creativity

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!

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

THE LOVE SERIES #4: A Good Cuppa

This is the fourth installment of the Love Series and it centers around something that, without fail, will lift my spirits: a good cuppa. Whether it is coffee or tea, a good cup of hot liquid is something I truly love and usually features in my self-care days. So make yourself a hot brew and enjoy!

Watercolor and Ink. And yes, I was drinking a cup of tea while I painted this. :P

Watercolor and Ink. And yes, I was drinking a cup of tea while I painted this. 😛

© 2016. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

The Positive Affirmations Coloring Book

Well, it’s finally here – I’ve published my coloring book! 😀

I started the rough draft when I was pregnant with my daughter and SOMEHOW I’ve managed to finish the rough draft, final draft and publish it while caring for a rambunctious one year old.

OMG. IT'S REAL.

OMG. IT’S REAL.

There are two ways to procure a copy:
1) On Amazon HERE. 

OR

2) you can get a FREE PDF version by subscribing to my website HERE. 

If you do buy copy or subscribe, I’d love to see any of your beautiful creations! Send them to me via email: angelle@lonestar.life or via Twitter: @angelleconant.

This book is for the world. I hope you enjoy. <3

[UPDATE 8/17/2016: Here’s one of the pages I colored. Motherhood – the struggle is real.]

One of 2 fill-in-the-blank affirmation pages in the coloring book.

One of 2 fill-in-the-blank affirmation pages in the coloring book.

THE LOVE SERIES #3: Uterus Love

This is the third installment of the Love Series and one that I drew back in 2014 when my husband and I were trying to get pregnant.  After we decided we’d like to start a family, I thought things would happen pretty quickly after that – oh how naive I was. Month after month dragged on and still there was no plus sign on my pregnancy test and Aunt Flo was still visiting.

Well, I got mad. Then sad. Then mad again. I was so frustrated and distraught. “Why was this taking so long? Why hadn’t I eaten better? I should have never tried pot that time!”

For months, I tried to somehow fix it. Fix me. This was one of my dreams, to become a mother, and I felt like somehow it was my fault that it was slipping through my fingers. That somehow the choices I had made up until this point in my life were causing all of this. “This is probably happening because of all my stress. I should have worked harder to be less stressed!”

One day, I was feeling so glum and frustrated and realized that I needed to chill out. Let go. Trust the Universe. I decided it was time to send a little love to the area of my body that I had been not so silently seething at for months. Actually, I started to realize, the fury at my uterus had begun 7 years prior when, almost every month, I’d have debilitating cramps during my period. I decided that whether or not I got pregnant, sending a little love to my uterus would be good for the both of us. And it was. 

A few months after I drew this picture, I became pregnant. Months later, during my unmedicated homebirth, I realized that those “debilitating cramps” were very similar to labor! It was all worth it though because we now have a beautiful little girl and I don’t have period cramps anymore. 🙂

#3 in THE LOVE SERIES. Sidenote: Not a drawing of MY uterus. I have no idea what that thing looks like.

#3 in THE LOVE SERIES.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sidenote: This drawing was based on a medical picture, not MY uterus. I have no idea what that thing looks like.

© 2016. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

THE LOVE SERIES #2: Acts of Love-ism

Though this Love Series has been brewing for years, it is the most recent terrorist attacks that have broken my heart and urged me to start this series now. When I read about these attacks in France, I felt dismayed and helpless.

So this is me helping in my own little way. This is me saying, “I’m so sorry, France. My heart breaks with you. I’m here for you.”

This is my act of Love-ism.

#2 in THE LOVE SERIES.

#2 in THE LOVE SERIES. Click the image for a clearer, larger picture.

© 2016. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

THE LOVE SERIES #1: Introduction

Today begins an idea that has been brewing for literally years. When I was in high school, I was given the assignment of creating a mission statement for my life. Being the over-achieving, perfectionist I was, I agonized over the assignment for days. I fell far down the rabbit hole and had a near existential crisis before realizing that there was only one true answer for me: LOVE. Try as I might to create a more ‘traditional’ mission statement, the only thing that rang true and was all-encompassing enough to satisfy me was simply: LOVE. Love, I thought (and still do), was the reason for life and a straight and true guidepost for any and all quandries. (Later I would find out about the nuisances of loving vs caretaking/rescuing someone). The teacher printed all of our mission statements out and I still have mine to this day.

Exhibit A. She's a little worse for the wear, but still kicking nonetheless.

Exhibit A. She’s a little worse for the wear, but still kicking nonetheless.

LOVE has been my mission and guidepost ever since. It is the thing that drives me, motivates me, moves me and inspires me. Two years ago, when I began my creative journey in earnest, I thought up an idea for a series of LOVE expressions. That idea has fermented for two long years and is now being brought to life.

This LOVE SERIES will be a collection of art about love. Love that I see. Love that I experience. Love that I feel needs to spread. Any and all iterations of LOVE that I come across and wish to express in an artistic way.

Along the way, if you have an ideas, questions or comments, please feel free to share them with me via my “Contact Me” page or in the comments section. If you’d like to receive new posts in your inbox, please subscribe here or in the sidebar.

It is my sincere hope and wish that these pieces might brighten the world in some way and bring our focus back to LOVE. For love is, in my opinion, the reason we are here and a great balm for our weary souls. So it begins…

#1 in THE LOVE SERIES.

#1 in THE LOVE SERIES.

© 2016. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved. 

My Toddler Helps Me To Be MORE Productive

A few weeks ago, I wrote about being afraid of ‘hard work.’ In my research for that post, I came across a lovely piece called “Learning to Work” by Virginia Valian (which can be read for free as a PDF here). In it she discusses trying to complete her thesis and overcoming her own mental obstacles. She decides to commit to a certain amount of ‘work time’ every day. The only amount of time that doesn’t overwhelm her is 15 minutes. And so she works on and eventually completes her thesis in small, manageable chunks.

This was unbelievably eye opening for me. Before my daughter was born, I could only work on my creative pursuits in large, uninterrupted chunks of time. I had to be in the right ‘mood’ and feeling ‘inspired.’ I also had to be feeling exceptionally well physically. As you can imagine, not a whole lot was completed or even worked on. Just as Ms Valian would procrastinate on her thesis by volunteering and sleeping, I would procrastinate by cleaning, running errands, organizing, etc. Whatever creative project I was trying to work on was just too overwhelming – not to mention the many mental obstacles I faced about worth and value.

After my daughter was born, it was pure survival mode for months. Then we moved. More survival mode. Then we slowly crawled our way out of survival mode and into the adjustment period of having a new, wonderful little person in our lives. It was here that I started to want to work on my creative projects again. And at first, I tried to go back to my old way of working – large, uninterrupted blocks of inspired time. Ha! My time was now such a hot commodity I knew that if I ever wanted to do some of ‘my things’ I would have to prioritize my time. One by one, ‘priorities’ and distractions fell off my list. Bye constantly clean house. Hello messy, fun times with my daughter. Bye folded laundry, hello haphazard pile of clean clothes. Bye 20 blogs that I follow, hello cherished few. Goodbye filler TV and movies, hello books I want to read. Now I at least had my priorities straight and some time to myself, but the ‘hours’ of creativity I still felt I needed to complete anything were elusive.

IMAG0274-1

As I contemplated how to get anything done, my urge to be creative grew and I was drawing or singing or writing in the small moments here and there that I could find. In my mind, these small stolen moments were satiating but not enough to ever complete anything. And then I read “Learning to Work” and it changed my little world. No longer were these 15 minutes of creativity just scraps to feed the hungry beast inside me. They became wholesome, fulfilling sustenance that not only filled me up but would allow me to create AND complete something. Ms Valian created her 15 minutes for herself with a timer and increased her productivity. My 15 minutes are created by my new life as mom to a toddler and I’ve been more productive than ever.

As prolific author Nora Roberts says “I can fix a bad page. I can’t fix a blank page.” I might only write a couple of paragraphs, or create just the melody to a song or paint a small corner of a canvas but it’s at least progress. And it’s progress without all the mental anguish and endless procrastination because if I’m ever going to get anything done, it has to be in the small moments and I kind of like it like that.  Afterall, all these little moments will eventually add up to something big. 😉

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