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/ˈmelənˌkälē/ a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.

Middle English: from Old French melancolie, via late Latin from Greek melankholia, frommelas, melan- ‘black’ + kholē ‘bile,’ an excess of which was formerly believed to cause depression.

Melancholy is one of my favorite words.

It makes me think of cauliflower and cantaloupe, and it’s kind of fun to say. It also conjures up memories of a time when CE and I affectionately called each other Collie (which originated from the nickname Colin… and continued to warp into other similar sounding names like Zollin, Zoll, Dolin, etc.)..

And in my brain I can imagine a version of myself that lives in a different universe.

Her name is Melan Collie.

Despite the name, she leads a happy life. Her hair is always multi-colored and never fades. All she eats is fruit, it’s all she needs. The grass is soft and spongy, so no one really wears shoes. Melan travels and roams freely.. I imagine her thoughts are fairly basic, but mostly happy. Pretty much just shapes and confetti rolling around in her head. I think she probably has a dog, or whatever animal/thing is the equivalent in their universe. Maybe it’s just a rock with a smiley face drawn on it.

Unlike Melan Collie, I, in this universe, feel pangs of melancholy quite often.

I like to imagine myself as a bright, bubble, sunny person. I try to project that every day. But sometimes, I can see that maybe Melancholy is my natural state. Maybe the real me is melancholy. It’s kind of a big, giant loop.. I start to feel melancholy.. A pensive state of sadness, typically with no obvious cause. Pensive is the key word. It’s dangerous when you start to think about sadness and discover there is no reason behind it. No ‘thing‘ that made it so. If there is no reason, can there be a solution? How do you solve a problem… When there is no… Problem?

Is this a riddle? Perhaps.

But I guess, the thing about feelings of melancholy is that, often, as quickly as they set in, they vanish. The black bile simply evaporates, to return – another moment, another day.


Back to Basics: Making

As you all probably know and can empathize with, especially you Festie, life just goes and goes and goes. And sometimes we find ourselves in a place that is completely unfamiliar. I mean, not completely unfamiliar..  Our jobs may be familiar (perhaps TOO familiar) and our friends and family are familiar (most days) and our cars are familiar and our clothes and our diet. But where is the magic? Where are the things we LOVE to do. The things that make our blood flow faster and our brains think harder and our hands build better. Where have our passions gone? And how do we get them back?

In my natural habitat.

In my natural habitat.

As a pledge to myself, to my inner soul and my creative being, I have decided to do MORE. I’m starting with small DIY projects, but hey, it’s a start.

One of my friends has requested a nightstand. It’s long over due, but better late than never – I’m going to refinish a double-decker side table for her.

I also picked up a cute little side table at Target on clearance for $6. BOO YAH! It’s got a great metal base and a round top. It is currently white and hot pink.. So if you know me at all, you know that ain’t gonna fly, so I’m going to give it a little color update. This is the table. My plan is less red and white and more teal/plum/grey/grellow/black. I’m a bit undecided at this point.

I also have a few frames (for one of my dearest gilfriends) that need some custom art work… I’m thinking floral inspired semi-graphic whatever whatever… 😀

As you can see, I have some projects lined up and I am ready to turn off my phone, shut down my computer, and dive into some creative projects. It is time to unlock a level of happiness that’s been shut away for too many moons.

Daddio, Papa Joe

Saturday was a very special day. A couple of moons ago, a boy was born. This boy turned into a man.

Short Shorts

And then he turned into my Dad. And wow. Words cannot explain how lucky I am.


In the last few days, weeks, months, maybe even years.. Really since I moved to Madison and went to college, my relationship with my parents has evolved, it has changed. It is a weird/beautiful/crazy thing when your parents stop being “parents” – the people who run your life, they’re your heros, invincible – and instead become… Your friends? Your mentors? Your equal? Totally rad people that happen to be 20 or 30 years older than you that you talk to about the things you have in common and enjoy talking about?

I think that last bit is one of the things I have enjoyed the most about my ‘grown-up’ relationship with my dad. Now that I’ve become almost a real human an independent person with developed interests and hobbies, I’ve discover how much we have in common. Somethings I knew about earlier, like our love for meat and potatoes and our passion for the great outdoors. But I always used to think I was more like my mom. I thought I looked more like my mom and I was always the arty kid, just like my mom. BUT GUESS WHAT! I think it might be an even split!

Getting ready to make some mashed potatoes... I love that the drill is basically a scepter.

Getting ready to make some mashed potatoes… I love that the drill is basically a scepter.

Yeah, that’s right. I’ve got my daddy’s blue eyes (and the bad vision that comes with it 😉 ), his nose, and his crazy-curly-you-might-be-homeless-but-it’s-okay-because-you’re-cute hair.

But even more than looks, my insides are so much the same as his. We are builders. We make things, and we can appreciate other things that people have taken the time to create. To design. My father has passed on to me, and taught me over the years, about logical thinking, about process. About taking a moment to figure out how you REALLY want to do things so that you can do it well and right. And he has taught me that not everything comes out well. Or right. And that is 100% okay too. Because at the end of it all, if you learned something (even if it’s how not to do something) it was probably worth it.

Not sure why this photo is so terrible or why it seemed like a good idea to take in like this.... We are weird.

Not sure why this photo is so terrible or why it seemed like a good idea to take in like this…. We are weird.

I love that I get to talk shop with my dad. That when he is building something new for the house or the campground, he calls and tells me about it, or includes me in the building process. I love that he has a unique view of the world, of life, of projects. Because I know that I can always ask his opinion on how to do something whether it is building cubbies, putting the soft-top on my jeep, or applying for a new job. And you know what, it’s a cliche for a reason, because my daddio is almost always right. ALWAYS! It’s magic or something.

But really, he is excellent at giving advice. I think he gets it from his father, I can see that now as I take a step back. But he uses the perfect combination of logic and love when he gives advice. And you know, not a lot of people can do that. But my dad, he can. And he can build a porch or a treehouse or anything you want, probably, with his bare hands. He can build a fire in minutes, he can cook four perfect turkeys in just a few hours, and he can climb a mountain in days.


Best. Face. Ever.

He is my dad. He is my friend. He is just a really rad dude that’s 30 years older than me. But he is still my hero too. ♥

festieLYFE: How do you make a living?

As noted in my last post, It’s been a while since I’ve added anything to the blog.. Which I am so sorry about. And I’m going to make it up to you (and let’s be real, to my future self and festie since I’m pretty sure we are the only ones who actually read this blog) by posting ONCE A WEEK!!! Yes, you heard me. one day out of every seven you will be blessed with a special blog from yours truly. AREN’T YOU EXCITED??? Great. Me too.

Since this blog is a place to share whats a happening in the festie lyves so we can stay connected and up to date (and so you can too), I’m going to do just that and SPILL what is on my mind as of late.


JOBS. CAREERS. BIDNIZZ. I’ve been a college graduate for almost 6 months. And quite honestly, some days I wake up feeling like I have nothing to show for it. I’m a 23 year old with a bachelor of science (a BS!) in art, and absolutely no idea “what I want to do when I grow up“. Though, that isn’t entirely true… I would really love to own my own business. If there is one thing that I have learned from the few jobs I’ve had, it is that I would rather just work for myself. But at this point in my life, I’m not quite sure how to make that happen. Any pointers?

In the mean time, when I sit down with my cup of tea to spend another morning job searching, I become instantly exhausted. I’m not sure if this is because I don’t really know what I would like to do for a job, or if it is because it is kind of a lot of work interviewing and getting trained for a new position… Or if it’s just because job hunting is just one of those things that is never really enjoyable. Like going to the grocery store or the post office. Just.. No.

Zen before the storm

Soooo… For now, I am slinging shoes&making the best $$$ I can/ casually job searching/secretly researching how to own a business/making as much art&being as creative as I possibly can.

Crafts and Arts

Do you have a salaried job? Do you prefer to work for a smaller/local business? Are you constantly stopping at Home Depot like I am to see if they have any Money Trees left?


Savannah, A Picture Experience.

So, I know this post is long overdue.. Like.. That book is so overdue that you are now banned from the library. All libraries in Wisconsin… So, I’ll keep it simple: here are some photos from my trip to Savannah. I had an amazing time, met some amazing people, did some amazing things, ate some amazing food.. AH MAY ZINGGGG, YA DIG???? If you have any other questions or want me to give more deets, just comment below and I’ll dish it, yo. But really, it was fan spanking tastic, so a big thank you to Samantha and everyone else who hosted/entertained me 🙂 I am eternally grateful. Hopefully I’ll be back soon!!! The trees, They are so Magical. And terrifying.

The trees, They are so Magical. And terrifying. Foggy Morning Panicky//Zombie Mars Horror film? ALL YOU CAN EAT CRAB! NOMS! Chillin at the beautiful Forsyth Park 2013-01-20 16.14.41 Home away from home :) Best Friends//Attached by the Hair After my jaunt in the ocean holding my Spoils The architecture is to die for. Pirates on the Savannah River Beautiful, never ending east coast. Oh you know, just dancing in the ocean! Glamorous entrance onto River Street Sundae at Lulu's; Our bartender was feeling festive! Orange Dream Martini at Lulu's Church Lion at one of the monuments on one of the squares Storefronts on River Street On the top of the Lighthouse! Oh the bricks! Lighthouse on Tybee Street Grate Pattern Bricks//Feet Bricks//Feet Night out on River Street The bricks, I went nuts for the bricks! The restaurant where we are all the crab we count manage...

We Hate the Hunt

The festies went apartment hunting today. This is how we feel about it.


As you can see, we don’t really appreciate running around town looking at expensive, yet shitty (sorry, mom!) apartments. Carpet? Gross. Damp carpet? Gross-er. Utilities? Parking? We hate our lives. It didn’t help that it was rainy, parking downtown is a train wreck, and that we’re still a bit up-in-the-air on what we can afford.

So where does that leave us? Homeless and empty handed. To be fair, we did get some pretty photos of the weather.


(Drippiness is allowed outside only)

Crackly Paint

(Pretty, yes. Functional, no.)

Our disappointing day has led me to one conclusion: we need our own festie HOUSE that 1. didn’t contain a zoo at one point, 2. doesn’t sport infested carpets, and 3. is not going to be a waste of our money. On our way back home Marley and I teamed up to call the ole’ realtor and arrange some showings. Fingers crossed that this time around the hunt will be fruitful. Since I’ve already seen 27 places…one can only hope that I’m getting closer to actually buying a place.


Confessions of a Luluaddict

I (obviously) have a confession to make. I am most likely addicted to a certain expensive brand of clothing. I have made countless promises to myself to hold off my spending and even gone weeks where I felt like I might be successful at weaning myself off of my obsession with colorful stretchy pants.


Unfortunately, despite being halfway across the world surrounded by things that are infinitely more beautiful/delicious/interesting than my iPhone screen, I have been locked to its little glowing face every time I can snag a bit of wifi. Every night, I have stayed up late playing temple run while waiting for little eBay timers to count down. In the mornings I have been refreshing the lululemon home pages to see if anything new had been posted while I was sleeping. It’s a bit ridiculous. (And annoying).

I’m not sure yet how I will deal with these issues, but they (the cloud of mystery people floating in my head) have always said that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. So there it is. I have a (first world) problem: I buy too much pretty sh*t that I probably most definitely do not need.

To be fair, I KNOW that I am not the only one with this problem. The steady stream of small packages that arrive at my house every day implies that my lovely roommates may be suffering with the same (albeit less extreme versions) tendencies.



With love, from Istanbul



(Translation: If you can read this then you might be a festie!)

Check out this weird “conversation” between Barley and Mecca yesterday…

Festie Conversation



Happy Birthday Loretta Frances!

Today is my mother, Lollie’s, birthday! So I just wanted to do a short blog saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY! and sharing some of my favorite things about her and some of my favorite memories…

Isn't she adorbs?!

Isn’t she adorbs?!

I love this photo of her — I’m not really sure how I ended up with it, actually.. For as long as I can remember it has been hanging in my bedroom… Like, since I was little. I could be making that up – you know how memory works.. Things start to get fuzzier as you go back further.. In any case, I think one of the reasons I love this photo is because it amazes me every day how similar my mother and I are. We are truly twin souls, and I feel so thankful and blown away by it every day. I also love that it is a portrait, but it feels casual and intimate. Like she was just playing on the couch and popped up to see who was on the other side. So sweet.

This was for a Xmas card. I was a king?

This was for a Xmas card. I was a king?

My mama has always given me every ounce of love and support that I have ever needed. She has helped to shape me into the person that I am and am becoming every day. She has taught me to play, to be creative, to work hard. Everything in moderation. But sometimes it is okay to splurge. She gave me my design instincts and has cheered me on as I develop my own aesthetic. It is truly disgusting and sappy how much of a role model she really is for me.

This is why I am who I am...

This is why I am who I am…

Do you see those two goons up there? Aren’t they beautiful? Can’t you just feel the love? Because I can, and it is making me giddy//nauseous 🙂 But seriously, doesn’t my dad look phresh and 40??? And my mom. In my brain she is perpetually 35. They don’t call her Hot Shot for nothing! Speaking of, one random memory that somehow got saved in the longterm spaces of my brain goes a little something like this… I don’t remember how old I was, maybe 12 or something? 10? Anyways, it must have been around this time of year, MAYBE March, but there was snow (because we live in WISCO), but it was also sunny. Like where-are-my-sunglasses-I-am-blind-now sunny. And my mother, the tanning freak (I use this term affectionately) that she is, threw on her swim suit and went into our ‘back yard’ to catch some rays. I remember her swim suit – it was a two-piece. Royal blue with a lime green and white floral print on it. Kind of sporty looking. Now that I think about it, I feel like this moment has stuck in my memory because it is just completely ridiculous and fun. Which is another thing about my mother that I admire. She is cray. She’s got a freak flag, and she flies it. And she has always taught her children to do the same. Whether I realize it or not, I wake up every day and try to be that woman who lays in the snow in March to catch some rays JUST BECAUSE. I try to add a little unexpected crazy into my day. Because otherwise what is the point?

So, Loretta, thank you for having a spirit that is as bright as a million suns and love that radiates infinitely around you.

A Little Resolutionizing

I’m not even going to bother to define that word. I’ll just come clean: IT’S FAKE I JUST NEEDED A TITLE.

It’s that time of year again, and since my festie was so motivating, I’m going to share a resolution post of my own. It’s ok that the first week+ of the year was resolution free, right? “Not procrastinating” isn’t really on my to-do list. That was sooo 2010. However, since this topic will only be mildly appropriate/entertaining for a few more days, I figured that I should probably get on it ASAP.

I’ll start by saying that I LOVE to-do lists. Original, huh? Crazy type-A girl loves to make lists upon lists of things to do. When I was in school, these lists lived in my sketchbook and usually consisted of next steps I had to take for my furniture pieces written side-by-side with reactions I had to remember to stop or writing goals for my labs (barf). These days, my lists are on pink (bigger barf) post-it notes stuck to every inch of my desk—there are even post-it chains where one square wasn’t enough so I stuck another on the end to accommodate more items. Seriously. They’re even on my desk phone. The contents of the post-its are significantly less interesting: call so-and-so, prep for meeting, take things to drycleaners (this never gets crossed off the list because I always seem to forget that my coats need cleaning!), yada yada yada. Biggest barf (#beinggrownupsucks). Every now and then I’ll decide that I need to start from scratch and crumple everything up into a sticky post-it ball. I hope these are recyclable because they’re the only things that end up in the bin.

Post-its, post-its errywhere.

Post-its, post-its errywhere.

All this is to bring me to my first only resolution: 1) Make better lists.

Yes, it is the most generic, achievable goal I could have settled on (other than something like, “smile every day” or “laugh more” which are things that I do anyways and are on par with, “brush teeth regularly.”) **NOT to say that these aren’t perfectly fine resolutions for someone else…like Oscar.

ANYways, the “Better Lists” goal is to encourage me to get back to what I love to do. Since they’re “To-Do” lists, I figure that I can put things like, “Find a studio space” and, “Stop checking your email from bed” on them and I’ll be happier for it. What else will my Better List have on it? Read below and judge:

The Better List

1. Find a studio space. Told you this would be here. The thing I have missed the most about school is definitely the studio. I  can hardly believe that I’ve gone almost 6 months without touching a table saw—it breaks my heart more than a little bit.

2. Snowboard like the obsessive freak I am. It’s a seasonal goal, but one that means a lot to me. I got really carried away with school last winter and I’m pretty sure I never made it out (WHAT!?!!!). Which makes me feel like yelling a big “EFFF YOUUU” to myself. So this winter I will be have already started blowing all of my monies on lift tickets and transportation.

3. Go home more often. I miss real food, and my mother is an AMAZING cook. Ugh, drooling just thinking about it. I had really terrible Chinese takeout about a month ago and afterwards cried inside a little like a homesick tweenager. Will be heading home this weekend and eating myself into a coma.


4. Speak more Chinese. I swear I can speak another language; I just don’t really do it that often. AND I MISS IT. I was on the phone with my grandma for an hour this Christmas, and I found myself struggling to describe my job—NOT because it’s a struggle to describe what I do in any language (which it is), but because I couldn’t think of the right words to tell her that my job was difficult to describe without making it sound like I just didn’t know how to speak anymore. This becomes extra embarrassing when you realize that I didn’t even start speaking English until I started school. Fail.

5. Race pace under 8. A step back from last year’s race pace goal. I’ve been doing too much yoga and now I’m even slower. Whoops. On the plus side, my friend Patricia and I have found our newest talent: Snowga. Crow pose strapped into a snowboard would not have been possible before this year. Core, baby, core.


6. Stop checking my damn email in bed. Because getting notified that you have more work to do right before you go to bed or right after you wake up just freaking sucks. Also, looking at a little lighted phone screen in the dark hurts my eyes, and my dad always told me it’s bad for them. I don’t want to go blind in 2013.

There you have it: the start of The Better List. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve accomplished what I set out to do this year: I’ve made a better list. While I feel no pressure to do anything else, we all know the best part of to-do lists comes when you get to cross things off.

Happy New Beers!