Slow It Down

HUMP DAY.

We’re half way there y’all. It’s almost Friday Letters. It’s almost the weekend. Not really, but I’m just over here all pretending and stuff. It actually is almost July in real life, GAHD WHAT?! But with July comes the Bro Challenge, my day of birth celebration, super summer patriotic AF vibes, etc.

Since I only had a teensy bit of work to do this morning and it’s done, for now, I thought about something on the way here since it felt like everyone was driving so slow, or maybe I was just trying to drive too fast, probs. Either way it gave me an idea.

I work about 10 minutes from my house. Kind of. So, after my daily Starbs run, getting through the main gate on the Army post, driving all the way, and I mean ALLLL the way to the back of the island, into the swamp, and on to the air strip (yes, I heart jet noise, aka helicopters flying over my head all day every day) it takes me roughly 25 mins out of 10  to actually get here.

I reflect a lot on that time- it’s really quiet and the drive is pretty and usually I am graced with at least one idiot who may have bought their license at WalMart because if we can be really real, we can’t drive under any circumstances in VA. And we know it.

But today, since everyone was moving abnormally slow, especially the MP who checked my access badge at the gate this morning, I got to thinking.

So I pull up and roll my window down, super sleepy and he, super-slothy, reaches for my ID and so I super-duper slothy reach it towards him to hand it over. He noticed behind my wayfarers that I wasn’t exactly smiling so he says, “Look at this lady, just as pretty, and smiling and she just couldn’t wait to get back here and embrace the Wednesday!”

I laughed. For real laughed not just like a “heh, k bud.” I think him and I just had a moment.

So I get to moving again and for some reason I wasn’t irritated at all that everyone around me was literally in slow motion. (I swear I am going somewhere with this y’all stay with me.) Normally I get agitated. Nothing crazy you know, just the normal scoff here and there, and the slight, whiney, raised-voiced question “whyyyyyyyyyyy-uuhhh?!” when someone serves me any sort of traffic injustice.

But then I just kept thinking how thankful I was that I wasn’t at work yet, because I really hadn’t had that much coffee so far, and surprisingly, for once, I wasn’t pushing the envelope of non-compliant punctuality like I usually do. So I had extra time to think about my blog today. After all of that, I realized I wanted to talk about PACE, since everyone was kinda doing their own pace-ish thing today.

Pace is something most of us don’t care to abide by if we really think about it. Some of us take off running. Others just drive really. Really. REALLY slow to work. But it’s a very important part of our lives on a daily basis. Pace can be stressful. Going too fast, or too slow even can take your mind and twist it around pillars it was never meant to endeavor.

I didn’t realize how important pace was for and to me, until really recently. We see other people doing these really awesome things and we think way too soon “I’m doing that. Head first.” We tend to not consider how hard we just made it for ourselves. At least I did. I saw tons of products and tools and tips and tricks and THINGS I wanted to do so badly so suddenly. So I went out, and I bought so many mediums. Watercolor, Tombows, paint markers, chalk markers, wood, all kinds of paper. Spent tons of money on things I had no idea how to use but at the time, I was hella confident I would succeed immediately and be an instantly gratified pro with no regard for the potential  aftermath. I didn’t even consider what I bought, was at the time, way out of my league. I dove in head first. Drove way too fast. Got the speeding ticket of all speeding tickets in the art community- shit it was more like reckless driving. And I live in a commonwealth so they look for the suckers, and trust me. I got got.

I got to a point where I realized and literally asked myself:

“what did I just do?”

I cannot stress to you enough, the importance of taking YOUR time. Without even realizing it, you can overwhelm yourself. If you try to learn too many things at once, your brain will literally not allow you to retain what you’ve just done once you move on to something else too soon. If you get frustrated, seriously, take a break.

My mistakes I made with pace, one of the biggest ones, was not letting myself breathe. I was so ready and so stubborn to learn Tombow, water color, brush lettering, blending. drop shadow, ect that I forgot to focus on the basics. And I suffered really bad. I didn’t realize I was rushing myself.

I thoroughly enjoy sharing my experiences with you. My mistakes, and shortcomings are slowly but surely turning into better things I can say I really love and am totally comfortable with doing, and I would rather tell you about them, and hope that you absorb what I am saying, because these methods are tried and true.

Here’s a few more  things I really want to learn:

  • oblique pen / pointed pen
  • acrylic painting
  • flourishing
  • more intricate floral line drawing like Ali K

Maybe next year I’ll look into those things. Now is not the right time for me, and I know that. Right now, I am dedicated to my watercolors, round brushes, and Tombow Fudes because, I mean. Fude soft tips are all the lady boners, so.

I have more mediums than I know what to do with. But I really think if we pick something we like the most (don’t look at me with those eyes, I know it’s hard to choose) and stay laser focused on that, we will really find that everything else we try becomes a little easier. Even if it’s those letter studies I talked about yesterday. Strictly galaxies, or succulents with watercolors. Letter formations. Flourishing. Take each one of these things and DO YOU, FOR YOU, AT YOUR OWN PACE. Take your time. If you set something aside, as long as you remember where you put it, it will be waiting for you when you come back. When you’re ready.

Hang in there. Remember to breathe. Take it easy on yourself. You’re doing just fine. I promise.

 

Loves-

L

 

 

 

Let’s Talk Brea Reese

Happy Sunday ya babes. I am just like everyone else, and feel like Sunday’s need to come with a pause button. I can tell you though that this is how my Sunday is going: 

  • Headphones in- Billie Holiday radio on 
  • Coffee- black 
  • Brea Reese product- everywhere 
  • Man- sleeping in the bed like an angel so I only have a short window before he comes out, makes us an amazing breakfast, and starts yelling at the PlayStation about the injustices done to him by virtual baseball umpires. 

I really wanted to be at home (and not not working at work) to do this particular post because I wanted to talk about my Brea Reese around my Brea Reese. I love them, I think you guys know that by now. What you guys don’t know is how much I actually have. It’s not a problem.. it’s fine.. I’m fine.. 


Ignore my unpainted toes. Yes, that is two huge bags of almost all their glitter inks and watercolor inks, plus all of their color and glitter brushes and my all time favorite, yes favorite, fine water brush. At a later time, I will tell you how I came to acquire all this, because that’s not what this story is about ok?! 

So, I had seen these little inks first from my friend Erin over @the_lettering_fern and I needed to investigate for myself. Can I tell you guys something as sexual as this is going to come out?

It was love at first stroke. I’m serious. 

So let’s talk about product, since as you can see from my collection, they have a vast line. And it does not stop here, my friends. This is just a small tip of the iceberg. They also carry acrylics, markers, clay, and TONS of other stuff. Their website is currently under construction, but hey, they also have some pretty great backup plans here: 

My favorite part about Brea Reese watercolor and glitter inks in either format, brush or bottle, is that no matter what, they come out literally glowing. They have a brilliance quality that, and trust me I’ve used and tried and failed multiple water color applications to date, revels Royal Talens Ecoline watercolors. YES YOU HEARD ME water color gods. 

The transparency of the inks are honestly what attracted me to them, because with a thicker paint you can run into consistency issues and I have. Consistently. So with these, the ease of use and just overall pigment that actually ends up on the water color paper is phenomenal. When I say it changed my game, I meant it. They are super easy, squeezy, and fun: 



Then, ok, be ready for blinding light. Because they also have these GLITTER INKS. I’m saying this publicly: it’s the only glitter ink I will ever use again. Ever. Yup. Lady-gasm: 


So the only thing about the glitter inks is that due to just sheer science, the glitter will sink in your tray. So if you’re working on something and want to come back to it just swirl your brush in the glitter ink and wipe clean to remove excess and go on with ya glitter life as usual. 

These inks have the same pigments, shine, fluidity, and ease of use as the regular water colors only, literally, with some extra flare. And when they dry.. forget about it. 

They also have glitter and color brushes. SO EASY. The only thing, because I am nothing if not honest, is with the glitter brushes, you will need to shake quite a bit, especially with the black. The other silver and gold are awesome. It’s possible that it’s operator error, or even that it’s black and just hard to see. Either way, the glitter will tend to get bunched up in the bottom of the brush. It’s nothing serious and obviously that’s going to happen. Either way, for this juneshine challenge, I loved them and used them multiple times. It’s easier for the beginner if you are really in to learning brush control and also paint flow control, because there are zero steps involved besides uncap and paint. Squeeze when needed but LIGHTLY 😉 (pro tip) 

They also have refillable brushes, in different sizes. You can customize them into any color you like by mixing them and then you would literally have your own set. It’s pretty awesome. 

They also blend absolutely beautiful. I normally OCD have to correct most of my blending spots, but usually just let my Brea’s do their thing:


Excuse this, it’s just something I lettered yesterday for Rick and Morty Letters on the back of the paper I’m using today because I’m cheap, but the point is this looked so much like a summer sun that I couldn’t handle it and I literally did NOTHING but refused to clean my brush between stokes and just let the color do it’s thing. 

That being said everyone, here are all the products I talked about today.  If you have any questions, as always, reach out. I’m here to help! 

Loves- 

I. Am. Trying.

I am so glad that yesterday is over and officially history.

Yesterday was one of the worst days creatively for me when it comes to painting. I won’t even talk about it because it does no good to dwell, but I did end up finding some sort of redemption in some watercolor cacti I’ll share today.

Continue reading “I. Am. Trying.”

Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back

It has come to my immediate attention that it has been 364 days since my last confession.

See previous post.

It is so funny to me that literally years to the day, I get this wild idea in my mind that I can blog. And by blog I mean successfully blog, not just ramble.

At least today, I have a plan. For now. It’s called be dramatic and add as many periods in a sentence as. Humanly. Possible. For. Effect.

Did it work?

Ok, so now that I have successfully gotten you to the fifth or so sentence I have been able to compose yet somehow we are halfway down the page, I should start by updating me:

  • I have an even better job than before. See last post.
  • I am still in that great relationship I mentioned, and it turns out he likes me so much he wants to marry my ass and stay with me forever. Bless his sweet soul.
  • I have been called a fucking asshole like 52 more times. Again, I can’t stress enough, see last post.
  • I hand letter. I am obsessed. I will address this immediately.

Google defines hand lettering as:

Calligraphy is a much more likely to be used in longer passages of text. … Calligraphy is based on penmanship; it’s essentially “writing letters.” Lettering, on the other hand, is based on draftsmanship, i.e. “drawing letters.”

I define hand lettering as:

Madness. Madness that has spread like wildfire into my tiny life, and taken it and turned it upside down with creativity and a vast amount of just the most amazing new friends. (HEY YALL IF YOU’RE READING!)

It allows something into my day that at one point felt like the absence of a release I had no idea I needed. I have no art background. I have no clarity on concepts, or artistic thought. So the fact that this came so naturally and I fell in love with it so easily, has been a now not so secret blessing. I have found through the only social media I now use, Instagram, these real and true emotions: Awakening. Awe. Want. Drive. Drastic amounts of purchases. Struggle. Struggle. Struggle. Cry. Not good enough. I am getting the hang of this. I LOVE THIS. I will touch more on each and every one of these emotions through the next few weeks/months, and how to overcome all of them, to successfully feel like the best you. If that’s your thing, I mean it’s my thing, so we doin’ it.

I have since deleted a few of my old blogs off of my site just due to half ass humor and content I no longer feel relevant. People change, and forget to tell each other. That is astronomically evident in my writing.  But, alas, a few years ago, I wrote my favorite post ever, and I didn’t delete that one.

If you care to read it, the post is called Blood Type: B+. I was in the feels on a Sunday one time, and I wrote something I truly loved. And as ironic as it is now, the gist of it was thanking people for their goodness to me;  some I knew, and even those I didn’t. As it seems today, I feel like I foreshadowed a bit. I had no idea I would stumble on just such an amazing group of individuals in a small corner of the Instagram world. But I did. And I completely intend on writing about my experiences and techniques and tips that I’ve learned, and continue to learn, from each and every one of them.

Please, feel free to go and follow me on Instagram, I am @la.reletters and I have A TON of wonderful, and beautiful friends who continue to amaze me every day.

I will also be talking and writing about the products I use and how I have learned to use them, and how I hope they help. I might even be saying mildly funny things, intertwined with vulgarities, wrapped into a strikingly dramatic syntax. That’s my way of saying I might be here to fuck shit up, just way prettier.

I hope you stay. I am so happy to be here, it’s oozing out of me like a gel tube of high fructose corn syrup cherry candy.

Loves,

-L

Basic’s 

It has been 659 days since my last confession..
Or post or something like that. 
In all this time I have had to self reflect or loathe even, several key things have happened in my life: 

  • I have a steady, and happy relationship. 
  • I have a career. It’s painful but it’s mine.
  • I have been called a “fucking asshole.” Please see below. 


And so, I really can’t say that much has changed here, except my level of commitment to myself and my uncanny ability to make no one if not myself laugh on a daily basis.  

I have missed these pages and all of their glory. I’ve been struggling with writers block and the lack of motivation and things to write about in general that I have shorted myself quality time with..myself. 

Reflecting on this, I was explaining to one of my biggest fans that I struggle with the fact that absolutely no one cares what I have to say. I have no stature in the community. I am not famous. I am only mildly funny, mediocre at best. I don’t talk about anything relevant or real or tangible. Then I think why do I give a shit if you give a shit? I choose this over Facebook any day of the year, with less followers or anyone who can “like it” and I’m fine with it. 

But I think everyone comes here for something. Everyone socializes on the media for some purpose,  no matter how empty. We’re all searching for total and complete strangers to provide us the satisfaction of random acceptance we cannot provide for ourselves. It’s a vicious, vicious pathetic cycle. 

Yet here I am, clicking away. You see my hypocritical dilemma here?  

I enjoy the randomness of what I say and feel. I’m a typical lady, with lady emotions and one minute I’m fine and the next I’m not fine and everything is on fire and I hate everything that I love so much five minutes later. It’s like being eternally drunk for God sakes. But after all of this and the two years I’ve left well enough alone the only thing I really really love to do, I think I’ll pick up my pace a few pages and see where I end up. It’s like therapy devoid of response. Rhetorical conversations I chose to share on proverbial paper. And I think I love it all over again. 

It Ain’t That Hard

One thing I notice about the things I noitce on TV is that I notice entirely too much. I think that’s partially due to the fact that “playing outside” for my future children will mean standing on the back porch with thier PS34 controllers and being able to somehow subconsciously make moves with their eyes, resulting in the intantaneous death of their opponent. Welcome to my generation. But this is something I did come across, something I don’t have an issue with personally due to anatomy, but found to be quite comical. Have you ever noticed that somehow, magically once a man starts taking Viagra post mid life crisis that all of the sudden he is more adpet to being able to perform extra curricular activities aside from what the drug is actually designed for?

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No seriously.

Out of nowhere, he’s stranded in the desert, no supplies, no cell phone reception, no woman in sight..but he takes his Viagra and all of the sudden this man can make ice?

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“If your lungs are filled with the icy cold breath of death, but you’re still able to get a boner in the desert, don’t contact your doctor for an erection lasting longer than four hours, you’re at the age of doing something right–of taking control.”

And then Chuck Norris stops by.

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And what do women get? Boniva and Albolene? These dudes get super boner desert fix a carburetor with a toothpick and a shoestring strength and we get minor bone density and make up remover from the 80’s? I’m
sorry, I just don’t see how adding blood flow to your penis would prepare you for the absolute worst case conditions. I mean how do we explain that 911 phone call? “Oh, you’re broken down?” “No, my geriatric boyfriend just has a boner and our car just happened to blow up somewhere east of no-mans-land Nevada and we’re all out of toothpicks. Don’t worry though, he’ll have me home by 10, we brought the Viagra.”

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