the champion, the victor, the winner-s.

October 28, 2010 Candace Morris 10 Comments

Ladies and Gentlemens
 (well, the 3 men that entered, anyway),
I have just performed a wonderful and silly act...that of placing several names written on goofy marketing stationary in a corporate compostable cup and choosing a winner for my bloggy birthday giveaway.

You know the prizes.
(Here is where I feel like Tyra Banks standing in front of 12 twiggy, bug-eyed beauties)
(not that you are either twiggy or bug-eyed, but most assuredly you must be a beauty!)
(but I digress)

The first paper-person clinging to my fingers as I draw them will get their choice of either some smashing earrings from Plume
 (writer, photographer, silversmith, and bestie extrodinare)
a perfectly painted stone (i hear rumors from her that it might be an owl!!!!)
 from the stunning UmberDovely
 (writer, photographer, painter, textile queen, and bestie extrodinare)

(plus, they are both annoyingly beautiful)
and colorful.
i could go on and on.



Our lovely Bisquit!!!
(love this saucy mountain lady, plus she's a remarkable source of encouragement and delicious jewelery!)
Kristen, email me and you get to pick from the two prizes.

Our soulful sister in Portland, Miss Resolute Twig!
(she's such a sweet soul, courageous as hell, and a lover of nature!)
(she has a great etsy shop too, if you're looking for handmade journals or gentle jewels)
Susie, I'll let you know what you've won via email and get it shipped out!

To the rest of you cast about on my desk:

Tyra says in a melodramatic voice, "I'm sorry, but you are no longer in the running to becoming America's Next Top Model."

Heidi says, "As you know, in fashion, one day yaw in, the next day yaw ouddtt.
I'm sorry, yaw ouddtt.

Then you as the contestant cries and gushes about how much you appreciated the opportunity and you've had the time of your life.

No but seriously,
I was really impressed with the quality of your feedback.  It not only made me feel as though what I do here (though totally started selfishly as an outlet for me) is meaningful to some of you, but it was also really fun to hear about the books and drinks you find most interesting.

 I absolute write in order to connect my human existence with others, so if you find a resonating thread, I hope you act on it and send me an email or comment.
Because we all need to know that we are not alone.
It's kind of my tangent, my tirade, my mantra...
and authentic, kind relationships.

And this here blog is my way of continually reminding my lovely (though stubborn) independent self:

You need people.
You need friends.
You need love.

That's all, my commerades.
Thanks ever so much for playing!

p.s. On a completely separate note, if you didn't get a chance to read through the comments, I think you will find an amazing source of BOOKISH recommendations.  If you are at all looking for a riveting new read, please do connect with one of my amazingly smart followers and read their suggestions.  I am probably going to make an excel spreadsheet of the books listed (because data collection is super sexy), so if you are interested, let me know and I'll email it to you.  


its my party and i'll give away something if i want to...

October 26, 2010 Candace Morris 48 Comments

Come In!
Come In!
Welcome to my birthday party.

Bon Anniversaire to me...
3 years ago, I remember sitting with Kelly one quiet October evening with my family.  We had spent our time staring at the fire, knitting, and being generally wonderful.  She had me engaged in one of her "let me ask you a question" kind of talks.  If you've been a lucky partaker of said chats, you know that you leave them feeling very listened to and rather inspired.

She and I were talking about my writing.  How I had stopped journaling since I got married, how a part of me was ferociously seeking an expression, an outlet.  She had a blog and she encouraged me to perhaps think of starting one myself.  I did.

I've learned so much through blogging...not only in realms of personal writing, but also in this crazy community of women and friends devoted to championing other artists.  When really shitty things have happened, they've come and supported me as if they had known me forever.  I have amazing support both virtually and in reality.


In celebration, I decided to host a little giveaway in order to get some feedback and have a bit of fun!  There are two prizes, so I'll pick two winners using a random number generator.  The first winner will get his/her choice of prizes...

One bonny lass/lad will be the happy recipient of one of UmberDove's new series of painted rocks.  The one shown here has already flown to its home, but she is sending another one in its stead.  I can't wait for you to see it.  These things are flying like her husband's famous (they are!) flapjacks out of her ETSY shop.  

Another spirited filly will don a pair of Plume's specimen earrings, and as you know...that girl can't keep ANYTHING in her shop for longer than a few seconds.  I've been lusting over these pair for a few weeks now.

Some great loot from some great gals!
I know for a fact that either of these two would do cartwheels to win the other's prize.
Heck, can I enter?!!!



In order to be entered to win either of these fabulous pieces of art, you must answer four questions.

1.  What is the most memorable book you've read most recently?
2.  What kind of alcohol would you pair with this book?
3.  How did we come to be acquainted? 
( did you find out about my blog?)
4.  What is your primary reason for reading my blog?  What brings you back?

In ONE comment below, please answer the following questions.  In order to be considered, you must answer ALL FOUR.

For another chance to enter, please blog, tweet, or facebook about this giveaway and leave a separate comment including the link to your blog, twitter, or facebook.  In an effort to include my transcontinental friends, I'll leave the contest open for 48 hours...closing on Wednesday, October 27, midnight. The winners will be announced Thursday.

Best of luck!
Now pass me the bubbly.


blog anniversary: age 3

October 25, 2010 Candace Morris 11 Comments

Tomorrow marks my 3-year blog anniversary, and I wanted to drop a quick note to tell you that I am hosting a giveaway tomorrow with some SERIOUSLY SWEET PRIZES that you will most assuredly want to posses.  I've purchased a few coveted items from not ONE but TWO of my talented artist friends in order to lure you into my giveaway.

{ c'est moi / baby blogger / 2007 }

More details tomorrow, but please DO stop by for some virtual tea and crumpets!


en images: rain walk with me

October 25, 2010 Candace Morris 7 Comments

"Hate cannot drive out hate.  Only love can do that." MLK Jr.
the stranger is cast aside
it does a body good
the way in
those who still hang on
a cute front
a wonderful old
my lovely view
a truly beautiful dead end
Clara Blake
up the mossy steps. just one more climb.
it always feels good to feel love


i've still got it.

October 23, 2010 Candace Morris 8 Comments

Thursday Night Menu

Winter Green Salad with Farmer's Market Tomatoes and Feta
Bottle of Root Carminere


One of the things I miss the most about being home all day
(which is entirely surprising and equally delightful, considering its a skill developed only during that time)
(as the french would say).

The planning, the shopping, the prepping, the cutting.
(as I say).

These last two weeks back to full-time work have been a hodge-podge not only of emotions but also of meals. But I am proud to say that I was still able to cook at least 3 weeknight meals  
(meaning something frozen (albeit organic and tasty) was served those other nights).

Somewhere in the last two years, I taught myself to cook.
And like everything else I learned during that time,
I was afraid I would loose it.

And I guess it just felt good to know that I still had it.
And even better to know that I still enjoyed it.


what helped.

October 20, 2010 Candace Morris 5 Comments

There is a lot of talk in the blogging world about privacy and disclosure.  Though many of you may not agree or practice it yourself, I have always approached this little web page as entirely for me...and that my readers and friends return because they want to read about me and my life and my struggles and my joys and my thoughts and my poetry. I am a vulnerable person anyway, happy to share my thoughts and journey to whatever degree you might be able to handle, so it follows that blogular activity would be a similar sentiment. 

Anyway, I started this blog because I am a female who is an artist who deals with severe depression and who has found that being an introvert and having a penchant towards moody, melancholy things is beautiful and to be embraced solely because its ME.  I use this place to be real...and that will never change. 

Yesterday's blog post was one of the first in a long while that was sad.  It was really sad.  I felt horrible and although I thought about putting a positive spin on the thing, the truth was that I didn't want to coat something that didn't feel authentic.  I am glad I didn't.

One of the most amazing results of this determined honesty (which I am not preaching should be the standard for blogging, this is entirely about me), is the overwhelming encouragement I received from this wonderfully supportive and kind blogging community of which I am a member.  (If you aren't yet acquainted, stick around and you'll start seeing similar names on comments and start perusing other blogs and you'll see how well we love each other).  I truly feel that if I had not expressed my self-pity, frustrations, and sadness, I would never have heard some of what helped me recover.

Today is new and I have hope and I am entirely sure it's thanks to the safety-net of words people have gifted to my battered soul.

Here's a bit of what helped:

  • This amazing blog post shared with me by this amazing lady.
  • Every single comment on my blog helped me immensely with perspective.  The kindness and poignancy of others words is one of the only ways for me to pierce the damn of my emotions that seriously needs to flow freely.
  • This phrase from such a dear soul : "You will find your peace again.  This is not all you are.  You are an artist that has to work for now."  I chanted myself to sleep with it.
  • A truism from my hummingbird that challenged me to think differently and come to my own thoughts on positive thinking (a post soon to come...)
  • Red saying, "Be nice to my friend."
  • Having moments to myself alone in the house before everyone came home...and making THIS wonderful squash.  Nesting does a WORLD of good.
  • Words from Sunny: "Take heart, Candace.  Take major heart. Know that your success is imminent.  I cannot wait to buy a copy of your first edition."
  • My mother telling me that she's been thinking of me all day.
I share not only because it's healthy for my soul to express aloud, as well as writing it down...but also to hear your thoughts, your stories, and receive the benefit of being in community...your encouragement.  I know its been a major help to many other bloggers in their times of despair. 

Even the smallest of words can save someone from having to continually balance on their soul's precarious tight-rope walk.  If we know we can fall, and still be safe...well, then...we can be helped.  

And we can rest.



career-girl, play nice.

October 19, 2010 Candace Morris 7 Comments

Here we go again,
I’m back to feeling sorry for myself because I have to work for a living.
I’m back to disappointment in my choices of food, leisure, money habits.
I’m back to angsty weekends of not knowing how to spend my time exactly,
              back to relying on the crutch named routine.
I’m back to believing the lie that my stay-at-home artists friends have a fabulous, carefree life.
I’m back to eating microwavable lunches.
I’m back to telling myself that being an artist was just a trial period.
             “I was never really that gifted.”
I’m back to succumbing to the sadness of this past year.
I’m back to surrendering my days to further the futility of a foreign vision.
I’m back to being afraid that this is it.
I’m back to judging myself for all of the above.
I’m back to writing about it.

I was telling a girlfriend in a letter that I am so much more severe to my career-girl than to my artist-self. I’ve been working for 17 years (since I was 15, so 32-15=17….right BC?), so she's quite mature, adult, thick-skinned, and rather judgmental. My artist-self, roughly 2 years old, is insecure, unsteady, small.   She needed a lot of time, leisure, grace, and assurance. Since career-girl (let’s call her Bianca. I have no idea why. Wait, it might have to do with a "Jem" reference…isn’t there a character in that cartoon that’s all snooty, spoiled, rough named Bianca?) has been since on the bench, she’s less practiced in the integration of these two people coexisting in my one frail body.

Emotions=fine. But once the inner judge decides that it is inappropriate to feel one way or the child inside is compulsively and impetuously disappointed about feeling another way, this is when things turn very terribly wrong in the whole self-care arena.

I figured that part out. Internal judge, be nice! Not hard.
I conquered caring for myself in that stay-at-home phase.
Will I find grace for myself again? Will I get swallowed up whole without the illusion of leisure? As the clock squeezes my soul through its merciless arms, will I again (eventually?) be able to show off this huge wingspan? 

I heard almost the exact same fears from a lovely friend last night on the brink of a serious and exciting new chapter in her life. Will I loose myself? Do I have what it takes to put another care onto my plate, balance it, and still look good walking around the room with it raised proudly above me? *

Emphatically to her, I pound on the table and say exclaim a resounding YES.

But to me, gently, sadly…ever so faintly a wee thing says to a formidable force “I must.”
                       “We must.”

And to all our souls the universe whispers,
Today. Just Today.
It’s all we need the strength for.
And if you stop, notice, listen.
You’ll find without a doubt…that you have it.
For today.


* Okay, she didn’t say that EXACTLY, because most people do not reference life changes with an allusion to being a butler, BUT I’ve been watching old Jeeves and Wooster with the saint, so I have this clear vision of a very capable, chic, and confident valet in my head.


the weekend report

October 18, 2010 Candace Morris 3 Comments



Pumpkin Patch in Snohomish, check.
Party with friends to celebrate Jenae's 30th bday, check.
Fremont Farmer's Market, check.

Hope your weekend feeds your week, fall friendlies.


le t.g.i.f

October 15, 2010 Candace Morris 10 Comments

Perks from my first week back to work:

*Sunrise over the Cascades
*NPR (esp this story about a remake of an Victorian-era feast)
*Quiet mornings in my office with the best $0.75 oatmeal money can buy
*Husband taking on some of the cooking
*Very deep sleep
*Remembering just how damn good Friday feels

The Corporate Whore,


a few vignettes about the office

October 14, 2010 Candace Morris 6 Comments

Desk Vignette
Norton Critical 2
Norton Critical Editions
Bookshelf Vignette

I really think that to keep ones sanity, one really must bring bits of warmth and home into the office.  Thomas Moore just wrote an article that I find (like usual) that I agree with.  He mentions one practical way to remain warm in an age of such cool soul practices is the purchasing of something beautiful in your life to counteract the purchasing of something practical.

green wall
the maple

 The office needs a bit of work, but it does have a nice green wall and a really rather gorgeous window.  I am determined to have it relect my personality and soul.  I was thinking of how to decorate it, and I realized that books really are the perfect answer. I grabbed my humble collection of Norton Critical Editions and put them up between two of my photographs.

Each of the items I chose has a meaning and reminder.
It says to my career-gal, "Hey your little artist self too."
And then...
I do.


Don't you wish that when you take over someone's position, they would leave behind a manual of social observations?  I feel like such a rookie freshman this week, not knowing who is who or why I am supposed to know them or how they know each other or what they think of each other...which I know will get better because I am really quick with names and faces, but I've been so tempted to ask my pretasessor for a book entitled, "Office Gossip 2007-2010."