Author Archives: Mere

About Mere

I am a freelance graphic designer. I make and sell handmade body care products at shows, boutiques and via Etsy at http://meresallnatural.com. I am also a single mother of two small, wonderful people. I like to draw, read, write, take pictures and play violin, among other things.

Hi

Hi. I wanted to check in, because I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog and Facebook lately. I’ve been adjusting to yet another new way of life. I was offered a full time graphic design job at a local print shop, and another position with a small newspaper. I also was working on a freelance design project for a long time client, while also working on divorce paperwork, taxes, dodging calls from bill collectors, and trying to have an actual family life.

These things happen. We all go through times when we feel like it’s getting heaped on us too thickly. Sometimes these phases come with health problems and deaths in the family as well, yipeee!

Well, I managed to breathe through it, and am now left with a healthier balance. A full time job, a part time Etsy shop, still some divorce and tax paperwork, the ability to pay bills, rather than dodge calls, and a thriving, extremely cuddly family life.

You may have noticed that the Etsy shop was in vacation mode recently. That was due to an extreme need for sleep. Now sleep’s been had, and I’m back in biz. Bring it!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend. xo

fea

Just Being

OK so one of my goals is to stop making goals. I made a goal for myself to blog here at least once a week so I can be more appealing to the ad networks. Full disclosure here, folks. I want to make money for the work I do. So, I failed at my goal, and have learned that I need to stop making goals, because they’re not even a real thing, so why let something that’s not even real give me the sadz?

That said, I did end up getting a part time job for a legit publication, so there’s one goal completed, all without having to enter any sketchy limos!

So what doesn’t give me the sadz? Instagram. It makes me very happy. It’s a great way to collect some of your favorite memories in one easy to access place. It’s also a way to journal what’s going on in life when we’re doing what we do best, just being. Commence Mere’s Instagram Dump!

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Come drop me a line in IG over here!

Get Me A Kimono, NOW! - Yin Mom, Yang Mom

Get me a kimono NOW!

I was a little surprised by my almost-violent reaction when I noticed that kimonos as day clothes are the thing now. There’s just some kind of really amazing lazy-glam-70s-Mrs. Roper-ish quality about this look that I love.

Maybe it’s due to the fact that I work from home and am usually in some kind of pajama.

They’re pretty, they’re comfy, and they’re bright and colorful.

Spring’s in about 3 weeks, and this is the kind of thing I’d like to wear as soon as I can.

Preferably with these $2895 shoes.
shoe
Here are the deets from Polyvore:

Get me a kimono NOW!

Forever 21 clothing
forever21.com

Boho kimono
tillys.com

H M clothing
$25 – hm.com
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Pinterest Weekend Wrap-Up

During the school year, I have my kids primarily at my house during the weekends. It’s a bit of an unconventional set up, my ex and I share 50/50 custody, rather than the traditional; all week at moms, weekends with dad. I end up at dad’s house once or twice during the work-week as well to give him a break, and help the kids with school stuff, snuggle, play etc.

It works for us.

Now that my kids are able to busy themselves with books and games, I have some serious down time for Pinterest lollygagging. Here are the cool things I’ve found over the last few days…

 

1. Pixie Geldof by Stefan Zschernitz for Ponystep Magazine Winter 2013

pixie-geldof-ponystep-10

 

2. High Waisted Jeans – I resisted these for a while but I’m coming around…

highwaist

 

3. Guy Bourdin. My boyfriend turned me on to this fab photographer who shot for Vogue. I love me some vintage Vogue.

guybourdin

 

4. Big, round sunglasses. Just big, round sunglasses.

sunnies

 

5. Jessica Comingore | Broccoli Lemon & Parmesan Soup I want to try this hot and cold.

soup]

 

6. Knitting Pattern: Leftovers Cowl by Wendy D. Johnson. I’ve been scared to learn the fair isle technique for a long time, but somehow this feels less daunting.

knit

 

7. Jan the Happy Marshmallow. Just try to be mad after you look at this.

marshmallow

 

8. Wrapper Clutch by Stitch and Hammer. The perfect bag for Spring.

bag

 

9. Yucca With Garlic Sauce (Yuca Con Mojo). There’s something about yucca that makes me very, very happy. It soaks up flavor really well and the texture is just pure comfort.

yucca

 

10. I die for bold rugs in simple rooms. Gorgeous. Rug LOVE | The English Room , Sari Silk Moorea Fuscia 8.11 x 11.

rug

 

Follow me on Pinterest, here…

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Art That’s Currently Making My Heart Explode – Sam Wolfe Connolly

I think everyone must have a deep, longing belief that if they had done some other career or craft, instead of what they’re doing, they’d have complete fulfillment. I have several. One of them is illustrating. I really, really wish I was an illustrator. However, when I sit down to draw, I tend to scratch out some outlines, and then get bored or distracted or frustrated by my lack of skills (due to my lack of practice) and I realize I have other things to do.

Ah well, the least I can do is admire admire admire those who are working hard to hone their skills.

Yay for art. Here’s an artist that I stumbled across, and would like to share with you. His name is Sam Wolfe Connolly. These are some of my favorites, I hope you enjoy:

samwc_1

‘Drowned’

samwc_2

‘The Butcher’

samwc_3

‘Autumn Window’

'Home After Dark'

‘Home After Dark’

'It's Only The House Settling'

‘It’s Only The House Settling’

 

You can view Sam’s website at samwolfeconnelly.com,
and follow him via the following: TUMBLR . TWITTER . FACEBOOK

 

 

Wear Some Clothes

I love Polyvore so much, and it’s the kind of thing that I just randomly need to do in order to survive. Here is the outfit that I made to inspire myself today. It says, “I’m comfy, and don’t fuck with me”.

 

Period Day


River Island loose crop top
$37 - riverisland.com

Stripe shirt
$275 - austique.co.uk

Ash buckle sneaker
$250 - the-dressingroom.com

Crossbody satchel handbag
$100 - fashion-conscience.com

Zirconia jewelry
handpicked.net

The Current State of the Job Market

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Exercising patience.

I’ve been looking for a job. I do that once in a while, when I have to. I had a very nice holiday season with the Etsy shop, but after January things kind of slow down a bit, until spring.

The natural thing for me to do in this situation is to pick up some more freelance work. So I looked, and almost right away, I got a 30+ hour a week work-from-home job! I couldn’t believe my incredible luck. I AM A POWERFUL CREATOOOOR!

I was immediately inundated with emails from this client, and I felt certain that any financial woes were no more. In the first 3 days, I had produced a new finished logo, and four 25′ signs for the sides of the building. At the end of day 3, I was threatened to be fired if I didn’t speed things up. I was surprised!  Then when I submitted my first invoice, I was asked to cut my price down by 50%, or be fired. After some negotiating I managed to get paid a little. Since then, it’s been two weeks, and the owner has promised me 5 times, with heavy apologies, that “tonight!” he will send me more work. He has not delivered. Uh oh.

I’ve returned to Craigslist, and continue to apply for other design jobs, but there’s only been about 1 or 2 posted, so it’s not looking all that promising.

So I decided to also check out some of the other parts of Craigslist. I am amazed to see that there aren’t a lot of traditional jobs available in my area, however there are a LOT of opportunities for MILFs and models, and MILFs who want to model. Sounds fun!  I don’t want to pose nude (go figure), so I found one that sounded harmless and applied. The ad said I would be a leg model. I have skinny legs!  Upon applying, I was immediately turned down. I was told that despite having nice legs, I didn’t seem passionate enough about leg modeling. Bummer!

The search went on. There was a position open for 15 production assistants for a TV show that was being filmed nearby. This was per-diem work, but it appeared to pay well. I applied, and very quickly received this reply:

“do [sic] to the overwhelming response we regret to say we have filled the position of Production Assistant. We are impressed how ever [sic] with your qualification and qualities over all. So will  make you aware [sic] that we do have another position open for a Promotional Representative.
You would be responsible for helping with autographs sound check helping to regulate who does and does not get into afterpartys etc. This is a full time job with a base pay of 45k annually all travel expenses and hotel will be paid to get you to any event/concert.  [sic]

1. Send us a contact number and the best time for you to be reached
2. Send us a pic (as you will be in the company of celebrities you need to be some kind of attractive)

OOOH! Celebrities!

I was contacted by Dan. He told me that his agency finds attractive, responsible people. When a celebrity visits a random city like mine, they want to appear to have an entourage with them. However, it doesn’t make financial sense for them to fly all their actual friends and staff members out to these cities, so they hire a group of locals to act like total party animals and support their cause.

My first CELEBRITY assignment would be the man who wrote the popular songs “Who Let The Dogs Out”, “Tootsee Roll”, and “Move Bitch, Get Out the Way”. I would receive an itinerary, go to the airport, meet the celebrity at baggage claim (alone), get into a car, and be taken to a hotel. For the next two nights I’d accompany the group to parties, clubs, events, whatever.

This is when Dan told me “you don’t have to be the girl flashing her tits in the limo, but you do have to be the girl encouraging the other girls to flash their tits”.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

This is where the job market is right now. I am a 34 year old privileged white women with 2 kids from a farm town, I have 12 years of professional experience and a bachelor’s degree under my belt. I am currently filing for food stamps, while pondering whether or not I want to be encouraging women to flash their tits in limos.

Perhaps a move to another city is in order. In the meantime, this is a good time to write, work, work, work on preparing for the next busy season. And sleep. And eat apple cider donuts.

Tennis – a great way to keep fit

The usual mistake people make when they decide to get fit is to go in for some punishing aerobic fitness regimen such as cycling, running or swimming – or they decide to go to the gym and mix things up a little.

Now this is great exercise and good for anyone who really enjoys the choice. But for those who don’t – it’s a bad choice as they’re setting themselves up for failure because the exercise regimen is a chore.

Instead, it’s a much better idea to try and make the exercise either incidental to your everyday life, or enjoyable – or a little of both. So, for example, if you can walk vigorously to the shops, or walk or cycle to work for all or part of your journey, this will soon become your norm and you’ll be boosting your fitness whilst hardly realizing it.

But perhaps an even better way is to make the exercise itself fun. To achieve this, you’ll have to pick out a sport you enjoy – or one which you can learn to enjoy as you improve. And there are few games which are as much fun as the racket sports for many of us – things like tennis, squash and badminton. These are all fun sports to play and all are great for overall fitness.

Of the three, tennis is perhaps the best choice. It’s physically grueling requiring more strength than the other two sports – but doesn’t cause quite so many injuries as squash. Once you get good at tennis, you’ll really look forward to the matches. In particular, it’s a great way of sharing a sport with children – and getting them into tennis at an early age is a good way of setting them up for fitness for life, if it’s something the come to really enjoy.

Watching tennis on TV can be quite inspirational too – particularly for younger children. This sets up a yearning to play the game and imitation of good players is one of the best ways to improve. Ask any coach and visualization is where it’s at.

For adults, meanwhile, a small tennis bet can be a good method to “force” a little interest in the game. Pretty soon, you’re really rooting for one player and watching the sport really makes you feel like playing it yourself.

With Betfair, you can both back and “lay” (accept bets) on players – and, therefore, change your mind during matches. This makes a small bet really interesting, particularly as you get a feel for tennis. Anyway –it whets the appetite for the game and anything to get yourself exercising whilst having fun is a good idea and, for many of us, tennis is really the answer.

 

 

pixiemadness

Get Pretty – Pixie Addition

This post is a little embarrassing. It is proof that I probably think a little more about how I look than is considered cool. It’s just that with this crazy winter, I’ve been feeling a little drab and boring. In the beginning of the season, I was all about the big, cozy sweater, black jeans and boots. It was a uniform. It was a GREAT uniform. Functional, warm, passively chic. It served a good purpose. However, it’s been worn almost every day now for the past 4 months, and I am officially over it, and motivated to have some fun.

As I write this, there is about 8 inches of fresh snow on the ground. I do not care. Fuck warmth, I want to feel like I look nice again.

So, I began by chopping off all of my hair. My head is cold, but I was told recently by an acquaintance that I now look like a college student, so it’s worth it.

My hair was long before, long like this:

longhair

 
 
Now it is short, short like this:

shorthair

 
 

I can’t imagine going from that long to that short in one fell swoop, however, so it kind of progressed like this:

progression

 

Till I finally grew balls and cropped the back.

So now that I finally got the cut right, I realize that a few extra-femme things are in order. So here are some Polyvores to inspire:

gamine

 
 

leather

 
 

skaterskirt

 

Of course I’m not going to throw away my uniform, because it’s still freezing, and that would be madness. But breaking it up a bit and perhaps making peace with feeling shivery every once in a while will not kill a bitch.

If you’re thinking about being a risky risk taker and cutting your own hair, or having a trusted friend do it for you, here’s a tutorial that helped me:

 

Also, you can visit my Pinterest for more hair inspirations, and check out my Polyvore for outfits.

Lastly, thank you Sabato for the photography. Check out Sabato’s amazingness over here.

Time out online for busy moms

gemma

Whatever you do in life, whether you’re in an office from 9 to 5, at home with the kids as a SAHM or at home with the kids as a WAHM, everyone needs a break now and then.

To say that because you don’t work, you don’t need any time out, is just not realistic. Moms are the worst at undervaluing what they do, and not recognizing that raising kids counts just as much as the stereotypical image of work that we’ve all grown up with.

Having a few minutes of time out from your usual routine can do you and the people around you the power of good. If you work at a computer in an office, a five minute break will allow you to come back to your desk being more productive and effective, and it’s the same if you’re at home with the kids. Taking some time for yourself will allow you to recharge your patience levels and you can then continue being an enthusiastic and loving mom, rather than one who’s getting to the end of their tether as they’re rushed off their feet all day.

Imagine how tedious life used to be for moms. Previous generations didn’t have all the time-saving gadgets we have that make running a house so much easier, and they didn’t have the internet to provide them with different forms of entertainment.

How you spend those five minute moments is down to the individual of course, but there are some great options for downtime online. Take the amazing choice of games you can play at a site like 32Red online casino. With more than 500 different games in one place, each one ready to start whenever you are ready to play, you have more entertainment than you’re ever likely to need on just one site.

And the great thing about sites like 32red is that many of the games can be played for free. You don’t even have to put any money down to start playing games as varied as blackjack, roulette or slots. This is because you can play in practice play mode, where none of the bets you place are real as you’re playing with demo chips. So if you just want to experiment with those classic casino games that you’ve never had the chance to try, it’s the perfect solution.

Although the times when you can sit and relax undisturbed are few and far between if you have young kids at home, a bit of online gaming is ideal as none of the games last very long. So even if you just want something to do while you have a coffee, the games you find on a casino site are ideal. You can dip in for a few minutes and then log out again. On the other hand, if you feel like having a bit of a longer gaming session, you could save it until after their bedtime when you know you will have a couple of hours to yourself.

Online gaming has revolutionized the possibilities of how to unwind and chill out without having to book a sitter and leave the house. It’s not the only way to take five by any means, but for something that’s entertaining and easy; a few online casino games always fit the bill.