Friday, November 19, 2010

Turn me inside out

Would you mind
if I turned myself inside
to side
for your rock and roll
to move my soul
to the rhythm of the song
that can't be heard or sung or wrote.
Would you mind if I turned myself inside out
for you to hold
to sway
to swing
to breathe on each others neck
as we sing
to a song that can't be heard.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Why do the fingers
Of the little once beautiful lady
(sitting sewing at an open window
this fine morning) fly instead of dancing?
Are they possibly afraid
That life is running away
From them (I wonder) or
Isn’t she aware that
Life (who never grows old) is
Always beautiful and that
Nobody beautiful ever hurries?
– e.e. cummings

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Boatloads of Shame

Shame [Avett Brothers]

Okay so I was wrong about
My reasons for us fallin’ out
Of love I want to fall back in

My life is different now I swear
I know now what it means to care
About somebody other than myself

I know the things I said to you
They were untender and untrue
I’d like to see those things undo

So if you could find it in your heart
To give a man a second start
I promise things won’t end the same

Shame, boatloads of shame
Day after day, more of the same
Blame, please lift it off
Please take it off, please make it stop

Okay so I have read the mail
The stories people often tell
About us that we never knew

But their existence will float away
And just like every word they say
And we will hold hands as they fade

Shame, boatloads of shame
Day after day, more of the same
Blame, please lift it off
Please take it off, please make it stop

I felt so sure of everything
My love to you so well received
And I just strutted around your town
Knowing I didn’t let you down
The truth be known, the truth be told
My heart was always fairly cold
Posing to be as warm as yours
My way of getting in your world
But now I’m out and I’ve had time
To look around and think
And sink into another world
That’s filled with guilt and overwhelming

Shame, boatloads of shame
Day after day, more of the same
Blame, please lift it off
Please take it off, please make it stop

And everyone they have a heart
And when they break and fall apart
And need somebody’s helping hand

I used to say just let ’em fall
It wouldn’t bother me at all
I couldn’t help them now I can

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bedroom Facelift

I finished my bedroom project last night just in time for sleep. I used 1' x 1' scrapbook paper that I got for sale and covered the entire wall. I love it! Now I need to spend more quality time in my room...preferably sleeping!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Show and Tell

As of lately I have been preoccupied with large piles of homework like the one below:
This is just half my pile and it doesn't include my art supplies. I may have to buy stock in book bags. We have been busy in the house getting Sully's room finished [finally!] and I found many treasures tucked away from when we moved. Here's some of my fave finds:
An old copy of Thumbelina from when I was little and a Plantation Melodies book from 1888 with some wicked cool illustrations:

My old kitty statue my Mom bought for me at a garage sale [How can you not love this?!]

Also a bunny statue my Mom bought for me:
This is the kick butt picture Ugly made for me when we went North [Tour de Fat]

My bedroom is getting a's a clue as to what's going to be happening...I'll post pics when I'm finished

AND MY VERY FAVORITE THING EVER! I found this today for 50% off and I had to have it to hang some scarves and jewelery on. Yes, I am weird, but thrilled! Thanks to my husband for letting me hang this freaky thing on the wall. I named him Ferdinand [original, I know]
And as promised: Here is your present Ugly! Happy 5th of July!

So that's my show and tell for the first of September, I have some more pretty exciting things to share....that will have to wait until tomorrow!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The big fat wallet and the obese shoulder angel

What a day. I think I am getting too old for college. I mastered the art of free parking today, granted it did involve residential streets, a long journey, and some sweat. I was pretty pleased with myself. After a long day of digital media and watercolors, I found a place to squat and study while I wait for karaoke hour with the gals. Sure enough, whenever I'm broke, God sends me a lost wallet or purse to slap me in the face with. I found a big thick wallet (similar to the one above) sitting in a booth with no one around. My little shoulder devil screams in my ear "TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN!!!" but my little obese shoulder angel guided me to security where the wallet will remain until the owner returns. I feel good that I may have helped someone's day out with honesty, but man does it suck being good! I just think it's God's way of reminding me I'm 'rich' in other ways.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New to Hollywould

Welcome to a new addition to my blog. It's pretty self-explanatory, but I will share random information or stories that I absorb in my long and hectic days. "Today I Learned" is the brain child of my high-functioning friend Ugly. Enjoy!
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Oaky, mroe ltaer!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Living Life with ‘Bob Style’

“I really haven't had that exciting of a life. There are a lot of things I wish I would have done, instead of just sitting around and complaining about having a boring life.

-Kurt Cobain

I've always been a daydreamer. I have spent countless hours dreaming about the future, how I'll grow up and be a figure skater, or an author, or an artist, or a weatherwoman, or maybe just a doctor who makes a hefty salary each year. I've dreamt about my fairy tale prom, my momentous graduation, falling in love, a media worthy wedding, and a beautiful family of five living in a posh home. I've dreamt about driving a BMW and shopping in svelte downtown boutiques. All my life I have believed that these things would make me an enviable person with a great story. At 25 years now, I am confident that these dreams would not improve my life story. These are other people's stories.

I was adopted in 1984 by two people who have amazing stories. My parents never said "no " to an opportunity or adventure. We spent the first five years of my life traveling around California and Colorado then settling down in Minnesota. My two brothers were born shortly after. We made our home on a humble piece of property in rural Minnesota, the same property my family and I live on now. My mom kept us busy with 4H and clubs, outings and activities. When I was young I was jealous of the kids in my class. Our home was old and embarrassing, we didn't have a landscaped yard, I didn't have designer clothes, we constantly had mice, and our cars were always breaking down. I never had any friends over and dating was nearly impossible because of the shame I felt. We were in poverty and I hated it. I couldn't understand why my parents would move us to such a pathetic house in a farming community. I thought our story stunk.

In 2007, I received the worst phone call of my life. "I think Mom is dead!" my brother shrieked into the phone. He sounded like a demon. My mom had passed away at home in bed and my 15 year old brother found her. My dad was in the hospital struggling against a two year battle against Pancreatitis at the time. All of a sudden I was the designated parent and decision maker. I sent my mother's lifeless body to the funeral home and began the calls to family. At the end of the week we had her funeral. I remember thinking that life would never be good again. My heart ached more than I could ever describe and I was trying to mourn as well as care for my dad and brothers. The night of her funeral, I laid in bed and her name repeated over and over again as if by some unseen announcer…"Wendy Lynn Dodge, Wendy Lynn Dodge, Wendy Lynn Dodge."

Ten months after my mother passed away, on Valentine's Day, God gave my husband and I support in the form of a healthy, 7 lb baby girl with thick brown hair and bright eyes. At the time, I was mortified. What was I going to do with a kid?! We had just recently moved onto my family farm to be closer to my dad and brothers, and we had no indoor plumbing and we were in the middle of some intense renovations. We had minimum wage jobs that barely paid the electric bill, let alone another mouth. The day we brought our daughter Eleanor home, our septic system backed up into the house. I remember feeling like a complete failure as a parent. I was hopeless. My husband took Eleanor on her first tour of her new home, taking special time to stop in front of my mom's picture in the dining room, "This is your Grandma Wendy and she loves you very much…"

As Ella aced her milestones and grew taller, we found blessings everywhere we looked. Things were tough, but when things looked impossible, a pinhole of light would shine through at the end of our dark tunnel. We worked multiple jobs with low wages, but we were able to provide. On May 7th, 2009, I woke up with a heavy weight in my chest. It had been two years exactly since we had lost mom. I crawled out of bed and checked on Ella, now over a year old, in her crib. She was peacefully snoring. I went outside and sat on the top stair in front of the home my parents had once lived in. The sun was coming up in the east and the mourning doves were cooing loudly to one another. Mourning doves had been Mom's favorite and the memories brought tears to my eyes. I started to think about how many things I had given up in my adult life, some because of fear and some because of laziness. I had given up some of my greatest passions and I knew my Mom would encourage me to dive back into them. I felt overwhelmed with disappointment for myself. How could I have fallen so far from where I started from? I was sick of sitting around and waiting for good things to happen. I had to set an example for my daughter. I decided to call a local college to find out about taking some art classes for no credit. I had always wanted to be an artist, I just never knew how to make money doing art. I couldn't actually enroll in the college because six years earlier, I graduated high school with no diploma. I was ½ credit short from a diploma and I was bitter and secretive about it. A woman with a warm voice answered at the college and explained how I had to have a diploma to take any courses from there. "Oh. Okay. Thanks." I muttered. As I was about to hang up defeated, she interrupted and told me how she had been in the same boat once too. She explained her story and gave me the contact info for a free program that helped adults receive and actual diploma. I thanked her excitedly and called the number I had scrawled on the palm of my hand. Six weeks later, I had a diploma in hand and turned in my application to Minnesota State University, Mankato. I waited anxiously by the mailbox for an acceptance letter. Finally it arrived. The same day I found out I was starting my four year commitment to school, I discovered I was pregnant again. We had a lot to celebrate!

The autumn of 2009 I began school as a full-time 25 year old pregnant mother and wife. I set my goals high and achieved them all. I made Dean's List both semesters, made several art shows, and participated in many extra-curricular opportunities. In the spring, we had our healthy son, Sullivan, on Saint Patrick's Day. Now we were blessed with "love and luck". I finished my semester on time.

The last year has been one of the most important of my life. I no longer dream of the future, I make it happen. I have been functioning as a self-employed artist and I was just recently hired to illustrate five books for next fall. Things are changing, and for once in my life, I feel ready for them. After my birthday last December I made a list of 25 things to do before I turned 26. Some things seem small or goofy, but they are all things I want and need to accomplish. I take my list very seriously and have been crossing things off steadily. My two best friends also have lists to complete before their next birthdays. We encourage one another to not only complete the tasks, but to do them with 'Bob style'.

Since I finished reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years I celebrate my trials. Things that I thought were ruining my life, are really improving it. My husband has been unemployed since last October, we're behind on our mortgage, and today we are selling our car to pay a past due electric bill. These are my altars. They are hard, but they are improving my story. Since I have began making conscious decisions in my life scenes, I feel like a better mother, friend, daughter, wife, and most importantly, person. My failing marriage has taken a drastic turn for the better because I gave my husband and I a better story to star in. We have begun to read a chapter from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years aloud every night together. My story will be around much longer than me, and I am confident many will enjoy it. I'm not trying to be eloquent and brag about my life, I'm just overjoyed being a great character in a blockbuster story, and my story has only just begun.

25 before 26 (to be completed by December 20, 2010)

*Write a rap

*Go to the ocean

DONE-Re-read Fahrenheit 451

DONE-Get another tattoo

DONE-Blog more

DONE-Get a 4.0 GPA

DONE-Make college art show

DONE-Host art show

DONE-Paint bedroom lime green

*Make a professional portfolio

*Take a legit family studio pic

*Get hot tub working

DONE-Read e.e. cummings Complete Poems

*Go to a sushi bar

DONE-Polar plunge

*Go to a vineyard

* Watch the whole Godfather series

*Play more piano

*Learn all the words to Lil Wayne's "A Mille"

*Learn more French

DONE-Get a blue-tongued skink

*Make a quilt

*Go ice skating

*Read Jesus for President

* Call my biological father

Memorable Mentions (amazing things I didn't plan):

*Rode in a limo in Minneapolis

* Auditioned for American Idol in Milwaukee

*Joined a volleyball league

*Painted an 8 x 60' mural for Mankato YMCA

* Hired to illustrate five books

* Face painting in the rain on the Fourth of July

*Tornado warnings at Drum Corp International in Minneapolis

*Finding my biological father

*Illustrating a friend's book

*Being a part of a national exhibit , The Sketchbook Project

*Jumping into a giant pit of foam

*Seeing Frank Warren speak at a Post Secret event

Living a Better Story Seminar from All Things Converge Podcast on Vimeo.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My story...

Dear blog, I have missed you! I'm in Austin this week for Spamtown Freedom Fest ( dorky name, I know). I'm vending once again for Hollywould Designs. I've been busy adding some new pieces to my collection as well as crazy busy with home life. So much has happened since I updated last, so let me just highlight some of the better parts:

Had my first outdoor vending experience in good ol' Mt. Lake. My booth smelled like poo cause I was right next to the petting zoo, but overall I was very impressed with my booth and I found new homes for some of my originals.

I got caught in some ugly weather in New Ulm! I was at my friend Rachel's house when the sirens started going off. We joked around for a bit, but then it got scary and we headed into her 150 year old cellar. We were pretty scared and found out later that a tornado touched down less than a mile away from her house! My car caught some awesome hail to document the trip!

I went and picked the wall I will be painting for YMCA's Chesley skate park in Mankato. 8 feet tall and 20 feet long baby! I have big plans! I will hopefully begin painting on Monday. I will take lots of pics!
Sullivan painted his first picture this week! Eleanor helped a little too. They made a big painting for Grandpa's sweet little Poocasso!

My 1938 anatomy book has cogs spinning in my head. Here are two new pieces I did. The stomach and butterflies is in a shadow box. I used ink and spray paint for both pictures. I kind of hope I never sell them...I think they would look awesome in my house!
And finally, I am reading this amazing book by Donald Miller that my dear friend Ugly loaned me. I have to read a chapter and stop and reflect. It's a book that challenges the way you look at your personal story in life. I'm still trying to figure out if I'm living the best story. Very cool. I promise to write more about it when I am finished.

I have some very exciting trips and events coming up in the next couple of weeks. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'll be back!

Sorry friends, I am currently without internet, so I can't keep you updated on my riveting life! I will return soon with many stories of mayhem and mischief I promise!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Night Vision

Summer has returned to me full force. My evenings are once again enriched with good wine, reading, foreign films, fires, and art. It's all good, except I get horribly stir-crazy and want to find more culture and go on adventures. It's definitely fuel to my fire. Here's some pics of some of my amazing thrift store books I promised earlier. I'm really in love with my 1938 Anatomy textbook and the illustrations in my 1918 Biography of a Million Dollars. It's going to take a lot of will power to keep them intact and not use them for art projects! I'm still busy getting ready for Pow Wow this weekend when I debut Hollywould Designs. I hope Mountain Lake is ready for me! Have a wonderful night...

My kind of love (c) 2010

The Northeast corner of my ear (c) 2010
Jolly (c) 2010

Bling (c)
A mille (c) 2010

Look at my heart 1938 (c) 2010
Night Vision (c) 2010
Medallions (c) 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Brain Flatulations

Just some quick random thoughts before I head out for girl's night:

I love the lyrics to this song! I dedicated the first verse to my dear friend Ugly

Also, working in my makeshift studio today, this song came on and I felt like I had a meaning in life. Don't know what that's supposed to mean exactly...I just felt really good.

More later!

Holly "is"....

Yesterday, I kicked my husband out of his garage and set up a mini-studio to help me prepare for my Hollywould Designs vending booth at my conservative town celebration called Pow Wow. I have a week and half and I am busting out some new stuff to showcase. Here are some picture highlights:

Found this old book jammed full of papers at the thrift store...I have plans to give this book new life!
Also, I found some pretty amazing treasures for myself at the thrift store that I am super excited about...I'll post pics later. The girls are coming over tonight but in the meantime, hopefully I'll have another productive day! More later...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wish List

I want this:

But Jason wants this:

Considering I just had to put down my cat Bruiser, I think I win the French/English fight. I deserve a cute little French Bulldog. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, June 7, 2010

"Lady dans l'Eau"

spray paint and acrylic ink on paper

When I start an art piece, I get kind of intense... I like to finish it right away and hate to walk away without it finished. Eleven hours of my day produced my latest creation...I felt pretty accomplished until my husband asked why I didn't do the dishes today. In all fairness, I didn't eat anything today. I guess that makes me a bitter, starving artist.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

"The girl with the glass"

How could I go so long without seeing Amelie? In high school, all my "cool" friends bragged up this movie and I guess I just couldn't give into the hype...until now. It was so beautiful and quirky. Everyone deserves a story like this in their life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 7+ and then some!

Well, as a busy mother and artist I left my blog on the sidelines AGAIN! Finals week was killer and the blog was the first thing to go. Since school ended I have been busy with the good and bad [mostly good] and I will try my hardest to catch you up:

I can cross another thing off my "25 before 26" list. Got another tattoo!
Ugly and I had our "We Heart the Country" photo shoot and got some real gems despite the winds!

I hit Ugly's car on the way to the bar. In my driveway. Sorry Frank.

Me and my dear friends attended Post Secret at Gustavus. It was great to share some secrets with good friends. Then we went to the bar for Cinco de Mayo and caused some mayhem.

Photo courtesy Allyson Ruth
Went to NEMAA's annual Art-a-Whirl with Ugly and our new friend Vinny. Toured this awesome old movie theatre that I want to buy!
Photo courtesy Jaron Roberts
Did I mention we jumped in a giant foam pit!? Then we ate at The Holy Land and discovered there is truly nothing "holy" about that place!

I helped my friend Jade make a Lady Gaga inspired dress out of police tape for a cosmetology fashion show. It was semi-classy.

Oh yea, got another tattoo. My friends and I rented out a parlor for a day and all got some new tats. I got 2 Kings 4:30 which says " And the mother said to the child, as long as you live and as long as the Lord lives, I shall never leave you."

I also got to go to the races with the hubby. We went to the USMTS show for Memorial Day weekend and also regular races at Chateau Raceway.

The day after I decided to go on a 7 mile bike ride for the first time in 5 years, we helped Ugly move to her new apt in the cities. Don't ever rent a U-Haul. Shady.
Finished up illustrating Ugly's book she wrote for Arthouse Coop's Fiction Project. "Happy Fifth of July"

It's been a fulfilling summer so far. I got my grades from school and I managed to get a 4.0 this semester. Straight A's and two A+'s. I'm pretty proud. The munchkins are growing fast too! Thing 1 is talking up a storm and Thing 2 is lifting his head, eating cereal already, and rolling over! I've been busy making money with my art and so far it's been going really well. I'll try to stop and take a break long enough to post some more updates! La vie est bonne!