Namaste

So you may remember this post from the beginning of the year in which I tout my new yoga habit. Confession: I haven’t been to yoga since there was snow on the ground.

While part of it was the “not enough time” trap all women seem to stumble into, most of the reason for my faulty attendance was that I just couldn’t find a class or instructor that gave me what I was looking for from yoga.

Some yogis love to sweat, some love to stretch, but what I was really looking for was the mental clarity that comes from moving slowly and concentrating on your breath. My intro class was fantastic, I left feeling light and clear, but once I started attending various beginner-level classes, the pace picked up and I missed holding poses for several minutes while I let my tension ease. I read this post from The Mollie Shambeau Show a few days ago, and it hit me hard.

Shavasana is known as “Corpse Pose” because it’s here, in these final few moments that we die. Not just as an idea, but actually. Understanding that one has collected so much during their lives. Not only books, houses, bank accounts—but inwardly… the memories of insults, the memories of flattery, the memories of your own particular experiences—neurotic achievements which give you position. To die to all that without argument, without discussion, without any fear—just to give it up—will create freedom.

Die to everything that you know psychologically so that your mind is clear, not tortured… so that it sees things as they are, both outwardly and inwardly.

You came to your mat as one person. You came to your mat as the thinker. You came to your mat being that of your thoughts. As you leave your mat today, you’re brand new. You’re no longer your thoughts or your doubts or your fears. And each and every day you come to your mat, this is what you do. You shed your old, and you become new. Innocent, fresh… and through this innocence, this is where you live in compassion… when you bring your yoga off of your mat and into your world. 

Namaste.

I have a bad habit of thinking about the stupid things I’ve said or done over and over and over… and over. I let these moments that I’m sure no one else remembers wiggle in and keep me up at night, shaking my confidence and reminding me that I’m not as great as I sometimes let myself think. Toxic thoughts are tough to shake on your own, and sometimes we just need someone else to tell us to knock it off. Truth be told, part of the reason I’m writing this post is so I have this quote available anytime I need to read it. Oh, and anyone know a good yoga class?

One month

It’s officially been a month since I’ve blogged. One. Whole. Month. I’m finding it difficult to get back into the swing of things tonight, so I thought I’d start things back up with a post about what’s been going on with Bess—and me!

6.9 Finished a brand new print (detail above, more to come!)

6.20 Delivered more cards to Absolutely Art. Word is they’re selling like hotcakes, but she’s still got a pretty good stock so stop in!

6.22 Happy Birthday, 622 press! Also, finish July issue of BRAVA, oh, and move out of apartment. Whew!

6.23 Leave for vacation! Poolside lounging, here I come!

6.24 Start Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series

6.28 Finish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series… so good!

7.4 Happy Birthday, America! Total confusion about which day of the week it is ensues.

7.5 Interview with Wedding Lovely! Check it out!

7.7 Favorite Day of the Year: Dave Matthews comes to Wisconsin!

 

 

On blogging

Happy New Year! 622 press has had some exciting developments that I’m so excited to share with you this morning!

First of all, I owe you a big thank you! On December 29, this blog had 216 page views—our biggest day yet! Thanks to everyone who stopped by and checked out 622 press. And welcome to any new readers!

Next up: While I took a break from blogging last week, I of course didn’t really take the week off. I’m happy to announce that Bess (my letterpress) now has her very own fan page on facebook. Follow her for up-to-the-minute updates on what we’re printing and even more photos and content… all from Bess’s point of view!

And finally, if you’re a comment reader, you noticed that Spin. Sew. Sketch. nominated me for a Leibster blog award in December. Honestly, I’ve never heard of this award, so while I was honored to be nominated, it took me a little while to get a grasp of what exactly it is. In the best way possible, Leibster kind of reminds me of a chain letter you used to send as a kid. Passed from blogger to blogger, it’s simply a way to share the love for small blogs just doing their best to create great content. Without further adieu, here are my nominations for Leibster awards!

I know I said I wouldn’t write about Mollie for a while, but if I’m being honest, hers is the only blog I read with any consistency these days. She lives in Utah, she has a cool life, funny dogs, beautiful insights and great adventures. What more could you want from a lifestyle blog?

Second, Fashion at Liberty—hub of all things fashion, fair trade and fabulous. Stephanie Carnes was an intern at BRAVA many semesters ago, where we were all impressed with her interview skills as well as her home decor aesthetic. She’s extended that taste level beyond the home to bring light to designers, manufacturers and retail outlets with a conscience.

While I’m certainly not getting married again any time soon, I do love the idea of throwing a beautifully decorated party. I follow the Perfect Palatte on Pinterest like nobody’s business and I love all the inspiration she lends!

One Fine Day is a production company based here in Wisconsin. Their blog isn’t exactly a blog for blog’s sake, but if you are seeking inspiration (or are in the mood for a good cry—seriously, these videos choke me up every time), just hit play!

And finally, Peach Farm Studio’s blog. A letterpress-photo-poetry studio, I appreciate the organic nature of their blogging and navigation, it encourages getting lost in their world!

Christmas 101: Wrap it up!

Merry Christmas Eve eve! My shopping is done—more importantly my crazy work week is done—and I’m finally getting into the holiday spirit. This year instead of spending even more money on gift wrap, bags and bows, I thought I’d use what I already have on hand to make my gifts extra special.

I love kraft paper. I’ve used it for envelopes, limited edition prints, and this year I decided to use it to wrap several of my gifts. I grabbed a couple grocery bags from my recycling pile and voila! The perfect blank canvas for all your creative endeavors. You’ll notice my palette isn’t exactly traditional: I love to work in blues and other jewel tones to make a modern holiday scheme.

On any patterned wrap, my letterpress circle garland would get lost, but against a simple grocery  bag background, it really pops. So easy to do, yet it’s really all you need! Then I tried a great ribbon plaid wrap I’d seen online. It looks complicated, but it’s really just a matter of weaving your ribbons over and under each other and taping them to the back of the box. If you’re more of a bow person, find a great tutorial here to make your own with all those scraps of fabric you might have lying around.

Next: the perfect solution for those oddly shaped gifts. I gathered a silk scarf around the top of this wine bottle—creating a gift that’s twofold, since the receiver can wear the scarf!

That big white box is the standard gift box you get when making purchases from any department store. I decided to glam it up with black satin ribbon on each corner, and accented the top one with some plastic rhinestones I’ve had in my craft bin for years.

Here’s wishing you and yours a fantastic holiday season. I didn’t quite make my blogging goal this month, but I hope you’ve enjoyed what I have been able to post for you! I’m heading out this afternoon to spend time with family, relax and do a lot of printing, so I’ll see you in 2012!