Favorite Things + Links


April 2, 2016 by Julia

We’re finishing up Spring Break around here, which means the house is trashed and there hasn’t been much time for anything other than the basic care, feeding and entertaining of two rambunctious kids. I am working on this post in a kitchen that has reached the” full dysfunction” level of mess because I can’t bring myself to do any more cleaning. Any more. No more.

I need a little beauty and/or fun and/or inspiration before I can keep on. Here we go:

The soulfulness of dogs, captured in art:


Jamie Wyeth:

“Homer” by Jamie Wyeth

Charcoal drawing by Helle Jorgensen:

“Crossed Paws” by Helle Jorgenson at Flickr

A few great, encouraging reads:

What Romance Really Means After 10 Years of Marriage by Heather Havrilesky at The Cut:After a decade of marriage, if things go well, you don’t need any more proof. What you have instead — and what I would argue is the most deeply romantic thing of all — is this palpable, reassuring sense that it’s okay to be a human being.

How to get your kids to 18, sane and not hating you by 7 writer-parents at The Guardian:“A mercilessly worded letter before action will not induce your baby to take its 10pm feed or your toddler to wear socks. You need to learn new skills and fast – patience, diversion, absurdist comedy – and expect even these to fail, often. Abandon your current notions of success. You aren’t successful when your baby sleeps through the night and you haven’t failed if they only eat Mini Cheddars until they turn 10. Your only performance target here is getting them to 18 alive, sane and not hating you. There’s no bonus scheme, but the job satisfaction isn’t too shabby. Good luck.” Emma Beddington

You probably know to ask yourself, “What do I want?” Here’s a way better question by Mark Manson at Quartz: A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

The many ways that people are beautiful:

Valloton, Felix (1865-1925) - 1911 Seated Black Woman, Front View (Private Collection):

Valloton, Felix (1865-1925) – 1911 Seated Black Woman, Front View (Private Collection)





Paul Wright,  Pause in Life (love the high color use):

Pause in Life by Paul Wright


Faber-Castell coloured pencils on paper. (Copyright, 2014). "Spectacular drawing in coloured pencil, one of several in her portfolio." http://pevansy.deviantart.com/art/The-Red-Queen-496112411:

The Red Queen by Pevansy at DeviantArt

"Megan" - Scott Burdick (b. 1967), oil on canvas, 2008 {contemporary figurative #impressionist artist beautiful female head woman face portrait painting #loveart} Beautiful !! <3 scottburdick.com:

Megan by Scott Burdick

"The Unfolding" - Seth Haverkamp, oil on panel {contemporary figurative artist blonde female head crown girl face portrait cropped painting detail #loveart} sethhaverkamp.com:

“The Unfolding” – Seth Haverkamp, oil on panel

I could gather portraits that showcase the gorgeous diversity and common themes of humanity forever. I am missing so much, but have to cut myself off here in this post only because I feel myself teetering into crazytown with the number I’m already sharing. To be continued.

To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow, this is a human offering that can border on miraculous. Quote by Elizabeth Gilbert:

This song makes me happy, with it’s lovely lyrics and key changes and old folksy sound. It sounds like patience and country fields, the bittersweet feelings you get at the end of a well-spent afternoon. Ride to U – Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn

And this one, Reaper, by Sia, is such an infectious pop song that I loved it instantly, even before I noticed the uplifting message.

Fiona and I are kind of, pretty much obsessed with this Panic at the Disco! song Victorious. I love the crazy energy, kooky semi-dark lyrics, blasts of operatic chorus and brief moments of high school marching band. Gotta love it. No shame.

On that note, I highly recommend Syfy’s new drama The Magicians. I know, Syfy Channel – I was skeptical, too. The promos looked ridiculous and too reliant on cheap sexy tricks. But I adored the gritty fantasy trilogy by Lev Grossman – it’s like an emo, very adult Harry Potter with lots of dorky fun for the all the people who loved Narnia as kids, as well as deep, epic shit, ahem, I mean themes.  Anyway, read the books first, and then enjoy the show as a whole different experience. It’s one of the few shows that Dennis and I enjoy equally and are never bored by. It’s fun AND quality and surprising. They also say the f-word a lot despite the fact that Syfy apparently can’t air that word and it’s bleeped out with silence every time, which is becoming as epic as Battlestar Galactica’s “frack.” So fun.

Well, my husband has done the dishes as I finished this blog post, which does my soul good. Seriously. I just couldn’t.




2 thoughts on “Favorite Things + Links

  1. vjthurston says:

    Where do you find all this great art work?!?

    • Julia says:

      I find it all on Pinterest! You click on one thing you like and it leads you to ten more artists you might like. I have to give you a tutorial. It’s awesome.

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