A Personal Update

Blogging is hard. The hardest part for me right now is embracing who I am, building relationships with similar creatives, and trying not to compare myself against the masses. I look at all these successful and mildly popular blogs, and observe the types of content they post and what gets the best response. They all shares outfits, and recipes, and diy crafts, and new mommy tips and people just eat it up. Clearly I’m a little bit different than the typical lifestyle blogger. Although I enjoy marching to the beat of my own drum, not having fellow bloggers with similar tastes to commune with becomes discouraging (there are lots of oddity related Tumblr-ers, but few in the larger blogosphere). That’s why I was so thrilled when I discovered Kaylah’s blog, The Dainty Squid. Finally I had found another thrifting fashionista with an affinity for bones and other strange tidbits! But my quest for other eccentric bloggers pretty much ended there. I don’t know. Is it possible to run a successful blog centered on odd art and interests? Or would people rather follow yet another blog that reposts pictures of other people’s homes and recipes for gluten-free cupcakes?

I don’t mean to gripe. I love sharing my interests and current projects with the Internet world, but it’s difficult to keep motivated when I’m unsure whether or not there’s an audience here for my type of blog. I’d love to say I simply do this because I enjoy it, but between already full-time freelancing and full-time schooling, blogging needs to be more than just enjoyable. My hope is that I can connect with other bloggers like me, continue to post regular content that I know my audience enjoys, and see this little site of mine flourish. Every bloggers dream, right?

Well maybe you can help me. Recommend some other blogs to me! If you’ve got a blog that you think I’d enjoy, share it with me! Even if you don’t blog but you still like the stuff I post, let me know! There’s nothing more bummer than spending time concocting an original post and hearing the proverbial crickets in response. I wanna hear your thoughts and I wanna know if you like / don’t like what you see! Maybe some people just blog for themselves, but my intentions are to blog for entertainment and inspiration for other people. So chime in!

As always, I’m incredibly thankful for the few followers my blog does have and those that frequently give me feedback. You encourage me every day.

ps. In case you’re wondering what’s up with the accompanying photos, this is my workspace from which I currently write this post.

Bone Collecting Adventures

I haven’t posted much about my bone collecting since starting up this Blogger, so I feel it’s time to incorporate a little more odd into my blog. I should preface this entry with a disclaimer for those who aren’t familiar with my peculiar hobby: none of these animals were harmed for the purpose of my work; I merely appreciate, recycle, and give new life to them in my art.

I had a day off at my parents’ place yesterday and decided to explore a bit (after all, exploring more is one of my new year’s resolutions). When I was a kid, I used to climb up and down the hills of our 5-acre property, crawling through the sagebrush, pretending I lived in the wild. I put on my old muck boots and a pair of ripped up jeans and revisited my childhood sense of exploration. I found some metallic-looking mushrooms and a tiny little femur.

I didn’t have much luck finding any other bones, so I decided to check up on the coyote carcass I had relocated from the road almost a year ago. I’ve been patiently waiting for this guy to fully decompose since February last year, but the weather and location wasn’t optimal for fast decay so every time I visited, he looked exactly the same, fur intact but with a blanket of vegetation slowly growing over him. This time, to my surprise, almost everything was gone save for a few vertebrae, a mummified forearm, and a misplaced scapula. The rains must have regenerated the smell and attracted another animal to it. I shuffled around for the skull but could only find a few fragments of the occipital bone, and from then I knew it was toast. I guess I can’t be too upset since this was all part of nature’s plan for decay from the start – get chewed up into bits and return to the soil. I’ll see what I can do with the paw. I might clean it up and try my hand at rearticulating it.

On the bright side, my other coyote that I had macerating for several months is cleaning up nicely (as seen in the very top photo). I let the bones soak for a few weeks in a bucket of dish soap and water to degrease. Now they’re ready for a peroxide bath to whiten and finish cleaning. The skull is in pieces, but I’ll see what I can do about puzzling it back together with some glue.

Getting to be so hands on with these creatures this last year has been incredibly eye-opening about death and decay, and just nature in general. There are so many beautiful and magnificently fascinating processes that go on behind the scenes. Nature isn’t just butterflies and clear blue skies. It’s also bowflies and bones. Decomposition is amazing. Seriously. I could go on about it forever. But I’ll save that for another post.

Deck the Halls! – Christmas Home Tour

Phew! This semester is done and Christmas break is now in full-effect! Sorry I’ve been MIA for the last week. Like several others I’m sure you heard whining on Facebook, finals took me captive for a while. But now I’m free and ready to resume posting on schedule. :)

Juggling final projects and work, it’s taken me a while to get the whole house decked out for the holidays. But my little home has finally come together in a wonderland of green and gold! Gold is my absolute favorite Christmas color scheme. Gold lights, gold bead garland, gold ribbon, gold wrapping paper, gold baubles, gold everything. Our tree is pretty naked save for the hand-me-down ribbon and bead garland I salvaged from my parents’ house. Most of the decorations went towards adorning the rest of the living room space. I liked this idea of hanging ornaments from other parts of the room and stringing garland across the built-in to make the whole house feel like a festive tree. I even made the pennant garland from metallic wrapping paper to add a few more gold accents around the room. Not bad for my first Christmas living in my own place!

Curiosities for Christmas

My book is still available on Blurb and would make the perfect Christmas gift for the oddity aficionado in your life. Curiosities, Etcetera is a compendium of my curious collection. A small 7″x7″ book with 18 full-spread photographs that seek to inspire and challenge the boundaries between the grotesque and beautiful, while reawakening a childlike fascination with the wonders around us. Place your order by Dec 17th and get it in time for Christmas! You can order your copy at Blurb.com

Tour My Workspace

After living in my new place for over a month now, I’ve finally gotten most of my bedroom workspace put together.

It isn’t nearly quite as epic as my original setup, and the fact that my window faces out to an apartment building that blocks any sun from dancing across my shelves is rather depressing. I have a real hard time embracing change and letting go of the familiar. Nevertheless, it’s a fresh start, and on the bright side, I now have plenty of new room for my collection to grow (my old place was getting a bit cluttered…)!

In loving memory of my old assemblage, here are some photos I took before tearing everything down.

What do you surround yourself with to get inspired?