A few things I've been up to lately by Christina Rosalie

Giraffe - Christina RosalieHello friends! I've been so busy lately I haven't had nearly as much time as I would like to stop in here and share stories.

Here are a few things I've been up to lately:

:: Writing on Medium
:: Creating a new series of art pieces (this giraffe is one, in progress)
:: Planning a studio sale for the end of March (sign up if you'd like to get first dibs.)
:: Working on a few very cool client projects. I especially loved helping to launch this shop into the world.
:: Reading the Little House series out loud to Bean (and feeling very glad I'm not that kind of pioneer.)
:: Watching Sprout become an amazing artist.
:: Reading this book, and this one.
:: Listening to new music on Beats.
:: Writing every morning in a notebook (I've loved responding to these prompts though I haven't had time to share much here.)
:: Doing a 20 minute vinyasa routine every morning
:: Drinking tea (instead of coffee), skipping alcohol, going to bed earlier, and taking a zillion supplements... and feeling like my adrenals are saying thank you. {Hello energy! How I've missed you}
:: Walking out onto the icy lake with the boys (it still feels bizarre and precarious, but I love all the wide expanses.)
:: Making big plans.
:: Really hankering for spring (and we have many inches of snow in the forecast this week!)
What you've been up to this March? Crazy how time is whirling by these days.

37 before 37 by Christina Rosalie

Here's to the glorious possibility of another year here on this beautiful Earth.
My annual birthday list -- This year it's all about self-care and creative focus and play. I'm especially committed to #3, #7, #19, and #31.  
GoodThingsAreGoingToHappen_ChristinaRosalie-1 1. Strengthen my core. 2. Visit as many museums as possible. 5, minimum. 3. Work slowly and steadily on producing pieces for publication. Let that work inform the slow and steady work of writing my second book. 4. Attend a writing conference. 5. Start swimming regularly again. 6. Spend time on the Pacific ocean. 7. Morning writing, daily. 8. Yoga, daily. 9. Make time to read the Sunday Times in its entirety once a month. 10. Make a driftwood mobile with Bean + Sprout. 11. Write a love letter to each of my boys. 12. Make a sock elephant with Sprout. 13. Read at least 52 books this year. 14. Buy a record player. 15. Make + give away survival packs for the homeless. 16. Send pretty cards for no reason. 17. Finally watch The Godfather. 18. Go to the circus. 19. Make time for doing absolutely nothing. 20. Let miracles happen. 21. Find a mentor. 22. Be a mentor. 23. Set Bean up with an international pen pal. 24. Get a facial. 25. Use a standing desk. 26. Take a paragliding lesson. 27. Go on 12 super sexy dates with my guy. 28. Spend some time out doors everyday. 29. Finally host an interview series on my blog. 30. Paint at least one of big canvasses I’ve had in my studio for years. 31. Get 8 hours of sleep every night. 32. Spend an evening star watching my guy this summer. 33. Have a picnic with friends. 34. Learn a new water sport: kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing. 35. Hike more, with friends. 36. Go bright blonde for a while. 37. Spend an afternoon on a sail boat.

A record of unfinished things {Just One Paragraph 23/30} by Christina Rosalie

photo-1 Tonight my heart rides unsteadily in the hull of my ribs across the waves of all the unfinished pieces and fragments and questions that remain from the day. The arrival of new friends and the disappearance of old ones. The half-packed boxes strewn in every room. The half-written emails sitting in my inbox. The audio notes I take on my phone that show up as emails, skeletons of ideas, lurching back into focus. Pattern recognition. Inklings. Story fragments.
Here are a few recent note titles:
Take down the lights. It's about repetition. UK Art Everywhere Project It's so late the next day has already begun. Bear humphing around looking for Fox. She wants her way a lot. She keeps secrets. There is a woman who smiles with gaps between her teeth and her minivan in the morning... Heritage movie theater ads. Meyer lemons, eggplant, almonds, dill. Surfaces and the first day of seeing in a new city.
How do you keep track of unfinished things?
And how can you tell when things are finished? Friendships, stories, ideas, dreams?

Stuff I've learned while starting out, carrying on, or attempting something great: by Christina Rosalie

               photo (59){Not Really A Paragraph 17/30} :: Repeat this mantra: There is enough. Enough resources. Enough people. Enough audience share. Enough.
:: Ask: how can I help?
:: Join forces. Take people to coffee. Listen.
:: Listen some more.
:: You'll make mistakes. Many of them. Admit them, apologize and then move on.
:: Move on for real. Don't let emotional stuff become an energy drain.
:: Know what it is you're actually offering, or doing. Why does it matter?
:: Know who cares about what you're offering. Who does it matter to?
:: Treat people like people, not like numbers or features that increase klout.
:: Spend some time considering what it's like to be inside your audience' head. What motivates them?
:: Reward loyalty and awesomeness in kind, with real things like handwritten notes, surprise discounts, chocolate.
:: Get over this fact right now: there will be competitors, haters, and jealous fools. Consider them a sign that you've arrived.
:: Be humble. Ask for help. Admit that you don't know.
:: Be generous. Share what you do know. Share your process. Share your best tips, tricks, insights and understanding. It will make you richer, not poorer.

Uneven tempo by Christina Rosalie

It was magical to be away, and upon return everything collides: parent-teacher conferences, busy schedules, and everyone in the house sick with one form or another of a nasty virus that's been going around. Now, trying to catch up. That's what vacation always does for me, like the few seconds of pause between fast-tempoed songs on an album. I'm looking forward to the weekend. To sharing about New Orleans, to getting artwork ready for my studio sale, and to making a bonfire. Right now though, I still need to make it through today and tomorrow.

Music always helps, and I'm dying for some new tunes.

What are you loving right now?

Off on an adventure + some inspiration for the weekend: by Christina Rosalie

Possibility is just here  T and I are off on another adventure this weekend. Actually, T has been away all week on a business trip, and I'm slipping off to join him in New Orleans--a city neither of us has ever been to. There will be a pool, and a verandah (I've always loved that word) and enough shrimp and grits and jazz to fill both belly and soul. I'm so excited.

While I'm away, here's a little inspiration for your weekend:

With the weather suddenly growing cold, I want to make these Instant Wristies. Plus, if you don't know Maya's beautiful little corner of the blogosphere, spend some time there. It's lovely.   This project is brilliant. I can't wait to get my copy.   These thought-provoking questions about motherhood and art.   This series of mama and baby (self) portraits by the incredibly talented photographer Nirrimi.   This post from my blog archives: "On Motherhood and Messes, Creative Process and Apple Pie"   And this post from Marthe: "Scenes From a Life: When Nothing Is Certain, Everything Is Possible"   Also, this is so smart and silly, I actually want one.

xoxo, Christina

PS: I'll be posting heaps of photos on Instagram.

Today, like any other day by Christina Rosalie

Today is like any other day: a hurdy-gurdy collision of who we are and who we want to be. Two boys, not enough sleep, too many things on the to-do list. The same ordinary fears and falterings and hurdles that always find me, find me still.

And yet, I have this inexplicable gratitude: That I am alive. That this body moves. That each morning when I wake up I find one or two emails in my inbox from complete strangers telling me that my book has made a difference in their lives.

For the way T wakes up, and after showering finds my feet and rubs them, one and then the other, while I'm still trailing dreams.

For good espresso and the way the leaves have been a display of splendor: every shade of vermillion, every hue of gold. For running with T at lunchtime. Three miles next to the blue, blue lake.

For seeing my dear friend, even for only a handful of moments, her new hair cut slanting bangs and layers across her gorgeous cheekbones.

That my boys run to me when I get home. That first one, and then the other clamber into my arms, covering my cheeks with kisses. For the way we all gather around the kitchen counter then; T making curry and chicken, and me kneading and frying chapattis with Sprout, while Bean flips through the latest issue of a food magazine, pointing out recipes and reading the titles of things he's curious about or wants to make.

For reading Secret Garden with Bean at bedtime, which is, hands down my favorite book from when I was a kid.

For the way the air smells under the nighttime stars; like snow soon, and decomposing leaves and woodsmoke. And for the way T's skin feels, warm and salty and supple beside me as I crawl into bed for the night.

A day, this one, in it's entirety: a handful of moments.

What holds your attention? What small things overtake you with the feeling of gratitude? (I love to read your lists!)

Life As It's Happening: by Christina Rosalie

You can hear it: the way summer is ending. The crickets know. And also, the air is cooler at night, and we close the windows part-way now, and I wear soft t-shirts to bed and wake, my hair mussed, my head full of dreams.

September is soon, and when the weekends come, we try to soak up all the goodness that's left of summer. Late bedtimes + ice cream. White wine after dinner. Lots of music on the player. Dresses, still, almost every day.

A few things from around the Web that I've been enjoying:


Happy weekend!

Bits & pieces {10 Days} by Christina Rosalie

I woke up determined to complain less today. Even though Facebook bought Instagram, and I went to bed at almost 2am, and morning hit me hard. I decided to take note of the things I like: Unexpected constellations of snippets and chads; filing papers after they've been dealt with; cayenne and maple syrup in cappuccinos, blue birds, blue jeans, and telling Bean stories in the car about when I was seven.

I liked the the red tailed hawk on the tree at the edge of the highway; and the magnolias, pink and white and lush, even in the rain; and also the rain, falling on the roof of the studio at work.

I liked finding this piece by Susan Sontag, And then asking the people I work with to also tell me things that make them happy; and getting their replies, my inbox filling with coincidence and artichokes, palindrome and back scratches, that made me smile particularly.

And when I came home there was my dog with her lolling tongue and Yoda ears, and T had made chicken salad and crusty bread and fresh avocados, and there my boys with their tousled mops of too long hair, and now there is chai tea and chocolate, even though I'll be up again till 2am.

What do you like?

I can't wait to hear.


Almost: 11 days left by Christina Rosalie

Today it rained all day. I have 60 rough pages; double spaced. I have the vaguest ideas of what I want the visuals to be. I'm far from where I need to be. And yet, I am so close.

The amount that I have to finish terrifies me. It feels impossible, insurmountable, enormous.

My body is growing restless from sitting in a desk chair so many hours out of the day.

My mind like a bucking bronco, takes so much will power to harness to this task: finish. Simply that.

It's been such a long time without a break, I hardly remember what that feels like.

Still, I'm trying to slip in a few moments here and there of delight, and whimsy to get me through.


Tell me things:

What music are you listening to right now?

What blogs or magazines have you found that are simply too gorgeous not to share?

What is a meal you can't get enough of this spring?

WHat small thing do you do that brings you joy?

Small rituals :: Holding steady by Christina Rosalie

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Toast with honey + almonds, and a cappuccino for the road.

Kissing my boys before we part ways for the day (all three of them.)

Stopping in a parking lot by the lake on the way to work to watch the gulls, just for five minutes, and to breathe.

Having lunch with good friends often.

Calling the people I love on my commute home from work.

Counting the days until I finish (22).

What are the things you do, in the eye of the storm, in the midst of momentum, when urgency dictates only the slightest room in your day to linger or pause?

Wekend Notes: The violet hour by Christina Rosalie

The light a few days ago was just so lovely. It was the violet hour; just at dusk when the shadows are long and the hills purple. You can feel the way the earth is tilting now, closer toward the sun. The days are lengthening, even as snow falls from pale skies. Most days the roads are mud, not frost. And when we take walks we can see the slender maple buds are growing fat. It's time for cutting forsythia and carrying it indoors by the armload, to plunge into warm water and then arrange in jars on sunny window sills, to find in a few days time the promise of the season to come, bursting yellow and delicate from every stalk.

Plans for the weekend: Riding the lifts and maybe making pumpernickel bread. Also thesis reading, and making a mobile for my dearest friend's new baby boy. Did you see I updated my current crushes & inspiration? I'd love to hear... What are your plans for the weekend? And also: what music are you listening to lately?

10 things that are awesome: by Christina Rosalie

Hello! Hello!

1. I have an interview up over at the gorgeous 52 Photo Projects site today. If you don't know Bella and all the photographic inspiration she brings to the world, you should. It was such a fun interview to do---particularly the last question.

2. Nothing quite compares with missing my guy while he was gone for the weekend, and then having him back: sweeter, better looking, and funnier than ever. I really have such a crush on him.

3. This blog is awesome. And hilarious. This post shamed me into cleaning out my car. I am so not an adult when it comes to doing so on a regular basis. The contents, just for fun: 3 ceramic cups, 2 to-go cups, 1 pair of shoes (mine), 1 pair of jeans (Sprout's), 1 pair of underwear (yeah, that'd be a good story. But they're Sprout's too), 5 picture books, 2 jackets, countless wrappers and dirty paper towels and napkins.

4. Twitter. It's really awesome. I know some of you have said that you don't have time. But here's a secret: It's better than Facebook. It's news and insights and inspiration and delight all wrapped up and moving at the speed of light. I've been having the best conversations there lately. Join in!

5. I've finally made my peace with the fact that I will not have any Kickstarter rewards for my dear backers until I graduate. It's killing me to admit this, but it feels peaceful and wonderful too, to picture sending out rewards when I start ramping up for my book this spring as I celebrate the end of graduate school. I'm planning some other big super fun things for this space then too... *grin*

6. Modcloth. I had no idea it even existed until I followed a Pinterest meander. And oh, I could buy nearly every dress there. Really. Truly.

7. My dearest friend had her first son on Bean's birthday! It's the coolest thing in the world to have known her since we were ten, and to know her now as a mom. Talking to her about those first weeks of staggering exhaustion and wonder has me reeling: that my baby is a three year old.

8. Speaking of: He is finally, completely potty trained. It was kind of epic, and I didn't really write a lot about it here because I never wanted to jinx anything and it took for effing ever. But now I think we're there. I think somehow without intending, I bought the very last package of diapers I'll ever buy. He's in underwear. We've graduated into a whole new era of big-kidness.

9. A project we just finished was to paint a wall in our house between the living room and the kitchen with chalkboard paint. It seems like a perfect way to celebrate the fact that we've moved into the era of big kids around here. They draw robots and play with magnetic numbers and make people with long legs and big smiles on the wall, and it's a totally rad ever changing work of art to come home to at the end of the day.

10. Instagram. I really, really love the glimpses, the bits of bright beauty, the inspiration, the community, the ridiculous talent of the people I follow. Yes, Instagram makes the ordinary gorgeous, but the people who really rock it, are the ones who can compose a shot just so; who have an eye for light and color, and who surprise you every time with the unexpected way the elements in the image are arranged.

I am particularly enjoying followingL: @carrisajg, @hilaryhess, @petamazey, and timrobisonjr. You can also find me on Instagram here: @christinarosalie.

* * *

Your turn: What are 10 awesome things?

Ready, set, go!

The best & Worst: Notes from the weekend by Christina Rosalie

Christina Rosalie

Hello friends! How was your weekend? Mine was, like weekends often are around here lately, a mish-mash.

The high notes:

Rambling in the woods + fields with Clover.

Watching her run off leash through the high grass in our meadow.

Putting up colored lights around the big pine tree + house. (I am completely crushing on the big fat colored ones this year.)

Finally, finally building a fenced enclosure for the chickens: no more poop on our front steps!

Holding hands with T on a walk.

Being reminded by a beautiful friend that I need to share my silly side with the world more.

Singing Christmas carols at the top of our lungs in the car everywhere we went.


The way that new possibilities keep flooding into my life right now.

Running every day again.

And the low notes:

Staying up until 2:30 last night to finish (and then not finishing) an assignment for a class I don’t dig at all.

Clover rolling in poop and getting it all over her ear.

Not having enough hours to hit all the deadlines.

The way that I catch myself hunching all the time. Stupid sitting at a desk posture.

Feeling my breath catch in my ribs when I think of my to-do list for the next two weeks until my semester ends.


How about you?

Inspiration for the end of your week: by Christina Rosalie


Oy. The week hit.

That's all I can say about that really. I've been paddling along just about as fast as I can to keep my head above, and taking little mini-breaks as often as possible to rest + recalibrate outdoors and in.

Clover sees to the outdoors bit. I've rambled through woods and fields and watched the moon come up more times in the past week than I have in the past six months. I love that. The weather has been unseasonably mild here, and it's been so nice to go outdoors in the dark after the boys are in bed and listen to the wind move through sticks and twigs and grasses at the edge of the woods. I like the way my hair gets windswept into small tangles; how the moon, a fat waxing crescent, smudges the night sky with a ring of white gold; and there are unexpected things: the shining eyes of a stray cat along the rock wall; paths that give way to soft spots full of moss and mud; shooting stars when I look; and the quiet. Oh the quiet of early an early winter night.

Indoors inspiration looks like this:

Anthology Magazine's special digital winter edition. Two words: eye candy.

Pam Houston reading at Writers Block. Listening to Pam read is one of my favorite things. Her stories out loud are possibly even better than the very same stories on the page.

Jason's newest mix. (So, so good.) Also his photos. Always.

This collection of poems. Laisha's book The Sudden Weight of Snow is one of the only novels I slipped in to my reading list last year. Those Canadians... they get under my skin in the very best of ways.

And getting lost in Idaho wilderness, words, and beauty of the Noisy Plume. (Jillian is also Canadian. Seeing an unintended pattern here...)

Your turn. What some sources of inspiration +

delight this week?

7 things I'm doing to rest + recalibrate this weekend: by Christina Rosalie

1. Slipping offline for the weekend

2. Layering pretty dresses + winter cords, painting my finger nails, and putting henna in my hair

3. Taking walks alone to stalk the Piliated woodpecker in the far meadow, and follow coyote tracks

4. Emptying my inbox entirely

5. Clearing the number of feeds in my RSS reader

6. Reading Mary Oliver's Evidence. Again.

7. Getting a dog.

An inventory of things found on my studio floor: by Christina Rosalie

Things found on the floor of my studio: A blue letter O; two puzzle pieces; a small rocket ship; a cardboard tile with the word COMETS on it; a very small sticker stuck to the floorboards that says "Road Closed" in black against orange; another sticker, artfully pressed into a knot in the floorboards that says "YES" in all caps; a small black wheel; a spool of turquoise thread; a solitary striped sock; a red matchbox car; 1 pacifiers; 7 hair ties; countless snippets. I can only trace the origins of the final two from that inventory. This is what happens when I work in my studio with children underfoot.

It's such good practice though, to slow down enough to take an inventory of the details around you. Try it: Can you notice five unusual things within an arms reach? What are they?

Life In The Present Tense: A Field Guide To Now ~ Thanking my backers by Christina Rosalie

I'd want to start this week off with sharing (finally) many of the incredible Kickstarter Backers who made this book dream of mine real. These are only the folks who have an online space to share with the world. Together with many others, they believed in this idea when it was just a glimmer in my eye--before I had any kind of real plan, any proposal on paper, any chapters written; when the whole thing consisted of a handful of drafts and a heart full of longing.**
I can't even describe how powerful it is to have people back you. How it makes things real, how it makes you be accountable and your very best self. How generosity is at the root of so much: abundance, success, inspiration, joy.

Thank you.

There is so much talent and creativity and passion and goodness in this list of bloggers and creative entrepreneurs, and they fill me right up with inspiration + gratitude + joy. Have fun perusing. You'll be so delighted.
1017 100 Proof Stories Airstream Dreaming Andie Edwards Annie Denison Barb's Evolving Project Bead Tree Becoming Megsieth Beverly Reverlry Blissful Thinking Brickhouse Studios Bring Yourself Catching Days Cayden J Coco & Lafe Coffee Stained Clarity Daily Fieldnotes Dawn Smith Designs Dream Dust Do What You Love Dust Of Europe Film Project Elayna Alexandra Elisa Elliot Everyday Glimpses Flyover People Hashi Works Hysterical Mommy Network Imaginations Everything In The Violet Hour Inosculation Jorun Boklöv Johanna Hoerrmann Julies Little Joys Just My Digital Stuff Last Crumb Laura Two Tina Learning To Walk In Heels Leonie Wise Lesley Dahl Life On The Green Line Like A Radio Listening & Speaking Little Elm Little Potatoes Liz Lamoreux Lizardek Lylium Magpie Days Magpie Girl Meadow Lark Days Meat Revolution Melissa Brott Photography Michael Kershner Mindy Schroder Molly Sutton Kiefer My Creative Space Oink Tails Paul Frank Perils Of Caffeine In The Evening Phriday Filosofy Pixie Campbell Positively Organic Rosa Murillo Scatterbeams Seeking Equipoise Shameless Self Promoters Slightly Scrappy Shona Cole Solomon Shiv Soulful Owl Some The Wiser Stefanie Renee Story Lamps Sunday School Rebel Superbeck Susan Kruse Susanna Crossman Tara Bradford Photography Terri Rambo The Learning Curve The Life and Times of a Kiwi-Mumbaiiker This Joy Ride Timothy C. Flood Trying To Stay Focused Wet Fresco Photography Wood Smoke & Lingon Berries

Also heart-filled gratitude for the following inspiring + generous bloggers who shared my project with their readers:

Ali Edwards: Giveaway

Boho Girl: Giveaway

Do What You Love: Interview

Liz Lamoreux: Nine {An Interview}

Magpie Girl: 1Q Interview

Susannah Conway: My Creative Life {Interview}

Wishstudio: A Book You Can Help Bring To Life

** (If you are a backer and I didn't include you on this list, it wasn't on purpose! I had a few broken links and a few outdated URLS that I couldn't trace. Please please send me your URL if you backed this project and would like me to add you.)

glimpses + books by Christina Rosalie

A few glimpses of the place where everything happens around here: in the kitchen. I've taken to writing long hand the past couple of days; carrying the chapter I'm working on everywhere, the pages mud speckled and windblown as I try to pull lines of prose together in the thick of things. That's what this life is about, after all. This book too.

Speaking of books, here are a few I cannot wait to get my hands on:

The Recent History Of Middle Sand Lake // Molly writes the blog field | work. Enough said, right? She has an eye with words. A way of noticing. Really can't wait to sink into this collection, like putting my feet in cool lake water.

Delancy // Molly's book A Homemade Life gave me the courage to be bold + simple with food. Butter + raddishes. Chocolate + baguettes. And just as naturally brilliant as these pairings are, so are her words with food. Simply cannot wait for this book about the birthing of the restaurant Delancy.

Contents May Have Shifted // Pam is my hero. My mentor. And the person who made me take my writing seriously. Enough Said.

The Selby Is In Your Place // Because truly, I can spend a whole afternoon perusing The Selby and always, always feel utterly inspired.

And Susannah's yet to be named book, because her words + images fill my soul.

What are you reading right now?

Things that delight me by Christina Rosalie

This series of shadows snapped from a walk with the boys yesterday.

Spring riding today: blue squares all the way. Easy turns. Wide grins.

Buying a new moleskine. The reporter kind with plain white pages. I the way the pages feel flimsy and effortless; the way ink shows through & the way words tumble after each other to be put down there in my messy handwriting.

A secret I can't wait to share really, really soon.

The way the light lasts longer and longer every day.

Mapping out my schedule for summer and blocking off whole days for writing, no excuses. (Or perhaps I have the best excuse.)

What are six things you're delighted by today?