Henry Miller hanging round the toilet

In my bathroom I have a copy of Henry Miller's The Colossus of Maroussi sitting around.
I have been reading the first sentence several hundred times lately.

I would never have gone to Greece had it not been for a girl named Betty Ryan who lived in the same house with me in Paris.

I like thinking about the way the world works.
How life unfolds.
I also would have never have gone to Greece had it not been for a compulsive liar yet interesting boy I knew when I was in college.

There are so many I would never have________ had it not been for__________ in our lives.

Who's yr Betty Ryan?

photo via ffffound

do it like a bad habit for ten years

Last night I had the pleasure of attending and live blogging the inaugural TEDxColumbus event.(great job @ruthmilligan Curatorial Co-Chair)

It was awesome in a lot of ways.
One particularly awesome thing for me and my pal Angie was having dinner with John and Annie Glenn!

At the dinner/reception prior to the event we were hanging out and saw Mr. And Mrs. Glenn looking for a seat and we offered them space at our table.
We chatted away with them and had a lovely time!!!
We found out John Glenn has an iPhone and encouraged Annie to get one so that they could send each other love texts and silly videos. We talked about life and technology and TED.com.
We talked about space - because you would ask too!
You would be so predictable just like me if you sat next to an astronaut.

He said it was magic and he would go back in the morning if he could.
I felt for a moment like I was experiencing something so damn cool.

Like I understood why Aurora just went gaga over Jack Nicholson in "Terms of Endearment." -the man was IN SPACE!

This is like mind blowing and wicked cool.

He was so sparkly in the eyes and Annie was like a wee doll I wanted to cuddle.
Smart and cool and I am so fortunate to have met them.

I also crushed heavily on Matt Slaybaugh who opened the night with some poetry.
He said something that made me shiver and shake all over:

"Pick something that you love, and do it like a bad habit for ten years."

yes. yes. yes.

The end of the school year GIVEAWAY

Wanna give yr kiddos teacher or any teacher in yr life AN AWESOME gift for the end of the year?
I have a copy of 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny: Life Lessons from Teaching by the delightful Philip Done to give to you!
Actually the amazing author himself will mail you or that teacher a copy this weekend!

This book made me laugh and cry. I love this man. Really. I do. He and I have been emailing for a long time now and his book really grabs you if you have any sort of connection to the education world. It will grab you if yr a parent too. If you have a heart he will open it.
I have had a lot of negativity at times in my life surrounding the state of the education system in America and this books shakes that crud right off and makes me dreamy and idealistic again for what teaching is all about and how learning can be! It makes me miss my school kiddos so much.
His honest and funny book is uplifting without being all Chicken Soup for the soul annoying.
It is the real deal and I am glad that I have it in my library.
I am also glad that I have Philip as a contact now in the world of writing and education.
He's brill!
I think this book should be given at graduation for all teachers. For Realz!
AND he's super nice! He will mail a copy to one lucky reader or teacher!
Just leave a comment and tell me something about yr favorite teacher and I will draw a lucky winner Sat morning!

Is that a poem in yr pocket?

(Originally posted on March 1 &April 1,2008)

I met Kenneth Koch once.

"Rose, where did you get that red?"
I love this book so much. It is tattered like no other book I own. When I worked with elementary school kids through the arts council I used this book religiously. I also used it in classrooms and after school programs. It is a beautiful rare book.
Koch used great poetry to teach children how to be poets...how to harness what already lived inside their endless imaginations. He taught kids to soar and through his books I was able to teach poetry to even the very young kindergartners. This book should be in yr house because poetry is accessible to all of us. We all think and we all process and if we can learn the road from the mind to the pen, then we will soar. I have been reading Finnian poems for a long time and just now I am starting to create poems with him. I am teaching him that words are powerful and can help him express his feelings. I am giving him small gifts for the future. Gifts that might not unfold themselves for decades, but one day he will hear the lines from a poem, perhaps a Blake poem:

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
in the forests of the night

and his mind will twist and stretch for a bit
and he will think back to the home he grew up in
and he will smile and remember that his mom said it was true
poetry makes you feel

This poetry prompt is from another of Ken Koch's books that I love - "Wishes, Lies, and Dreams".

Third Eye Poems
The third eye can see what regular eyes can’t or is only open when the regular eyes are closed. It is a magical eye.
We made third eyes out of paper and taped them to our foreheads. We wore them through breakfast and then "wrote" our poems. The best way to unfold this lesson with older kids is to encourage them to imagine ANYTHING! In school I always told kids they could see ANYTHING! Tell them that they can be serious or funny or sad or scared. Give them freedom. Give them power.
With younger children just allowing them to ramble on about what they can imagine is great! I let Finn spin a whole story and then we sat down and I prompted him by saying, "My Third Eye Can See..." and he just filled in the poem. His poems were so funny and charming.

Here are some of the examples from my old school. A simple lesson like this was a very powerful tool for my elementary kids. Power is king. In the neighborhood where my school and recreation center stood- there was much violence and worry. It was powerful for the kids to be in control of their daily life...if even for 15 minutes in a poetry workshop.

B. Age 9
My third eye can see the teachers underwear
and Teddy Johnson dancing
and the whole school upside down
it can see candy floating all around us

L. Age 8
My third eye can see me that is scared of the shots at night
it can see my mom and she is happy and not sad

T. Age 10
My third eye can see all the way down Hallidon Ave and Kiya ain't dead anymore
it can see the bad people and it stares at them till they run away
down Monroe St and don't bother us
they disappear and it is summer every day

"Live each day with this kind of passion. Don't you find it exhausting?"

This cool chic gal who blogs at Grosgrain takes a pricey anthro piece and recreates it for 6 bucks. I love her. And you can win it!
Anthropolification Boyer Cream Cardi GIVEAWAY!!!! GIVEAWAY!!!!: "Anthropolification"

Now- who can make this in my size?

This is my sewing thought of the day-
title post- Ever After 1998
photos via grosgrain and flickr

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."

My heart is yours (365/280), originally uploaded by JenniPenni.

Need a little lift?
Do you know Mary Ruffle?
She makes me crazy with her gorgeous eye.
She is my friend and I lerv her!

title post- Moulin Rouge 2001

""I'm gonna treat you so good, you're never gonna let me go"

Tim Walker makes me happy. I saw his portfolio over on Icing and melted.
I don't even like horses and yet I am dreamy with this one.
And don't even get me started on some new short bangs in my future and a trip to MAC for some red lipstick. I love her look.

Also. Blaise found my cold coffee this morning and drank a bunch of it and now is running around the house yelling more more more. Lordy!

Wish me luck on creating a Disco and Pancake birthday party. I think I am set with props thanks to beautiful Rush Creek girls. But, I am hoping I can get Joe to wear tight pants and dance. My heart thumps.

title post- Pretty Woman 1990

"Old Spice. Phil says it's a timeless classic."

Blaise will be two in a few days and I went and took his yearly click today.
The same date as last year. (how sweet is he?)

I am taking a photograph each birthday with a prop so I will be able to watch them grow and to give them some cool photos in their adult life.
Finnian wears his dad's shirt in his yearly click and Blaise wears an amber necklace.
I wrote about birthday traditions and ideas last year here.
I did not make this idea up as I recall reading about a woman who dressed her baby girl in a vintage Pucci shift and took photos. She hung them on the staircase. It was gorgeous seeing her grow into the dress.
So you should do it too!
And don't fret if yr kid is a bit older and yr just starting.
Just think of collections.
Many of one thing is always cool.
No matter how many.

The Yearly Click:

1. Choose a prop that the child can grow into or outgrow for drama.
(like a dress or a shirt of an adult in child's life or a piece of jewelry or something fun like a clown nose even!)

2. Commit to keeping the prop in a safe place and taking a yearly shot on the child's birthday or birthday time frame.

3. Write the age and date on back of print! yes PRINT it out! My mother and grandmother told me to write the dates on everything and I laughed! Now I am screwed with several photos and it has only been 4.5 years with Finn! Seriously we do not remember all that we think we always will.
6 months old and 8 months old look the fricking same to me now!

4. Display them! (staircase/wall/nursery)

5. Have fun and guess what? Yr creating amazing memories for the future! Yr an archiver of lovely.

title post- My Girl 1991

On that midnight street /Sweep me off my feet

NYC: Street Dancing 2, originally uploaded by Professor Bop.

I am so excited for my dancing class tonight.

It is my birthday and I woke up with little voices singing and buttered toast and coffee all over my bed and a feeling of it is good here. I am a queen right here on this bed. My little princes and my king they come to me and tradition is good. It is grounding and it is affirming if you let it.

I never finished my list properly. I will work on my 36 list this holiday weekend and tend to it this year and let it really grow something special.
I promise that to myself.

Isn't it maddening to know there is so much life to be lived out there and we only get so much time to do it? I want to dance in the streets this year and talk more deeply and listen way harder and frolic. Yeah, I wanna frickin frolic.

Kiss Kiss

The butter melts out of habit/the toast isn't even warm

So I booked us a ballroom dancing class for Tuesday night. I see us floating across parquet floors in chiffon and tails. I really see us busting through the doors buzzed on two large pints from the local and bundled up and laughing. It will be fun. It is something I have always wanted to do and perhaps if I reach very far down into my scary little place I will also make 2009 the year I buy an old acoustic guitar and learn to play. Just a little. Just like sewing. Just enough to make me dangerous.

I love this young girl. I love her tude. She has it right?

Get me delivered to yr email xo

I know a place that's safe and warm from the crowd

I caught this engagement photo on the divine beefy and love it!
I love the idea of a photo that is kinda a traditional thing being inverted and made the way the couple fancies.
I love the
photographer Josh Goleman.

I am inspired in a warm and fuzzy way today- even though it is so fricking cold that I know I will wanna shout obscenities as I walk to the post office and preschool in 15 minutes.

Make it a productive day.
Tell someone you love them.
Jump on yr lover.

and the mama of the internets is pregnant! woot! Go give Dooce some lerv! rock on!
Happy news! :)

Get me delivered to yr email xo

A big thing or a small/The winner takes it all


Southern Wife! I used random.org!!!
Thank you!
Please contact me Southern Wife
at amytsharp(at) gmail (dot) com
thank you to everyone who left a comment and said lovely things about our shop! I am visiting all of yr blogs this weekend! xo

Such a gorgeous parcel came today!
I am quite in love with this blog and I was lucky to win something myself back a bit...I won a gorgeous print that I got to pick out from her shop! I picked this lovely one:

Thank you so much! xoxo

Get me delivered to yr email xo

It's such a gorgeous sight

Way back when Etsy was just a new cool thing I discovered and not part of my daily life I stumbled across the loveliest art from this girl called Ashley G. I think my first purchase from Etsy was the print above for Finnian's room. I can recall how I would sit and stare at the screen at this amazing artists work. I loved how her work made me feel. I am starting a new weekly series about inspiration here on Doobleh-vay and I wanted to kick it off with Ashley! I not only bought art from this talented woman, but I got the inspiration to start my own shop!

I love reading her profile on Etsy. She says things like:
I strongly believe in what you're happiest doing at five is what you will be happiest doing your entire life. (come on! I love this woman- she is brill!)

I have followed her path from Etsy newbie to a major force in the design world. And as busy as you know this gorgeous gal is, she took the time to talk with me a bit. I wanted to share her words with you here and some images of her fabulous work. Please visit her shop and get some art for yr home. I can highly recommend the superhero print for wee ones. Finn looks at his everyday!

Can you just tell me a few things that inspire you and how you work- yr process?
Nature is for sure the most inspiring thing, followed by an inspiring space. My work process varies but it's usually me with my sketchbook, some pens and pencils and just sketching and sketching until something starts working out and feeling right.

I want to know some things about what is it really like to be a working artist...Do you ever just want to stop the madness and run away from it all or will you never again work for someone else?

I would really really like to stick to my guns and not work for anyone again unless it is a partnership, collaboration, or short-term project. The way the economy is, with the vast fluctuations we've all seen in the last year, I feel really fortunate to have a job that I like right now, a job that pays the bills. So, until the collective atmosphere of the US and beyond improves I think that's all I'm focusing on.

What are the three top things you wish you would have known before you started this journey?

1) People aren't as picky as I am (but I don't think I can change that for better or worse)
2) No matter what printer or printing process you choose it is going to be disastrous, heart-wrenching and frustrating at least once every couple of months.

3) The online community I've been lucky enough to become a part of is comprised of some awesome people! And in person, the ones I've met are just as great.

How is it working with yr lover?

The best and the worst thing ever : )

Have you made mistakes?

I'm sure tons, but I don't know of any MAJOR mistakes. It is certainly all one big learning process, though.

Have you made friends through this process?

I am really happy to say that I have. Other folks who sell on Etsy I like to call my "coworkers," and I've had a chance to get to know quite a few over the past two years. They really are generous, gracious, creative people. Now that I am in Portland I have met more in person and friends of their friends. I feel like I might not know anyone in this new city if it weren't for meeting fellow artists.

What are yr five top blogs/shops/etc on web?

Ohhh that's so tough. Umm daily I KNOW I look at Flickr, Design Sponge, D-Listed. I LOVE SkinStore.com (AWESOME customer service and free shipping), and I love to to browse through Etsy and Craigslist for vintage goodies if I can't get to a thrift store.

Who would you love to meet online?

Merlin Mann!

Where do you see yrself in two years?

Illustration, maybe product design, children's books and overall keeping on keeping on.

What did you think you would have been doing 7 years ago? Did you feel this?

7 years ago I was already sure I NEEDED to be self employed and create things for a living (but I've known those two for as long as I can remember). I wanted to create toys, children's books, illustrations, crafts, jewelry, sculpture. And I still want to do all of those things. Just some aren't as realistic as others. : )

Mayo or mustard?

Mustard! :)

Thank you to the amazing Ashley for kicking off the inspiration series that will begin this Friday.
It is called
(It's Friday/I'm in Love!) and I have some amazing folks lined up for you! I am hoping for the Friday series to be a place to come and recharge yr batteries and find a bit of bliss. A little dip in the inspiration pool really? Kiss Kiss.

Get me delivered to yr email xo