Happy Little Trees (Just Call Me Bob Ross)

 

I’ve never considered myself much of an artist.

Creative? Perhaps. A lover of the arts? Undoubtedly.

Talented (in terms of being able to use my hands to create)?

Notsomuch.

I’m fairly sure my lack in confidence when it comes to the fine arts stems from my 6th grade art teacher, let’s call her Ms. Williams. In fact, I think that was actually her name.

I’ll never forget her bright red lipstick or curly blonde hair. I’ll especially never forget the time she asked our class to draw a picture of what we thought Thanksgiving looked like.

At the time, the only artist I was really aware of was Grandma Moses, and that’s only because my parents kept a few of her Christmas paintings up all year long.

I must have been attempting to emulate her attention to detail, because my picture of Thanksgiving included a turkey watching a family eat a feast of turkey; a feather-wearing Indian; an ear of corn; a ping pong table; and my cousins and I tossing a football back and forth.

I remember being quite impressed with my construction paper-magic marker masterpiece. That bitch Ms. Williams was not. She  held my picture up in front of the classroom and asked me what that brown blob was in the middle of the picture.

A football? Haha That looks more like a turd.

She might as well have told me that my art was worthy of no refrigerator. That I drew like a four year old. That I might as well consider myself a failure at life at the age of 11.

She probably had no idea that I would carry that comment with me for years. I’m sure she was clueless to the fact that one tiny joke of a statement was setting a sixth-grader up for a lifetime of art-induced shame.

For years, I avoided art classes like the plague. I volunteered to help out with other teachers so that I could avoid tech-work at theater camp. I learned how to trace and I learned how to feign hand-cramps whenever I was expected to use them to create.

Oh, I enjoyed the occasional bracelet making in the privacy of my bedroom… but I didn’t even feel that those were worthy friendship bracelets. I usually ripped them apart as soon as the little black and white initials were in place.

 

It wasn’t until I discovered decoupage in college that I realized that I wasn’t a complete failure at being artistic. After all, you can’t really fail at finding pictures and colors that you enjoy and sticking them all together and then finishing them with a shiny, sparkly gloss, now can you?

 

For a few years, I decoupaged anything I could get my hands on. Pieces of furniture, scrap book pages, thank you cards and mirrors were all splattered with the faces of John Cusack and Bulletins from musicals I’d seen over the years.

And then one day I ran out of magazines.

Just kidding.

One day, I found myself surrounded by the boxes of glitter, broken jewelry, scraps of felt and tissue paper that I had subconsciously been saving over the years. I didn’t even know why I had saved it, but I knew one day it would all serve it’s purpose.

paintings 1

 

When I couldn’t contain myself any longer, I just started making things. I gave Ms. Williams a metaphorical “F YOU” and decided I didn’t care anymore what people thought. I just made whatever I felt like making. I mixed beads and glitter and shiny paper, and it was pretty to me.

paintings 2

My friends would come into my room and tell me it looked like a glitter monster exploded on my project. I didn’t care. It only made me want to use more.

I’ve calmed my projects down a lot over the last few years. Both with the frequency, and with the amount of glitter that I use. But I still don’t really care what anyone thinks. Most people would probably say that what I make is tacky. Does that stop me from hanging it on my walls? Not even for a second.

paintings 3

For when I make things, it doesn’t come from a Van-gogh-ish depression-ish state, but a state of happiness. So when I look at it, it makes me feel happy!

My sister and I decided that it was time we did a little redecorating. We both love trees, and already have a bit of a “tree-motif” going on in our living room, so have started the project of making a “tree-wall” of our own art.

paintings 6

My sister is very attentive to detail, while I still tend to paint according to the colors that I feel like using. I’m pretty excited about the finished product. I’ll keep you updated.

paintings 4

In the meantime, send me your favorite tree picture for inspiration.

Also, feel free to send me feedback, questions, or topics that you’d like me to write about to carissajade@gmail.com.

I’m really trying to stick to my goal of writing for at least 30 minutes every day… either in my personal journal or on here… but I need inspiration!

 

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Good times and These taste buds are a changin!

I just looked over my last few months of blog entries, and Jeezus. I’m pretty sure I just depressed myself.

The truth is, things haven’t been all gloom and doom around here. It’s not like I’m sitting around in last week’s underwear listening to the Smiths on repeat while downing hot chocolate after hot chocolate. Not at all. Nope. I did laundry last weekend, am currently listening to the new Girl Talk album, and I  haven’t had a sip of hot chocolate in over 3 hours Yay me!

In other news I’m been geeking out in a major way the last few weeks. I haven’t spent a lot of time on the internets, but I have been spending a lot of time indulging in other things that make me oh so happy.

For instance, this weekend I was lucky enough to have some great girls join me on a wonderful musical adventure. I wasn’t sure it would be possible to have a night compare to the last time I went to see Joshua Radin, but -despite not making out with his drummer this time around (he had a new one who made weird sex faces when he played) it was pretty much the best night I’d had in a while.


Per usual, Mr. Radin’s angel voice nearly made me faint.  I know I  wasn’t the only one by the way the crowd simultaneously sighed everytime he belted out a note. His new album is a little more rock-ish than I’m used to, but I actually dig it A LOT.

The real surprise of the night was his opener, Kelley James. I probably wouldn’t have been a huge fan of his music had I not seen him live but on top of having a knack for writing clever pop-culture related songs, the dude can really pump out some quality free-style- which is pretty much my favorite thing in the world. Seriously. I believe he shares a manager with Lil Jon, which basically makes us rapper cousins.

Well not really, but I did once challenge Lil Jon to a rap off at a nice Dallas eatery. After a few cocktails, I just couldn’t help myself. It didn’t actually happen… I’m pretty sure he thought I was joking, but I’m pretty sure I could have at least battled it out for 20 or 30 seconds before he Oh Yeahhhhed me outta tha’ place.

Here is Kelley James. I think we can all relate to this song a little. In fact, while he was doing the intro, my friends and I (all avid twitter and googlers) were ironically in the audience google stalking and tweeting at him like there was no tomorrow. Enjoy.


In other non-related news, something huge has happened with my mouth.

You may recall the long time love affair that I’ve always had with ketchup? Well I’ve decided to have a serendipitous affair. With ketchup’s father.

Yeah I know, it seems a little bit gross. I always thought tomatoes were nasticular myself. I’ve spent hours upon hours of my life picking every single ketchup morsel out of pre-made salads. I’ve tossed many a tomato out the window after Wendy’s soggied up spicy chicken sandwich by ignoring my “hold the tomatoes” request. I’ve even grossed quite a few people out by spitting bites of chewed up tomato bits into my napkin.

Not only that, but I’ve always had a bit of an issue with the word “tomato.” I can never remember how it’s spelled. I always want to put an “e” on the end, making it “tomatoe.” Is that how the British people do it? Is that correct in some language? I don’t know. I do know that I also have gotten annoyed the way people say “tomato, tomahto,” and even more when people from my home state of Texas say tomater. Which is weird because I’m perfectly fine when people say potater. I don’t know, but I think it’s just because I always hated the food so much.

But now I say, “What the heck was I thinking?” Tomatoes are delicious, delicious I tell you! How did I go so long without them on my sandwiches, in my salads, plain with some pepper on top!???

I’m sorry ketchup, but you may not be as tasty as your father. I’m still up for a threesome though if you’d like.

Yummy tomato, get in my mouth!
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A Fan Letter to My Greatest Love (Not who you’re thinking)

 
 

Dearest Ketchup,

Is Ketchup OK? Or do you prefer Catsup? For now we’ll stick with Ketchup…

I’m not trying to come across like a creepy fan here, but I feel like it’s time I came clean with you about a few things.

I'm not picky about which spoon I am.
I heart cuddling.

 I have been a huge, HUGE fan of yours for a  very very VERY long time, and I think it’s time you understood the extent of my love for you.

Just so you know, I’ve only written a few fan letters in my life. One was to Jonathon Taylor Thomas, one was to Keith Coogan (yes this Keith Coogan) (and it may have been like last year on Myspace) (Because I LOVE him and “the dishes are done, man”) and one was to Seth Green. I was really fucked up watching Robot Chicken when I wrote the Seth Green one, so I’m not even sure it should count. I haven’t EVEN written John Cusack a fan note yet. Oh I’ve sent him a few ambien induced tweets, but still. What I’m trying to say is, Ketchup, is that you are one of the elite.

We could pick out yummy recipes together.
We could pick out yummy recipes together.

I’ll be honest with you, it started out as an innocent crush. Growing up, I would casually put you on fish sticks and chicken nuggets. Even now, when the idea of fish sticks pretty much makes me want to hurl, I would probably eat them if there was enough of you smothered on them. I would probably eat anything with enough of you smothered on it. Maybe not snails or poop though. I have to draw the line somewhere.

 

dancing
I could teach you how to dance...

 

I know part of the appeal may come from the fact that my grandparents never really approved. On Thanksgiving, my cousins and I would have to hide you under the dinner table because they thought it was innapropriate to eat you at the table. I still have to do the same whenever I go out to eat steak dinners, apparantly its even rude to ask for you. But I do every time.

 

NOM NOM NOM
NOM NOM NOM

 

I’m pretty poor, Ketchup, but  no matter how poor I get- I cannot go without you. I always buy the big bottle, though I’ll take you whatever way I can get you. I especially love the Whataburger **fancy ketchup. If it ever came down to it, I might be willing to hold up a Whataburger to get a hold of you.

 

ODE TO KETCHUP

I put you on chicken, I put you on beans.

I put you on eggs, I put you on greens.

 I put you on potatoes-fried, mashed and baked,

I put you on sandwiches and on  yummy crab cakes.

 I put you on carrots, I put you on rice-

I bet if I put you on cookies it would even taste nice.

Whether it’s Heinz 57,  Hunts or store-brand

I’ll always put you first, ahead of any man.

Or on my man? That might be fun too…

But even if I did, I’d only be thinking of you.

  

  

I could probably go on here forever, but there are some things I want to save for the bedroom kitchen.  I kid. Although, you have may heard that on a recent trip to Uncle Julio’s I told my tamale that I would have sex with it if it had ketchup on it, but I want to take this slow. That’s how much I like you.

That being said, I really hope you’ll get back to me so we can “catch up.”

hahaha

I’m sure you get that all the time. I really do hope you know I’m being genuine and  I’m not sort of tomatHOE.

Ok I’ll stop.

I love you,

CarissaJaded (your biggest fan)

P.S.

I know this might be a little weird for you, but I also love cheese and tabasco sauce so I was thinking  that maybe one of these days… nevermind.

 

**If you do not know about Whataburger fancy ketchup please send me your address and I will send you one. I’m serious. In fact I’ll do a giveaway. Yeah…. comment here and one of you will get a fancy ketchup in the mail.

 fancy

**I’m serious about the ketchup, but there will be an ACTUAL giveaway later this week. It’s supercool and I’m really excited about it so stay tuned.

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In which I go Bah Humbug on your face.

I have always been one of those people that really bought into the “magic” that surrounds the holidays. I would get butterflies in my stomach the first time I heard a Christmas song every season. I would blare Christmas music and skip around the house as my family decorated. Long after I knew the truth about Santa Clause, I continued to wait up for a chance to see him, because I just didn’t want to give up hope.

I loved to wear big red bows in my hair and sparkly Holiday sweaters. As soon as Halloween was over I would start anticipating my grandparent’s Gingerbread house and the candy jars that sit on their counter every year. I loved driving around and looking at Christmas lights and taking our yearly pictures in front of my house with of the wooden angels my grandfather carved years ago.

Every year my parents and sister and I would wake up around seven in the morning and get our “Santa” presents that would be waiting for us on the couch. Yes, even at the ages of 22 and 26, my sister and I still went through the motions examining each gift, then hugging our parents and saying cheezy things like ” Santa sure was good to me this year,” or “How did Santa know I needed new underwear?” Then we would walk across the street to my grandparent’s house where my cousins would be waiting (not so patiently.) We would spend an hour or so opening up our stockings and drinking coffee. Then we would eat some breakfast and open our gifts to each other. My grandaddy always dresses up as Santa and comes in for a dramatic kiss with my grandma. It is really the most perfect Christmas you can imagine.

I can’t tell you how much I usually look forward to all of this.

I’m not trying to go Bah Humbug all over your faces, but somewhere in the last couple of years it seems I have had a dramatic change in my sentiment.

Don’t get me wrong, Thanksgiving with the family was nice. Albeit a little different from most years, but it was still enjoyable. My grandfather was still in the hospital on Thanksgiving day so my dad stayed with him and my grandmother in the hospital. It was a little weird not having any of them at our Thanksgiving dinner, which is now held at my aunt and uncle’s house.

In addition, my parents split up a few months ago after being together since they were fifteen, so my mom wasn’t at our dinner either.

For the last few months I have been anticipating that things would work themselves out by the time the holidays came around.I know that my parents are entitled make changes if they feel that they need to, and I ultimately just want everyone to be happy… but this kind of makes me want to get on the floor and throw a tantrum. I keep telling myself that I can handle it, that it’s no big deal that there are going to be some major changes in my life when it comes to my family. For the most part I can deal, but some things are going to be more difficult than others to face. Like losing family traditions…

Ok, I’m sure I’ll come back to this subject at some point, but for now I think I’ve talked about it all I care to. Needless to say, I’m a little more bitter than I usually am this time of year. I know I sound whiny and that things could be so much worse. I am so grateful for everyone in my life and that my grandad is doing so much better. But I still sometimes wish things could just go back to being the way they were when I was 10. Or at least I could go back to the blissful state of  ignorance that I had at that age.

But alas, life moves on… or so they say.

Christmas music is already starting to grate on my nerves. I haven’t bought one present. I have literally gained 7 lbs since last Wednesday. And after spending 3 hours yesterday scraping gravy off of my walls after the massive food fight that ensued at my house on Saturday night, I never want to eat mashed potatoes again. Which makes me sad because I love mashed potatoes.

I tried to watch an ABC Family Christmas movie yesterday, and that didn’t even cheer me up.

I hoping that in the next few weeks I’ll have an attitude adjustment for the better, because I really don’t enjoy being grumpy during the holidays.

I had quite an eventful weekend and hopefully by tomorrow I’ll be in the mood to write about some of the more cheerful happenings in my life. Until then, Bah Humbug.

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