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THE LOVE SERIES #12: Earth Love

Well, I missed Earth Day in April and I’m a little early for next year, but as my favorite baseball cap says “Every day is Earth Day.” This is the 12th installment of my Love Series and how the woman in the picture looks is how I’m feeling today – full of love for our Earth.

I’ve recently been watching the new Cosmos with Neil Degrasse Tyson and reading the original Cosmos by Carl Sagan. And I must admit, it fills me with awe for this Earth, humanity, and the entire Cosmos. Those great works have also reminded me of how precious and unique (as far as we know) our Earth is and how we must care for it because, right now and for the foreseeable future, it’s the only one we’ve got.

So maybe go and do a small thing for the Earth today. Plant a tree. Pick up that piece of trash (yes, I know you didn’t leave it there, but someone has got to do it – why not you?). Volunteer for a beach clean-up. Give a little extra effort to recycle that (fill in the blank here). Start composting. Hug a tree (it’s not just for hippies). Or go do a naked gratitude dance in the woods (this one might be just for hippies). I don’t care what you do as long as you do something. One small step. One small act for this pale blue dot we call home.

Marker and colored pencil. © 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved

 

THE LOVE SERIES #11: Booby Love

This 10th installment of The Love Series is dedicated to breastfeeding aka Booby Love. 😉 I drew this picture only a couple weeks after my daughter finished weaning so it’s a bit bittersweet. My goal was to make it to at least 2 years old and we made it to 2 years and 3 months. Did you know that there is a such as thing as post-weaning depression? I had no clue (despite many La Leche League meetings and breastfeeding blogs) and was a little blind-sided when I decided to reduce my daughter’s free-for-all nursing schedule to only one nursing session in the morning. I wasn’t even ‘weaning’ in my mind, just putting down some boundaries. But not long after we made the change, I felt awful. I was moody, crying all the time, anxious and depressed. I had no idea what was going on and was obsessing about why I was feeling this way and how I might ‘fix’ it when I stumbled upon post-weaning depression online.

After knowing why this was happening to me, I was able to relax and just accept that this was a temporary hormonal shift and to give myself a little break. A few months later, when I decided to wean fully, I was prepared. Thankfully, going from a 5-minute nursing session per day to no nursing wasn’t as large of a hormonal shift (I’m assuming) as I didn’t have such severe symptoms – only mild depression and anxiety that lasted a couple of weeks.

While I was pregnant, I’d heard many women recount their experiences of postpartum depression and anxiety, but I’d never heard a woman discuss post-weaning depression. So this is my little PSA. Post-weaning depression is a thing. Maybe if you know it’s a possibility and that it could be coming, you’ll have a better system in place to cope until it passes.

These 2 years of breastfeeding have been quite a journey. Those first couple of months of figuring breastfeeding out were complete hell (the postpartum depression and anxiety didn’t help either!) but I’m glad we persisted.* There have been some truly wonderful moments – one of which is captured in the drawing below. It was in those first two months of hell that my daughter was nursing and laid her hand upon my chest with her pointer finger, pinky and thumb extended forming ‘I Love You’ in sign language. The significance of this is that my husband and I had made that sign to each other since first saying “I Love You” to one another. We still make that sign to one another and now my 2 year old daughter does too.

Marker and colored pencil.
© 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

*This statement is not meant to judge, criticize or shame any mother who could not or didn’t want to breastfeed. Every person fights their own battles and must do what is best for them and their baby and I 100% recognize that was is ‘best’ for me may not be ‘best’ for you. You do you. I’ve got your back.

THE LOVE SERIES #10: Mama Love

This is the 9th installment of The Love Series and it’s a celebration of the love a mother feels for her child. I did this painting when I was pregnant with my daughter and in complete awe of how much love I felt for someone I hadn’t even seen with my own two eyes.

My love for her now is the same as it was then: powerful, fierce, and deep. Any person is capable of feeling this kind of love whether they are a biological parent, adoptive parent, step-parent, animal parent, grandparent, auntie, uncle, or friend. May we all know the joy of giving and receiving such a love.

Acrylic Paint on a tiny canvas. © 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

P.S. This post happens to coincide with the e-book release of my new book of poetry – Hummingbird Heartbeat: Poems of Pregnancy and Beyond. You can find it on amazon.com for $3.99. It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Lending Library. I hope you enjoy it. <3

 

THE LOVE SERIES #9: Houston Love

If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know by now, Houston and all of Southeast Texas and parts of Louisiana have been ravaged by Hurricane and then Tropical Storm Harvey. It has been a harrowing experience for many and the areas that were affected will be recovering for months if not years to come.

Amidst all the flooding, rain, and chaos, Houston and it’s surrounding areas as well as many across the nation have united to help those who have suffered the most during this record-breaking storm. As I watch the news and social media and see the stories of citizens and first responders saving and caring for one another, my heart breaks open again and again. I’ve essentially been crying for the past 4 days.

So this 9th installment of The Love Series goes out to Houston, it’s surrounding areas and all the citizens, civilians, officers, fire fighters and first responders who are spreading the love any way they can.

HOUSTON LOVE. #HoustonStrong © 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

If you’d like to give a little love to Houston, there are many ways to do so. Here are just a few:
1. JJ Watt of the Houston Texans is raising money to get direct aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. You can donate HERE.
2. Over 160 police officers have had their homes flooded but have still been working. To help officers whose homes have been damaged, consider donating to Assist the Officer HERE.
3. Brene Brown, author, UH professor and all around badass, has suggested donating to Undies for Everyone on her Facebook page. It’s an often overlooked area. You can donate HERE.
4. Lastly, if you are here locally, consider volunteering your time, your washing machine (so much needs to be washed), or resources to shelters, neighbors, family and friends in need. So, essentially, keep doing what you’re doing Houston. #HoustonStrong

THE LOVE SERIES #8: How Love Works

This 8th installment of my Love Series came to me during my morning meditation. As I was imagining myself as a big ball of love, spreading love to each person I met, this image popped into my head. I like it because it helps to remind me that each small act of love I do ripples out and reaches much farther than I can see.

How Love Works: The Ripple Effect. (Also, how infectious diseases work just FYI.)

© 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

THE LOVE SERIES #7: L’Amour Art Car

Well, she’s finally done. The L’Amour Art Car is complete!

C’est fini! (Translation: It’s finished!)

There is a reason it’s been a while since my last Love Series post – this baby took me a month and a half to complete and was a serious undertaking. Now she gets her very own Love Series post.

The L’Amour art car is fully electric and covered in over 250 (!) quotes, lyrics, and poems all about love. Here’s just a little taste:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. -Martin Luther King Jr

We accept the love we think we deserve.- Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being A Wallflower

“I love you.”
“I know.” – Leia & Han, Star Wars

There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled.
Like, telling someone you love them. – Mary Oliver, Moments

At last my love has come along
My lonely days are over and life is like a song. – Etta James, At Last

For a full list of all quotes included on the car and more pictures and information, visit the L’Amour Art Car page which can be found HERE.

This car is my daily driver, so if you’re ever driving around Houston, be on the lookout – you might just spot me driving my kiddo around and jamming to some love songs! 🙂

[UPDATE: I just got word that I’ve been accepted to be in the 30th Annual Houston Art Car Parade! 🙂 It’s April 8th at 2pm – Hope to see you there!]

 

Simple Lightweight #Pussyhat

Final Product

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ll be marching in the Houston Women’s March, Sister March to the Women’s March in DC this Saturday. Many of the women in both marches will be wearing ‘pussyhats,’ an idea crafted by the Pussyhat Project. As the Houston march will be in the mid to upper 70s, I’ve created a simple, lightweight pussyhat tutorial for any warm weather marches. For those who don’t sew, there is also my Super Easy Paper #Pussyhat.

SIMPLE, LIGHTWEIGHT #PUSSYHAT

Disclaimer: I am a sewing novice. If you see areas that could be improved or mistakes, please let me know! 🙂

What you’ll need: Lightweight rib knit fabric in pink, matching thread, scissors, sewing machine

1. Cut a rectangle 18 inches x 7 inches – if you’d like bigger ‘ears’ go to 19 or 20 inches. MAKE SURE the fabric ‘ribs’ are running parallel with the longest side. 

The ribs of the fabric are running vertically in this photo.

2. Fold the fabric in half, hamburger style, with the ‘right side’ of the fabric facing in and pin the sides together in preparation for sewing. 

3. Sew the sides of the hat up using a zigzag stitch. I used #4 on my machine.

4. Trim any excess from the sides. 

5. Turn the hat right side out and roll up the bottom two times. Pin it in place in preparation for sewing. 

6. Sew the roll of the hat all the way around the bottom using a zigzag stitch. Make sure not to sew the bottom shut! 😉

If you’d like, this can be your final product! I tried it on at this stage and it was a perfectly acceptable #pussyhat. 😉

 

7. Cut up some fabric scraps into ‘confetti’ – these will be the stuffing for our cat ears. 

8. Use your confetti stuffing to stuff your ‘cat ears’ and then pin them in place. Make sure to use enough stuffing so they ‘stand up.’

9. Switch to a straight stitch on your machine and sew your cat ears shut. 

10. For added texture and to help your ears stand up, use a straight stitch to sew a little ‘pinch’ into the backs of each ear. I did this by folding the cat ear in half and sewing there. Mine were about a centimeter in length. 

11. And that’s it – your final product should be pink, stretchy, and have realistic-ish cat ears!

Super Easy Paper #Pussyhat

Final Product

My husband, daughter and I will be marching in the Houston Women’s Sister March this Saturday to support the DC march and stand together to show that love trumps hate. Many of the women in the march on DC will be wearing pink ‘pussyhats’ (more info at the PussyHat Project) to give a strong visual statement and while I support their efforts to make a statement while simultaneously keeping people warm, I won’t be wearing a fleece, knitted or crocheted hat at the 78°F Houston Women’s March. 😉

Instead, I’ve created a SUPER EASY paper pussyhat (crown, really) that can be made in literally five minutes or less, and requires only 4 supplies. Perfect for any warm weather sister marches or last minute hat needs.

I’ll also be attempting to sew a hat out of thin, stretch knit in the next few days so stay tuned for that if you’d like something a little more permanent.

SUPER EASY PAPER #PUSSYHAT

BY: Angelle Conant

  1. Gather supplies: pink construction paper, marker and tape or glue.

 

  1. Fold construction paper in half lengthwise and draw a pattern for your cat ear crown. Place the ears approximately an inch and a half apart.

3. Cut your pattern out. You should now have 2 identical pieces.

 

  1. Take the band that will make up the back part of your hat and cut off the ears.

 

  1. You now have your two pieces and are ready to assemble. Overlap the band approximately half an inch and tape or glue together.

 

  1. Wrap the hat around your head and see how much you need to overlap the other two sides of the band to make it fit your head properly. Adhere with tape or glue.

 

  1. Grab your marker and draw a couple of upside down Vs to complete your cat ear look. And youre done!

A Poet Responds to the Election

AN ELECTION RESPONSE

I sit here
in my room
alone.

Silently protesting.
Meditating.
Calling on Ghandi
and Mr. King.

I send out light
& love.

I see the fear
& I feel the sadness.

But there,
far in the distance,
I see a twinkle.
It’s warmth
draws me in.

I pull it closer
& it begins to expand.
The light is brightening
& growing larger
& larger
& even larger yet.
It is nearly full –
reaching its full capacity.

It explodes
into billions of dots of light.
It envelops me.
It holds me.
It comforts me
& strengthens me.

It is hope.
It is joy.
It is love.
It was here all along.
I just had to look for it.

Original sketch. Marker.

Original sketch. Marker.

© 2016. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

THE LOVE SERIES #6: Internet Friends

This 6th installment of my Love Series goes out to a very special group of people: #TheBloggessTribe. I found these amazing nerds via the Bloggess and they’ve become my wonderful, wacky friends in the online world. One day, I’ll hopefully meet some of them in person too!

So this Love Series post is for internet friends. They’re like peeing in your pants – everyone can see them, but only you can feel their warmth. 😉

Love you Bloggess Tribe! <3

Watercolor and Ink. Damnit. Now I want a purple laptop.

Watercolor and Ink. Damnit. Now I want a purple laptop.

© 2016. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved

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