Meaningful wall art project

This past February was the 25th anniversary of the FIT Toy Design BFA program of which I am an alumni. The two years I spent in that program were easily two of the most profound years of my life with regards to self-discovery and learning to understand and apply my creativity. I was sad I couldn’t go to the reunion, now that I live across the country, but, those are the trade offs. 

Anyhow, the invitation, in typical Toy Design fashion, was fun and creative. It was a box of cards with inspiring quotes on the back about play and the magic of childhood. The back of the cards contained a “puzzle” that assembled into the actual invitation: 

Brilliant, right? 

You know I have a thing for inspiring quotes and so I decided they needed to be hung on the wall. 

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t in love with the card color choices, and wasn’t really sure how to find inspiration to fall in love with them so I sorta just taped them up there and framed them with some washi style tape. 

But they were hidden in the back of the house, by the laundry room… Waiting for inspiration to find me. 

And then it did. 

I started with a $20 IKEA frame and some very old tissue paper I found at the bottom of my craft closet. 

And so it began…


…and continued…  
…and continued…    
…and continued… 


…and continued… 
…until finally…




(It’s opposite a glass door, the glare is harsh in the pic but more natural in person.)


And it’s got a place of prominence in my kitchen above my art cart:

…as it should. 

Weekend Muchness Project. Paint will set your MUCHNESS free…

When Molly was three we bought a copy of the movie Annie. The kids watched it, as kids do, over and over and over and over again. Molly know the songs backwards and forwards and sung them under her breathe or in whispered hums in the back of the car. If anyone acknowledged her singing, she immediately stopped.

Nine or 10 months later a local group was putting on a production of Annie and I decided to take Molly. She was excited to be going somewhere special with me but didn’t really know what to expect. She perched on my lap with her back straight to get the best look and when Annie came out, boldly and clearly singing the opening lyrics of “Tomorrow” Molly spun around in my lap and, eyes wide, exclaimed “She has an AMAZING voice!” – those words, out of a four year olds mouth, with that much passion- I loved it.

From that day on, Molly would belt out tomorrow at the top of her lungs from the backseat of the car. Or, in the shower, or living room. It was like she’d suddenly been granted permission to use her voice. If only as adults we just needed that little bit of reassurance, right? A few weeks ago, I saw a YouTube video about this 5 year old painting prodigy, Aelita Andre. The beautifully artistic video of her gracefully yet playfully painting in her studio made her appear etherial and angelic.

I think what was so compelling to me about it was that she was just doing what she wanted to do. No rules, no worries about using too much paint or making a mess or getting it wrong or staying in the lines…. the kind of freedom that only a child can capture without trying. So this weekend, I showed Molly and Liat this video and asked if they wanted to do it too. Like the singing, I knew that seeing someone her age express herself so freely would inspire Molly, who has a tendency towards shyness and has been known to freak out if she colors outside the lines. They were psyched. I printed out my Michaels 50% off Memorial Day coupons and we took a family trip to the craft store. before Then we went down to the basement and got busy! Here’s a “before” pic and video of the action. I loved making this video- It made me laugh out loud doing a “knock-off” of the very serious vid above.

Truth? As the girls painted, it was hard to stop myself from offering guidance or directions. I wanted to say “Try it this way” or “Don’t mix those colors together” but I didn’t. I just let them go for it. I put out the paint and I put out the glitter and I let them figure it out. It was so tremendously relaxing and so amazing watching them just explore the paint, the colors and their creative freedom. I wanna do this. Maybe together with some friends, some wine, and some music, this would be a totally amazing way to tap into a Muchness that has been feeling stifled for far too long…. Who’s in? 🙂

What can potty training teach you about your Muchness?

When’s the last time you intentionally did something you are scared of? There was a long time in my life where I couldn’t answer that question. I really couldn’t remember.
I may have found myself in circumstances that frightened me, but intentionally stepping into them? No Thank You. Life has enough stressors and surprises.

Recently I’ve been potty training my 2.5 year old. She took to it really easily- told me when she had to pee and even sometimes went herself.

But, like many kids, when it comes time for, ya know, #2, she freaks the eff out. Tells me she needs a pull-up, cries and screams of sheer terror that I can truly see in her face.

For a little while I indulged her, put her in the pull-up so she could go to her spot and do her business and then come to me for changing but after a week or so I decided enough was enough.

I made her go on the toilet. She was terrified. I soothed her. I held her hands. I told her she was strong and awesome and a big girl. I told her I’d be proud. I sang her a song. I read her a book. I tried to calm her nerves and the whole time I was thinking to myself “Dude- I didn’t know pooping on the potty could be so scary! How many times is she gonna have to do this before she loses the fear? …and how can I write about this aha moment on my blog without my kid hating me forever?”

And then, this weekend, I spoke live, in front of an audience , and I was – no pun intended – shitting bricks. I knew I wanted to do it, I’d been envisioning it for months- I wanted to face the fear, but every molecule of tension was bubbling up inside me. I tried some half-assed meditation looking thing I read about online, I ate an assortment of nuts and cravings before to keep my blood sugar balanced so I didn’t end up in “psycho-tova-needs-to-take-a-breath-and-oh-yeah-your-hands-are-super-shaky” mode, and I tried to focus on how proud of myself I’d be when I finished.

And then, I spoke. And, for the most part, it came easy. I was more nervous before and after the speech than I was in the middle of it -even when I lost my train of thought and decided to say “OMG- I just forgot what I was gonna say” to buy me some time to remember.

And I was proud of myself. I wanted to go around and give everyone hi-fives afterwards and say “I did it! I gave my speech!” like Liat does when she so proudly tells her dad that she has pooped on the potty (only different.)

Ultimately, it’s a lot easier to ask for a pull-up and go hide in a corner than face your fears. But in doing that you also miss out on the rewards (with potty training, there are many, for everyone involved.) Eventually, Liat will become accustomed to doing her business by herself. And eventually, I will become accustomed to getting up on stage and speaking. Because in the end, it’s what I want to do, and facing the fear just makes it that much more rewarding.

In what area of your life have you been allowing yourself to slip into a pull-up and hide in the corner even though you know you are capable of “being a big girl” and pushing yourself to accomplish more? Eventually those things that bring terror today can just be one of those things you do without giving it much thought at all. (Except in public restrooms. I give that a lot of thought. We all have our boundaries.)

Relaxing after my speech. So proud of my myself…


Wanna see my speech? I opened the day, speaking to a room full of brides about maintaining their Muchness during stress of the wedding planning process.

note: The beginning was cut off. I thanked them for coming to my special day, 😉 and then told them where the term Muchness originated from…

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This is my cousin L’via with my niece. One is related to me through my dad and the other through my husband. They are not related to each other at all. Yet somehow the two of them joined forces to create this incredible cake that is overloaded with Tons of Muchness.

That cake is awe-some.


L’via makes tons of awesome cakes. She is to cakes what I am to glitter. She also makes cakes with glitter. That’s hot.

Meet Cory- I love this girl. She knows Muchness.

I met Cory on my babyloss journey pretty early on. Our stories and timelines followed a similar track- as you can read in her intro.  Amazing that you can meet and connect with people across the country and find comfort in each others emails and conversations without even knowing anything about their day-to-day lives and personalities. After more than a year of communicating through email, we finally became facebook friends and a whole world of Cory’s quirkiness was revealed to me… and I was psyched about it. 🙂

Here is her intro, in her own words, with a picture to give you a hint of things to come!! I am giddy anticipating her Muchness pics!


I feel like I am telling you the same story you have heard several times before; I am a Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) babyloss mom.  My story is sad, and hard, and long.  I had really intended to sit down and write it all out as my 30-days introduction but now that I am here I don’t really want to.  I don’t want TTTS to define me and I want you to understand a little bit more about me.  So, here is the readers digest version of things.

I have a beautiful, funny, smart little boy.  I got pregnant almost on accident (who needs that pesky birth control) and my pregnancy was boring.  I didn’t think so at the time, of course, but my first pregnancy was without a single complication.  I always knew that I wanted my kids close together so when the “duder” was a little over a year my husband and I decided to have another baby.  I got pregnant the first month I was off the pill.  (Turns out that I can get knocked up in the blink of an eye; it’s keeping that baby that is tricky.)

This is when the story starts getting harder.  I miscarried that baby in June.  We waited a month at my doctor’s direction and got pregnant in August.  My first early ultrasound was at 8 weeks.

Sidebar: I do this thing where I think of the worst-case scenario when I am faced with something hard.  It’s a bit morbid but I figure that if I can deal with the worst thing I can think of then everything else is something I can handle.

As I drove to the doctor’s office for that first ultrasound I went through every scenario I could think of to help me deal with the stress; Worst-case – no heartbeat.  Best-case – healthy heartbeat.  Well geez Cory, it could be twins…hahaha!  Yep, it was twins.  Identical twin girls!

I was diagnosed with TTTS in November.  I lost them January 13, 2010 at 22 weeks 3 days.  I labored and delivered them as if I was going to be able to take them home.  There is nothing more heartbreaking then waiting for a baby to cry and hearing nothing.  I held them for only a few minutes and had them cremated.  Their remains are still at the funeral home.

Yep.  Even those short sentences and the fastest possible telling of that story made me cry.  There is so much more but I am sure it will come out over the next 30 days.  How can it not?  Nov 2010 is when I started to lose my muchness.  And you know what?  I was much muchier before!  I am not one of those girls who stays home and sits on her couch all the time. But I certainly became that girl.  I am not one of those girls who cries herself to sleep and has flashbacks of early labor.  But then I was.

I got pregnant with my now 5 month old daughter in April 2011, 4 long, exhausting, emotional months after I lost the girls. She is beautiful and sweet and fun and a big part of finding my muchness again.  She was born in January.  Now that month is so full of emotion that I should just declare it a disaster and stay home for the whole month!

After she was born I decided (with the help a wonderful gal we all know and love) to get this train back on the tracks.  I am taking on new challenges and adventures and learning new things.  I am laughing and crying and finding myself again.  And it turns out there is much more much than I remembered!  I think I am supposed to have a Muchness theme but I think I will just keep you guessing.  I will tell you that there are fishnet tights involved! I say I am having a mid-life crisis but I am really having more of a mid-life party!


IN TOUCH WITH THE MUCH- Let’s Flouresce!

So, I walk a total of five city blocks through midtown manhattan to get from the bus station to my office. It’s not the most exciting area of manhattan for people watching but when you activate your “Much-dar”, there’s enough Muchness inspiration to keep me relatively interested. Especially now that the weathers warming up.
With that in mind, I’d like to issue a

New Muchness Category Alert!!

On my walk today I saw no less than three people embracing the fluorescent colors so popular in my NKOTB obsessed adolescence.
Except the wearers I saw were not wearing braces and nylon baseball caps. Unfortunately, I only got a picture of one. I am going to have to learn to speak up and stop those I deem “In Touch With The Much” in order to request their pic.
The first was a super cool looking Guy in jeans and sneakers. Really clean cut looking, but those sneakers- nikes I believe, had the fattest, neonist laces ever. On a black and white shoe.
The second was this chick with the bag. It was hot.
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The third, my favorite, actually made me laugh in delight. An older gentleman with a dapper bald head. Linen khakis. White button down. Bone colored Oxford shoes. Fluorescent orange socks. Sounds dumb but it was a beautiful thing. Damn. I wish I had a picture.


This morning on the way to work I passed a guy I know. I haven’t seen him in a few years. He’s hot. He’s very cool. Hip. Young. If I was single and a cougar he’d be great arm candy.

The last time I saw him I remember being mortified by my appearance. I was wearing dirty sneakers, jeans that were too long and THAT sweatshirt. Ya know the one. The one with the ratty cuffs and worn down elbows and a dinginess that never goes away. The cozy one that should never be seen in the light of day by another human being besides the person who perhaps holds the dustpan while you sweep the kitchen on a Saturday morning cleaning frenzy. That one. Yes. I was wearing it to a restaurant on a Saturday evening.

So today, I passed by this guy and thought “oh- I’m pretty sure that’s him”… And then I thought- “I should keep walking. He looks good and I’m intimida—- WAIT!!! No I’m not intimidated!!! I’m wearing a teal satin jacket and gold leggings and purple shoelaces! No one intimidates me when I’ve got my Muchness!” and I said hi.
And ya know what? He didn’t recognize me! Until he did. And then he said I’d looked familiar as I passed him but the clothes threw him for a loop. And I agreed. Yup. I got a lot going on in this outfit. My Muchness is showing.