penny threads.
beautiful ideas. beautiful things.
28 December 2009
in vino veritas.
i'm back to work at my day job tomorrow so i have been busy the past two days doing some much needed deep cleaning and organization. i got three new items up on my etsy also! go check it out. today will be spent finishing up some organizing and gifts that i didn't finish in time for christmas *sigh*. then i will be working on some illustrations and hopefully have some up by the end of this week. here's a peek at what i added this week:

i LOVE working with stain and wooden items, so i am really excited to be able to put up my keepsake boxes! i think they're just adorable. i have many more ideas with those and different sizes and shapes so keep your eyes out for more of those.

as for my inspiration for today...

inspiration #6: wine.

a great many things have been said about wine since the beginning of time. i have said a great many things bout wine as well. i LOVE wine! and i do believe the latin saying, that is my title of today's bog, in vino veritas = in wine there is truth. maybe not always the truth you want to be telling, but then that all depends on the amount of wine you've ingested.

wine is the perfect end to a crazy day at work, the perfect addition to great company and great conversation, the finishing touch to a hot bath with a good book. i have had wine in just about any situation, except for in a box with a fox, though i'm pretty sure i've had one in a house with a mouse. saw him scurry along the wall as i took a sip of my usual cabernet the other day.

when i first started to drink wine, i would just snag some of my mother's boxed sunset blush wine. (don't cringe, i still drink it sometimes) then i began to buy my own starting out with a sangria, the one in the pretty green bottle with the orange label and it's shaped like a triangle. i can't think of the name right now, but that stuff was pretty decent. then i found a true love, cabernet sauvignon. now it is not always my wine of choice, but it is my faithful steed. the one that i turn to when i don't know what i want. it is always there.

then last year, on july fourth weekend, a wine bar opened up in our tiny little cowboy town. totally unheard of! but i HAD to go! so with a good book in hand and a notebook for doodling, i made my way over to mulberry's wine and cheese bar. (they also have a facebook) the rest is history. quite literally in fact. that's where i met my boyfriend of over a year, he is the panini chef there, and that's where i occassionally moonlight as a barwench. hehe. j/k about the wench thing. o_o i also doodle up their chalkboard, which changes quite often depending on the seasons and if it gets left out in the rain. ha! if you check out their facebook you can see the big yellow sign i painted for them.

once the wine bar moved in, i was lost to wine forever. sandra, the owner, knows her stuff and has since helped educate me on many different wines. i am no afficianado but i can tell you why i like what i like and why i don't like some. and as far as wine knowledge goes...well, that's good enough for me.
some of my personl faves are:
graves de vayres - white bordeaux
la linda - torrontes (also a white)
au - cabernet sauvignon (from australia)
knick knack paddy whack - a meritage of several different red wines

and those are just a few. the wines by the glass change weekly there so i am always getting to drink different kinds and try new ones. LOVE it!

yummy wine!

i have a long way yet to go on my wine journey, i am sure. and i am also sure that my tastes will change over the years, but for now i'm just enjoying the wonderful array of tastes that come from this one tiny fruit: the grape. i'd LOVE to hear what kinds of wine you like and hear some suggestions as to why i should try some of them! leave a comment and share your wine wealth.
ciao for now.
renea hanna.
"this little heart of mine is stitched together with penny threads."
currently listening to: modest mouse - this is a long drive for someone with nothing to think about (album)

25 December 2009
wrapping it all up.
first of all i want to say merry christmas to everyone. i hope that is has been and still is a wonderful and happy time for all of you. it has been for me in many, many ways.


i am sitting here with the latest vogue (i love this magazine. it is one of my guilty pleasures.) in my lap and a notebook and pen next to me along with a glass of merlot. i have been mapping out my spring/summer ideas for new products and putting down in paper the direction i have in mind. one thing i know as we near the end of this year, chaotic and wonderful as it has been, is that i want to make plans and i want to keep them. i want to know where i intend to go and how i will get there. and that brings me to my inspiration for this month due to an accumulation of events and reactions and surprises, though not all the good kind.

inspiration #5:disappointment.

i know this may seem a surprising thing to be inspired by but i will explain. disappointment, for me anyway, has been something that i have a hard time handling. it has a way of paralyzing me. i allow it to defeat me, in both small and large ways. you know the expression "your own worst enemy"? well, my inability to handle disappointment in a positive way makes me my own worst enemy.
i know this may sound suspiciously like those dreaded new year's resolutions many people will be making in the coming week, but i do not intend for it to. my intent in changing this certain something about myself has not been fueled by the coming of a new year, but rather by my coming to a threshold. you see, i have struggled for the majority of my existence to make time for the things i hold important, such as the success of my new business venture on etsy and a return to the things i love and love doing. crossing this threshold involves increasing my commitment and seriousness to becoming the person i really want to become. up until now i have been blaming things other than myself for my disappointments.


my most common scapegoat for my lack of production and success has been that i never have enough time. however, upon reexamining how i have spent my time most days and evenings, i find that i waste a lot of time exploring dead end ideas, surfing for new ones and just plain pissin' off. i realized in my disappointment that, had i spent my time more wisely and mapped out my ideas and intents, i would have had the structure and direction everyday to be productive even if it was in a small way. when you know where you're going, you move faster and with confidence. my lack of organization and planning had led me straight to the doorstep of disappointment, again and again. this disappointment could have been avoided.
something else that stemmed from my lack of foresight, was the disappointment of many unfinished holiday gifts and projects and the stress of trying to cram a few more in, even though that was nowhere near enough. i felt bad. the disappointment of not being able to complete the things i wanted to got me down. and today, playing a game of poker with my parents, grandparents, siblings and boyfriend, i realized that i had not prioritized properly, if at all. don't get me wrong. i am not saying spending time with family is a wasteful use of time. not at all! what i am referencing when i talk about prioritizing improperly is my use of personal time.
if i were really serious about things that i say i am, then i would approach them in a more structured and intended way. for instance, when we took a road trip to colorado this summer, we mapped out our route, we made lists, we packed and checked off, we reviewed and revised. if i intend to make a success out of anything i do, wouldn't i want to approach these things in the same way?


it all seems so simple and so obvious, but it has taken me a long time and a lot of unnecessary disappointments to get here. is this growing up? i don't know. i laugh when i think of that but i suppose it probably is a part of it. i know that i am beginning to see more clearly the things i want and the places i want to be. my friend laura, of violet bella, has provided more guidance in her very example than i think she realizes. i look at her and her successes and, rather than feel incompetent or like i'm never going to get there, i am motivated all the more to pursue my dreams. she is a success and i see that it actually can be done.
i am tired of disappointment, though i know it will always be there in one way or another. i just don't want it to be because of my own doing. and when i do experience disappointment, i want to handle it in a constructive way. though i know i will slip back into my old ways from time to time, today i am making it a point to be proactive about my success. i am making it a point to stave off disappointment as best i can and plow headfirst into what's to come. i already know it's going to be good, because i see that i can make it good and that's what i plan to do.
again, i hope that everyone's holiday was full of love and good cheer and i hope you will be joining me in the days to come.
ciao for now.
renea hanna.
"this little heart of mine is stitched together with penny threads."
currently listening to: kate nash - skeleton
17 December 2009
this house is a dream and the music helps.
so sorry for my absence yesterday. i have not been sleeping well and it caught up to me. so i'm back now and ready to write. i have two ideas about BIG inspirations that i am pretty sure just about all of us, humans that is, find inspiring and actually rely on as a continued source of inspiration over and over again.

inspiration #3: dreams.

by dreams i do not mean the subconscious theatrics that play out on your eyelids when you sleep (oh, sweet sleep). i am talking about dreams as in hopes and aspirations. those things you hope for, secretly or obviously. those little and great BIG things that motivate our actions in life, for better or for worse. some dreams are worthwhile, others are not. for instance, when i was probably 12 or 13 i dreamed of being an actress, playing out made up dramatic scenes full of crying and glaring and maniacal laughter right there in my dresser mirror. now as embarassing as it was to admit that just now, it serves as an illustration of a dream that was not really worthwhile for me because now i have no desire to be an actress and did not possess the natural talent for it. however, when i was much younger than that i dreamed of being a writer and an artist full-time, though i didn't understand the "full-time" thing until i started working full-time at anything but my dream. this has proved to be a very worthwhile dream and one that i am still pursuing. i went to art school after high school to pursue it. i went on to study creative writing in college as well. and after finances and life fully and thoroughly got in the way of my collegiate career, i am STILL pursuing this dream. it is one that makes me happy, or that i believe will.
having a dream, something to hope for and work for, is to me essential to the very living of life. there have been times in my life where i lost sight of my dreams or i kicked them to the curb in a tizzy. those were and still are some of the darkest days of my life. living without hope for anything more than you have. well, let's just say that there is always something more to be had and may we always yearn for the betterment of our selves and the quality and depth of our lives. don't get lost in the monetary value of a dream, for money is fickle. if you feel down to your very bones that you will be HAPPY pursuing something, whether it be a new house, a family, a great career, then follow that. it is worth more than all the money in the world.
here are some of my dreams:
-a house to call home
-a successful and long career in writing and artistry
-happiness with the one i choose to love
-to live close to my family
-and for indulgence's sake, lots of land to run wild on


i'd love to hear some of your dreams! if you feel so inclined, i would really enjoy reading your lists in the comment section. :D

now for that second BIG inspiration:

inspiration #4: music.

this inspiration is one that i rely on daily to even motivate me to wake up in the morning or put me in the mood to paint or focus on a new sewing project. it is so present in my life that i have a hard time thinking of times when i am NOT hearing music of some sort. to me, music sets the tempo to life, to that moment you're living right then. it can solidify a memory in the closets of your brain. it can make you sad, happy, angry, excited. it inspires in such a way that i almost want to say that we are at its mercy. yes we choose the music, but it has such a profound effect that it seems so strong an influence.
in middle school i played the clarinet and in high school i was in treble chior for a few years and, while i love to make music and sing, my main inspiration requires no skill in playing or vocals, but allows me to observe, to listen and receive. so easy and yet so impactful.
music is definitely one of the most sought after inspirations. new music must be found, listened to and possessed. i find that we are constantly changing and evolving creatures in both our desires and our preferences, so music has had to be, throughout history, as changing and evolutionary as we are. and it has. these combinations of string strumming, drum beating, snapping, whistling, tempo, beat, harmony, melody are all wrapped up in a creature with an even more insatiable hunger to create than we possess. we are merely running behind picking up the good ones, dusting them off, and slipping them into our pockets before we sprint headlong after this wonderful pulse of life and expression.
i personally have many favorites but i am usually trying to add to that. so instead of listing my favorites i will list some that have a way of making me smile, even when i don't want to.

bob dylan - all i really want to do
the matches - wake the sun
bret dennen - ain't no reason
johnny flynn - the box
alela diane - the pirate's gospel

i could go on like this all night so i will leave you with that. i hope the links work. some of them are pop ups so you might not be able to access them if you're set to block them, but just give it a try. i hope you enjoyed some of them. :D and please note that at the end of every blog entry i list off an artist that i am currently listening to. please feel free to check them out! i don't think you will be disappointed.

and now for the award from laura @ violet bella. the "i love me" award.

so here goes. thank you laura!

1. i love my creativity and ability to create something out of what seems like nothing.
2. i love my eyes. i would say they are my best feature.
3. i love my offbeat sense of humor and ability to make people laugh.
4. i love my curves, even when i forget that i do. ;P
5. i love my curiosity and sense of adventure.
6. i love my dreads! they make me feel unique and spunky.
7. i love my quirky imagination.
8. i love that i know i am worth allowing myself to fulfill my dreams as an artist and writer (stole this one from laura and added a bit, it was just too right!).
9. i love my desire to inspire those around me.
10. i love the values i hold, instilled in me by my family

and now i pass this lovely little award on to:


and with that monstrous dose of inspiration and things to cogitate on, i bid you all a great evening full of restful sleep. i know how precious that is.
ciao for now.
renea hanna.
"this little heart of mine is stitched together with penny threads."
16 December 2009
sleep, sweet sleep.
i stand by my commitment to post an inspiration per day, but alas, i am sleep deprived. i tossed and turned my way into zombie-status today and am useless to the world until i catch some zzz's, SO tomorrow i will be doing a double post of inspirations, one of which will feature some sharing of my personal favorites! can't wait...also to look forward to tomorrow: the "i LOVE me award!" which was passed on to me by violet bella. go check out her blog at the aforementioned link and i will deliver and then some tomorrow. while you're checking out her blog be sure to stop by her shop and check out her adorable new earrings here ---> BEAUTIFUL NEW EARRINGS i hope that everyone has had a great day and remembered to be inspired by the tiny things! adieu to all, and to all a goodnight!
ciao for now.
renea hanna.
"this little heart of mine is stitched together with penny threads."
15 December 2009
gone townie for the day.
today was considerably colder than the past few days have been and when i woke i wanted nothing more than to stay curled up in bed next to my sweetie...snug as a bug. but this past week i wore my new black licorice scarflette to the wine bar where i moonlight sometimes and sold two of them right off the bat. so i had work to do, not to mention work on my first hand-stitched purse which is going to be constructed out of a pair of polyester trousers in a rich gray with a blue flowered cotton lining. i have always admired the upcycled beauties many others produce on etsy and this is my first go at it. so even though the warmth of my bed called, i got straight to work. both custom scarflettes were finished along with much progress on the purse. it felt good to be productive but i could only stay cooped up for so long.
i decided to drag the boy along for a trip to town and this leads me to my inspiration of the day:
inspiration #2: coffee.


i LOVE coffee in ALL of its forms. straight black, espresso, french pressed, latte, cappuccino, etc. i really wanted the seasonal eggnog latte from the local coffeeshop, so we went. he brought a book and i brought my crochet needle and yarn. it was bliss. you give me some form of piping hot coffee (with a straw, which helps keep your teeth from staining and keeps my clutzy self from spilling it) and i am a happy patron, camper, woman...just HAPPY! and it's not just the taste as i'm sure any other coffee lover can attest to, it's the smell! if i can't have the coffee at least let me take a big whiff and immediately my pupils widen, my brain clicks and i am instantaneously energized! i do not want to think of what a world without this scrumptious beverage would be like. i will not think of it. that would make me sad. so today, i smile for coffee and great company, whether it be your love, your pet or a good book or morning paper. smile with me and have a cup o' joe.
AND while you're at it, check out violet bella's new giveaway (<----click the aforementioned link)! there are some beautiful items up for grabs, don't let it pass you by!

ciao for now.
renea hanna.
"this little heart of mine is stitched together with penny threads."
currently listening to: johnny flynn - the box
14 December 2009
tiny expectations, tiny inspirations, big changes.
when i first started my etsy shop i thought that maybe it would be a good way to sell things, make money on the side. i didn't expect a journey anymore than i expected to "go overboard" with the whole thing or take it too seriously. expectations are funny that way. having any is usually a mistake, a shortsighted prediction of something you really know nothing about. so here i sit having decided i should blog about this unexpected journey because it's more important than even YOU would expect.
ever wonder how one tiny decision can rock the boat and cause even the most spiritually, intuitively dead person want to find out what all the fuss is about? ever wonder how you go from having no beliefs to having concrete beliefs? ever wonder how you find yourself after you've lost yourself? maybe you haven't. i have. i've wondered and now that's what i want to do here.
i want to take my tiny inspiration to open up an etsy shop and try to sell things i create and let you watch as i turn it into something more important than any of my initial expectations. maybe i will find some things along the way. maybe i'll find myself. maybe i'll find nothing. hopefully it will be worth the while but, if it's not, at least i won't be any more for the worse than i already have been.
so here's the deal: everyday i will find at least ONE thing that inspires me, or that makes me believe something and i will share it here along with the results of said inspiration or belief. my idea is that if i am actively looking for these things, i will find them. and maybe, just maybe, i will return to some of those things that made me fall in love with life and find some new ones along the way. *sigh* here we go.

inspiration #1: the sunlight.


i never fully appreciate the warmth and vibrancy that the sun provides until we've had a stint of thunderstorms or cloudy, cold days. mind you, i will complain about it come summertime, but for now, this winter, i'm listing it as my first inspiration. seeing it streaming through the leaves of a tree always inspires me to be bold with my color usage. sunlight has a way of illuminating color and making it sparkle in a vibrancy i could only hint at and so i want THAT vibrancy and color in my artwork and in my threadwork. the sunlight also gives me energy again and i think i'm going to be needing a lot of that in the coming weeks, months, years. it' comforting to know that it's only momentary clouds that keep me from the sunlight and they have to clear eventually. hopefully my head will follow suit.
ciao for now.
renea hanna.
"this little heart of mine is stitched together with penny threads."
currently listening to: lisa mitchell - neopolitan dreams