Hey, It’s me!

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Hi! It’s been a minute since I have shown up here. Like fifty zillion minutes ticking away. But I’m back and I want to do better.  I want to be here more. Things have been happening lately. I finally saved up enough for a new camera! Remember how my old one got stolen in Italy? I borrowed my publisher’s camera for a while (so thankful to her) but it just wasn’t as good as my old one and my old one just wasn’t that good either. I’ve had my eye on a Canon Mack 5 forever (that costs an arm and a leg) because that’s what all the pros use but ended up getting a 6D instead upon advice from Toby. What can I say? Ex’s who are still friends do come in handy sometimes!

So guess what? It rocks! It is so so so so so so much better than my old camera. It focuses like lightening. It’s larger format so I can take pictures of a whole room without backing up into a corner. It’s easy to use. There are all kinds of cheater buttons that tell you what setting to use. This is handy for me because numbers (ie: f-stops and apertures always give me spinny ball brain fog). I just love it. Now I just need to book a bunch of photography gigs to make it pay for itself! If you are looking for photography, look me up! I don’t really have a photography website and it’s not like I’m going to be calling myself a full time photographer but you know I love it and I can always use more work.

What else is new? Well, I just got back from Alt Summit in Palm Springs.

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How was it? It was good but it was hard for me.  I forced myself to go by myself and that was terrifying. I really needed a buddy to side-kick me through social situations. I get really nervous walking into a room and striking up conversations with people I don’t know. It’s silly but I always think they won’t want to talk to me and that I’m making a fool out of myself. I can do it and once I get started I’m really good at getting people talking (journalism background pays off) but the walking up to people is the hard part. I felt like I was back in middle school all over again, agonizing that my best friend was sick and I was too shy to make new friends.

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I did see Joanna Gaines speak. That was pretty cool. I love seeing famous people who are just regular people. She was so humble and real. Her baby was in the front row and she talked about him often. It was really cute and fun.

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But yeah, there were 2,000 women there. TWO THOUSAND! So you can see why I had some trouble with social anxiety. The wonderful thing is that everyone seems to also have social anxiety and everyone was struggling. When I did get up the guts to find someone to talk to, they were usually really really nice and wanted to help things be less awkward as soon as possible. I don’t know if that’s because it was mostly women or if creatives are just nice people or if I’m just cooler than I think I am and people really do want to talk to me.

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First day I kinda cried in my room a little. You know how it is. But then the second day, Isabel, (my boss from alpha mom) showed up and she is the best side-kick buddy ever. Things got a lot easier when she was around. Though I didn’t attach myself like a starfish and parasite my way through the rest of the week. I forced myself to do my own things, only checking in with her randomly.

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I think the highlights for me were of course the pretty hotel. It’s a lot prettier outside than inside. I think they recently changed all the lightbulbs to florescent bulbs in the rooms and it was super depressing inside. I walked across the street and bought myself a candle to counteract the depressing-ness of my room. I loved having a hotel room by myself but I also wished it could be a little less like Motel 6 painted bright colors. I also bought myself a plastic bowl, cheerios, bananas and milk. They had a mini-fridge in the room so I saved myself bucket loads of cash by eating breakfast (and sometimes dinner) of cheerios in my room. Sad, I know but I am trying my hardest to be frugal these days. I thought I was pretty clever sitting there watching Netflix on my laptop while I sat in my pajamas on my bed with my candle flickering on the nightstand near by. It was very rotic (romantic without the man).

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Another highlight was seeing Garance Doré. I LOVE her. I have been a fan for ages but seeing her in person and hearing about her struggles with depression sealed my devotion and love for her forever. She really hit on a subject that had been bothering me the whole conference. These days it’s so hard to make it in the popularity numbers game of social media. It’s really hard to be in a room with 2000 women who all have followings of 20K or more. I love being around creative women like me but the competition is overwhelming. It’s crushing at times. I just can’t even try anymore. She talked about how she doesn’t go to fashion week anymore but prefers to go on 20-person retreats and that resonated with me. I can’t do ALT Summit again. I learned a ton and it wasn’t a waste of money at all but it brought up all my old fears and insecurities and I think I am just too old for that sh*t. I just need to make my art and not worry about what anyone else is doing. That’s aways what has been successful for me in the past. Why do I keep forgetting that?

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Then after the summit Isabel and I went on a mad trek to find Desert X. Spoiler: We didn’t find it. I almost got my car stuck in the sand instead and it was quite thrilling to have adrenaline pumping through my veins as I maneuvered my way out of a sand pit. But we did it! We walked for a mile or so and saw nothing. Just an old abandoned washing machine, a disgusting dirty bed with dog poop on it and a homeless camp. We turned around and went back. But not defeated! It was fun! I love spending time with Isabel. And really, spending time with a good friend is better than getting that perfect picture for instagram that everyone else has already taken.

Don’t get me wrong. I still want to go back and find Desert X. It seems amazing and I really want to take pictures of it. BUT…

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I feel quite fine settling with this photo as well. I heart my new camera!

 

(Do you guys need links? Desert X.. Alt Summit, Garance Doré…? If so I can go back and put them in. I just liked flying under that radar since I didn’t have all good things to say.) done!

My Own Private Super Bloom

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Bug and I drove off into the night to The Sticks this last weekend to attend a maker’s faire in my old stomping grounds. Friday was a busy day for me, rushing around gathering up art, packing my car, picking up prints from the printer and finishing up last minute jobs so we didn’t get on the road until well after 9pm. This was not a good thing for me, the cursed morning person. But we made it and that meant I got to get up with my dad at the crack of dawn and walk with him on his dog walk with Spreckles the next morning.

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Bug stayed snuggled up with the cats and opted not to come with me and boy did she miss out! The desert is SO pretty early in the morning!  Pull on some ugg boots over your pajamas and brace yourself for that chilly air (says the Southern Californian with extremely thin blood) because the beauty of the morning is breath-taking!

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We didn’t even stick around long enough for golden hour and it was this pretty! Of course we could have stayed out there for hours letting Spreckles sniff coyote tracks and me taking a zillion photos but we had big things to do aka the maker’s faire.

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Boom! Flowers everywhere! I don’t think these are wild but they are still pretty nonetheless. Whoever planted them had an eye for color.

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Sometimes I feel like my parents live in a postcard.

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My mom prefers roses and manicured English tea gardens but I will take cacti and succulents over them any day. Maybe it’s just because I was born in California and they will always be sentimental for me. She was born in Pennsylvania.

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Over hills and vales to Grandmother’s house we go!

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The sun barely peaked through the winter clouds trying to warm us up.

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What’s that Spreckles? Finally found that perfect pooping spot? No? Should we go a little further?

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Anyway, it was nice. It always is. I wish I lived closer to my parents so we could go on walks like this every morning.

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I feel like I’m in Ireland with all this green. Wouldn’t it be fun to bring the dogs and let Whiskey (the Irish Soft-coated Wheaten) run and run and run forever? He would be so happy.

But I didn’t bring the dogs because my parent’s don’t have a gated yard anymore and the coyotes are thick. AND they are my dogs are way too rambunctious to stay inside my mom’s house while we went to the Maker’s Faire all day. So they stayed home with Payam.

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The Maker’s Faire was okay. I sold exactly three books and it was freezing. We shivered and sketched in our bullet journals. I talked to a lot of people though and it was good practice for me. I’ve never really had a SAJ booth before. Now I’m ready. As you can see the vector wall has been put to good use.

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Every single person who stopped by our booth picked up the pink Hey Kitty Kitty book. I’m wondering if pink is a new theme I should explore…

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Bug was a good little booth watcher. She didn’t complain at all being stuck there for hours. In fact I think she had fun.

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It wasn’t a huge success but I’m counting it as a win because I got to hang out with my parents, Bug and my old elementary school friend, Tamie. Sadly she is not pictured because she was busy running her own booth!