Monday, March 31, 2014

Art Addiction...

I never really thought of myself as having an addictive personality. In the past, I associated that trait with the lesser accepted addictions such as alcohol and drugs.  We tend to poo-poo these souls as weak, pathetic and out of control, when we ourselves have recurring behaviors than infiltrate our minds and bodies to the point of "addiction". Forget the endless list of minor disorders, tiny hang-ups and slight societal ills, is there such a thing as a "good" addiction? Is it socially okay to be obsessed with something?

My name is Laurel, and I am addicted to Polyvore. I started out with just a desire to find some cool fashions to  re-create on my sewing machine. I would just spend a few minutes perusing the items and picking a few things to add to my wish list. I wasn't spending any actual money, so how could it be harmful? Before long, I discovered the joy of the drag and drop lifestyle, and I became hooked. I could pull in artistic elements - backgrounds, florals, smudges, flourishes, etc. - making my fashion choices look even more trendy and cool. People "Liked" my sets and I started getting followers. I found myself scouring the web - Pinterest, Tumblr, everywhere - to find new elements for my sets.  My simple sets morphed into tiny works of art that had nothing to do with fashion at all. I confess that I have burned dinner once too often because I slipped back into the computer to work on a set and time got away with me, out of control, dragging and dropping the hours away. I am a Polyvore addict...I'm not proud of it, but at least I admit it.

They say that admitting your "problem" is the first step. But I say, there's another way to look at this. All of the great artists were obsessed with their creations, driven to leave a piece of themselves on a canvas or on a pile of clay or in the photography darkroom. To re-create the musings of our minds in some tangible medium is a gut-level reaction to the world around us. Whether we wile away the hours with "acceptable" hobbies like knitting, beading, teaching, cooking or gardening, there is a tortured artist in us all to some degree. The need to express ourselves is guttural reaction to life.

Don't bother trying to read anything into my art. I don't consider myself to be tortured, as in the artistic vein of a Toulouse-Lautrec,  Truman Capote, Johnny Cash or Vincent VanGogh, but I will be bound forever to create beauty in some way. It is part of me, the way God created me. So burned green beans withstanding, I will keep on dragging and dropping in least until I grow tired of it. All artist are highly susceptible to boredom, you know.

Lost 2, by Laurel Dismukes - 2014

Laurel. Art addict.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Not Your Ordinary Pinterest Queen...

We all love Pinterest.  We love to dream in cyberspace, flipping through page after page of stuff that we like, want to do or wish we could do. There are thousands of boards with creative artistry in fashion, crafts and food.  It's fun to put together our wish lists and dreams.

I am one of those that uses Pinterest for revving up the right side of my brain. I pin things that appeal to my senses and that I want to remember.  Most people are like me...we love to look but we don't always follow through.

My daughter is the Pinterest Queen. I say that because she actually makes the things see finds on Pinterest, especially in the yummy deserts and garden art categories.  You can send her a pin of some caramel/chocolaty concoction and it will magically appear on the desert table at a family gathering. But beyond being an excellent baker, she is a crafting genius. I was over at her home and we were enjoying the afternoon sunshine and decided to snap a few photos of her recent Pinterest works of art.

Not your Ordinary Pinterest Queen...

Laurel. I want to be her when I grow up.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The essence of indulgence...

"If you make most of your clothes yourself, it's okay to splurge occasionally
 on something more than the little treasures you find at Nasty Goodwill..." 

I told myself that very thing as I wandered around the handbag section at Nordstrom, looking for a little cross-body purse to take to Paris. I rationalized that I had just come from the second floor dressing room where I tried on several pairs of expensive white jeans and left empty handed, defeated.

Fact: White jeans are tough - you know what they say about white making your backside look big. It's true.

Get back to the purse hunt, Laurel.

As I walked slowly around the shelves of leather purses, I found myself wandering where people like me should not go...little rooms off to the side...walls of glass shelves, subtle lighting, handbags displayed like works of art. From across the space I saw this cute little Gucci bag. As adorable as it was - it would be perfect for travel - I silently choked so the saleslady would not notice as I perused the price tag. To make matters worse, I sauntered out and into the Balenciaga space as if I owned the joint.

"Gee, I'm just not finding exactly the right one," I lied. (Do you have anything less than $950, honey, I thought to myself.)

"Perhaps this little Valentino over here", she purred. "I just love your blouse and necklace," stroking my ego.

"Nasty Goodwill, honey," I wanted to say, but I WAS shopping in Nordstrom for a new purse and I HAD asked her for help. And more money, obviously.

Reality check: Step away from the purses! You are in way over your head, Chickie. Changing gears, I thanked her and left Nordies for the great open spaces of the Mall, back on the trail of the white jeans. Hmm...JCPenneys... yeah baby!

And as luck would have it, I scored on a pair of skinny ankle jeans...AND they were on sale!

Coming off the heels of that success, I prepared to leave the Mall, sans new purse. I wandered into Michael Kors on my way out and found nothing. I love his stuff, but nothing really captured my attention. Across the Mall I spotted the Coach store, also on my way out.  What the heck, Laurel...go check it out.

Patrick was more than obliging to show off his handbags (they're not "Purses" there).  I've never bought a Coach bag...never even desired to own one before. As he lovingly petted the soft leather of each little cross-body bag, I could feel myself getting sucked in...

"If you make most of your clothes yourself, it's okay to splurge occasionally
 on something more than the little treasures you find at Nasty Goodwill..."

You can do this...breathe. It wasn't like I hadn't spent that much on a handbag before. It was actually reasonable, as "purses" go. It had the perfect strap and the leather was a yummy buttery tan. Perfection.
"If you make most of your clothes yourself, it's okay to splurge occasionally
 on something more than the little treasures you find at Nasty Goodwill..."

"I've never had a Coach bag", I slobbered.

Every sales person in the store started sighing and purring all at once. I could hear them flitting about, heels clicking on the polished floors, joining Patrick, cooing and ready to pounce!

"Oh MUST have it!" waving his hands gracefully in the air.
"If you make most of your clothes yourself, it's okay to splurge occasionally
 on something more than the little treasures you find at Nasty Goodwill..."

Yes, I must!

"And since you are a Coach Newbie, let me just box that up for you!"  Oh Patrick, you smooth talker...

"If you make most of your clothes yourself, it's okay to splurge occasionally
 on something more than the little treasures you find at Nasty Goodwill..." 

Laurel. Handbag for Paris - Check!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Art-Filled & Feminine

Back on track...

There are so many things that I could say have gone "wrong" since the beginning of the year, but most of those would center around the almighty dollar (I would capitalize that, but that would officially make it an Idol...LOL!) slipping out of our hands!

  • There was that little burp with our 10 year old refrigerator right before Superbowl - $400 later, it's purring again.
  • Then a crown for Dave and a crown for me (and I'm not talking about the kind you wear on your head)...I think I should be a dentist - over $2,500
  • How 'bout that swimming pool pump that decided it'd had enough? $1,500. Then of course those fancy giant cartridges that fit inside the pool filter decided that the new pump was too much for them - $400.
  • Did I mention an incident with a large rock colliding with the running board on Dave's truck? Can't even go there...
Not to sound too negative, there have been highlights of course - you know how you never complain about spending money on upcoming vacations? Plain tickets to Paris - check! Apartment in Paris - check! New iPhone 5S - check! But despite these momentary highs, I did go into a slump of sorts since the new year, largely due to a bad cold and nagging cough, on top of everything else. Not much sewing going on in the workroom until recently and certainly not much blogging.

I am pleased to say that I have crawled out of the pit (of sorts) and back at my life.  I started a new eating regimen (Whole 30) that lasts for 30 days. Even though I don't officially observe the Lenten season, I feel that I am sacrificing during this pre-Easter season - no wine, no sugar, no potatoes, no dairy. And we all know which one of those is Laurel's Achilles' Heel! But alas, I'm on Day 10 today and I'm finally starting to feel kinda good!

I've been on a creative kick lately. I'm totally addicted to the collages that I can create on Polyvore, and I've been sewing as well.

I made this cool bag to use as a carry-on...I've started one for Fabric Lady and we will be blogging about the construction of our bags soon.

I had spent a great day with Suzan (aka FabricLady) at Stonemountain this month and came back with some great projects to start (for both of us!) I spent a day this past weekend cutting out fabric and getting it ready to sew.

And I found some treasures at Nasty Goodwill to repurpose. Colette loves this cute little beaded top that I just remade this morning.

And finally - not that I had anything to do with this - Dave has killed our lawn. Dead. Poor White Trash Lawn. But it's going to be fun to "repurpose" this yard this Summer!

Laurel. Back on track, and feeling Blessed.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Under Venus' Spell

Digital Art is challenging, to say the least.  I have been messing with my Photoshop Elements, Pic Monkey and Polyvore to try to create a digital art work.

Here is my first attempt...a collage of elements put together in the Polyvore application. Unfortunately, I haven't mastered or have an idea how to master creating a digital art work in a stand alone program...don't even know where to start.  Meanwhile, I at least figured how to import some of my manipulated photos into the Polyvore app, and was able to create this, my first piece of work.

Any ideas or suggestions...I think I'm addicted to the process...

Under Venus' Spell

Pretty Polly black pantyhose

Buccellati gold jewelry

Silk scarve

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Magical Impulse...

I entered a contest at create a set using fashions from Macy's...the "Polyvores" are all so creative so I doubt I'll win, but hey, it was fun to take a stab at it!!

Meanwhile, I may have to go get this skirt.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Climbing out...

It started with a kiss,
a tender peck on the cheek
filled with hidden danger.

Scrubbing hands,
endless drops of sanitizer
could not alter its course.

Coughing, dripping
sweaty nights of sleeplessness
his cold engulfed me...


Enough already! I think my pity party is ending and I am climbing out of a month long hole. It's funny how sickness overwhelms our souls and we are immobilized, even to the point of depression. I haven't done much in the past month, but Spring is calling and I don't want to be found wanting.
But it's not like I haven't done anything...from my couch.

I'm addicted to the creativity on Polyvore and have been creating sets.
It feeds my artsy right brain...

Between the coughing fits, I finished my leaf shawl...   

Yesterday I sewed...We had a nice dinner at home...I did some wardrobe planning with Suzan (Fabric Lady) on her blog...I'm taking my princess out to lunch today for her birthday...Tomorrow I'm headed to Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics to have some serious wardrobe enhancements...

Basically, I'm climbing out.

Laurel. On the other side.
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