shack in the woods stalker. I just love your style of writing and have that weird instinctive feeling that we'd hit it off. Also, we both love linguistics!) Her post today on the various merits and demerits of conventional physical beauty really gave me a moment of pause.

Hey, Jeremy

I could go on about how "society" imposes all these impossible standards of beauty on women, but the truth is that these standards have always been around, just in different forms. A large part of the characterization of the players in Jane Eyre (a novel published in 1847!) has to do with their physical attributes and the lack or presence of the day's standard of beauty.

So, you see, this is not a new thing.

My amazement comes from the fact that we as women impose these impossible standards on ourselves. Of this, I am certainly not the least guilty. I spent the past two summers completely miserable and self-concious because I felt, not only that I was too fat to walk around in a swim suit, but that my face wasn't pretty enough to make up for it.

How neurotic is that!?

My problem has always been comparing myself to those around me. Her face is prettier than mine. Her boobs are bigger. She's thinner. I know that the ideal of the Victoria Secret model is unattainable. That standard of beauty really does not exist in nature. However, I figure that if I can be friends with someone prettier than me, that I should be able to be that pretty. Because, she's real! There's nothing airbrushed about someone sitting right next to me!

It's hard to accept that there are things about ourselves that we can't change. The picture above is me as I naturally am: no makeup, no hair dye, no photoshopping. There have been times that this has bummed me out. However, I have found that the more I value myself as an intellectual being, the more that I respect my own feelings and personality, the less I worry about my physical attributes. Sure, I can't change my nose...but I also can't change my crazy witch laugh (inherited from my mother), something that I wouldn't give up for the world. Because it's me, it's something that makes me unique.

Besides, I would much rather be known for positive personality traits than physical beauty. As much as we try to fight it off, we will all age and beauty will fade or change into something different. My youth will only last for a little while longer, but I will always be me and I'd really like to learn to love myself now. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

memorial day 2011

Yes, I know it was a week ago. I was waiting on pictures from Kenji's awesome water-proof camera, however he is a boy and boys take forever to give people their pictures. Because they are doody-heads.

Picture mongering aside, everyone had the best freaking time hanging by the pool all day and eating an unreasonable amount of burgers, hot links, ribs, potato salad, stuffed peppers, queso, and guacamole.

As you can tell, we are all about moderation.


Corban and I got really sunburned, being confused on the distinction between sunblock and tanning lotion.

And, that's how we learned out lesson.

life lessons: vulnerability

from this amazing blog

Something that I have been realizing lately is that I do have problems being vulnerable to people. Even to my closest friends and family, even to my husband! I instinctively push away, make a joke, smooth a subject over when I feel uncomfortably open to people. It's like I'm a lobster protecting my soft underbelly with a hard outer shell. Even my cats can lay there with their soft little bellies exposed! Why is it so hard for me to look someone in the eye and tell them that I love them!?

I'm sure this is a common issue, but for me it's one that I didn't even know I had until recently. It's just been lurking on my shoulder, dropping little negative suggestions from time to time.

"Don't talk about your issues, you will look less in control."

"Don't tell people how much they mean to you, they'll just think you're a sap."

"Don't go for that opportunity, you'll just look stupid."

It seems that avoiding being vulnerable is all about appearances. And I thought I didn't care about what other people think. Huh.

It's not super obvious (at least to me), but vulnerability isn't a weakness, it's necessary in order for relationships to thrive and risks to be taken. Strength, then, isn't a measure of how "perfect" or "together" a person is, but how confident they are in risking their image or emotions for what they think is right or beneficial.

Now that I've realized these things, what do I do about it? I've found that eye contact is a huge part of emotional communication. I have a really hard time making eye contact with people, it makes me super uncomfortable. If I make eye contact with someone, it forces me to take what they are saying seriously (even if what they are saying is emotionally uncomfortable) but the real kicker is that it makes me take what I am saying seriously. I often forget that my friends and family want to hear what I have to say and that they will take me seriously as long as they know that I take myself seriously.

So, I guess it's all about respect. It's hard to look someone in the eye if you don't respect them or what they are saying. It's hard to look someone in the eye if you know you're bullshitting them. What I've got to realize is that people will respect me even if I let myself be vulnerable to them. That my vulnerability will not necessarily be judged as a weakness. And, who cares what anyone else thinks anyway?

Does anyone else struggle with opening up to people, even friends and family? What have you done to handle these insecurities?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

ode to my great grandma

A few weeks ago, my dad and I drove up to see my great grandma (she lives almost two hours away.) I was so excited to visit with her and take some lovely photos of her garden, her house, and of course the woman herself (although that one was a bit of a battle, she hates having her pictures taken.)

But, she's so nice that she let me. :)


I can easily say that my great grandmother is the coolest person I have ever met in my entire life. She's turning 96 this year, and she still lives alone, drives, sews, cooks, and tends flower and vegetable gardens. Up until a recent hand injury, she even made booties for premature babies and lab robes for a senior citizen center. She never wastes anything and could probably find a use for anything. I guess growing up in the depression does that to you.


All her awesome accomplishments and abilities aside, she is the sweetest, most caring, even tempered woman you could know. When I was young, I would spend weeks at her house during the summer, learning to garden, sew, and perform little household tasks. She would read to me and patiently teach me to use a sewing machine. I loved those times and still look on them as some of the happiest of my life.


I have so many happy memories of sitting in that carport making/eating home made ice-cream, celebrating holidays (especially the 4th of July) with my family, and shelling beans.


The tree pictured above is her persimmon tree (of the persimmon cookie fame.) It has just started budding, and I plan to go back for another photograph in the early fall when it is fully laden with fruit.

I'm very lucky to still have my great grandmother at the age of 25. Even though I have often neglected all those important-but-distant people in my life, I am recently trying to reconnect and make up for lost time. I have been reminded recently by Corban's accident and other tragic events that there really is no certainty that people will be around as long as we think they will, and it's better not to regret lost opportunities. I'm fortunate enough to have some truly amazing family and friends...I hope I always remember not to take them for granted.