Saturday, March 29, 2008


i've been really annoyed lately with the war in iraq and americans' lack of compassion for iraqis trying to live normal lives in the middle of their war-torn country. i'm tired of people having so much hatred in the hearts that it consumes them. find compassion, look for the good in people, stop judging, start caring. and find happiness in your heart. your mind. your life.

aaron and i watched an excellent movie last night called The Kingdom starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner. it's about a terriorist attack in the middle east that targets americans. it's action packed and leaves a great message...that ultimately we're all humans put on the earth, trying to live our lives, and we're really not that different at all.

the following i just copied and pasted from the yahoo main page this morning, so you might have already seen it...but i thought it was definitely worth mentioning. it's the FIVE THINGS HAPPY PEOPLE DO!!! i know it's alot of text, but isn't your happiness and wellbeing worth the 5 minutes it
takes to read. :) :) i even condensed it a bit for you.....

Picture happiness. What do you see? A peaceful soul sitting in a field of daisies appreciating the moment? That kind of passive, pleasure-oriented—hedonic—contentment is definitely a component of overall happiness. But researchers now believe that eudaimonic well-being may be more important. Eudiamonia means striving toward excellence based on one's unique talents and
potential—Aristotle considered it to be the noblest goal in life. The effort to know and realize one's most golden self has also come to include continually taking on new challenges and fulfilling one's sense of purpose in life.

"Eudaimonic well-being is much more robust and satisfying than hedonic happiness, and it engages different parts of the brain. The positive emotion accompanying thoughts that are directed toward meaningful goals is one of the most enduring components of well-being." Eudaimonia is also good for the body. Women who scored high on psychological tests for it (they were purposefully engaged in life, pursued self-development) weighed less, slept better, and had fewer stress hormones and markers for heart disease than others—including those reporting hedonic happiness—according to a study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

It may seem obvious, but "people don't devote enough time to thinking seriously about how they spend their life and how much of it they actually enjoy," In a recent study, Schkade and colleagues asked more than 900 working women to write down everything they'd done the day before. Afterward, they reviewed their diaries and evaluated how they felt at each point. When the women saw how much time they spent on activities they didn't like, "some people had tears in their eyes," Schkade says. "They didn't realize their happiness was something they could design and have control over."

Analyzing one's life isn't necessarily easy and may require questioning long-held assumptions. A high-powered career might, in fact, turn out to be unfulfilling; a committed relationship once longed for could end up being irritating with all the compromising that comes with having a partner. Dreams can be hard to abandon, even when they've turned sour.

Fortunately, changes don't have to be big ones to tip the joy in your favor. Schkade says that if you transfer even an hour of your day from an activity you hate (commuting, scrubbing the bathroom) to one you like (reading, spending time with friends), you should see a significant improvement in your overall happiness. Taking action is key. Another recent study, at the University of Missouri, compared college students who made intentional changes (joining a club, upgrading their study habits) with others who passively experienced positive turns in their circumstances (receiving a scholarship, being relieved of a bad roommate). All the students were happier in the short term, but only the group who made deliberate changes stayed that way.

If only I get a better job…find a man…lose the weight…life will be perfect. Happy people don't buy into this kind of thinking.

The latest research shows that we're surprisingly bad at predicting what will make us happy. People also tend to misjudge their contentment when zeroing in on a single aspect of their lives—it's called the focusing illusion. In one study, single subjects were asked, "How happy are you with your life in general?" and "How many dates did you have last month?" When the dating question was asked first, their romantic lives weighed more heavily into how they rated their overall happiness than when the questions were reversed.

The other argument against "if only" fantasies has to do with "hedonic adaptation"—the brain's natural dimming effect, which guarantees that a new house won't generate the same pleasure a year after its purchase and the thrill of having a boyfriend will ebb as you get used to being part of a couple. Happy people are wise to this, which is why they keep their lives full of novelty, even if it's just trying a new activity (diving, yoga) or putting a new spin on an old favorite (kundalini instead of vinyasa).

It's no surprise that social engagement is one of the most important contributors to happiness. What's news is that the nature of the relationship counts. Compared with dashing around chatting with acquaintances, you get more joy from spending longer periods of time with a close friend, And the best-friend benefit doesn't necessarily come from delving into heavy discussions. One of the most essential pleasures of close friendship, Demir found, is simple companionship, "just hanging out," as he says, hitting the mall or going to the movies together and eating popcorn in the dark.

As much as we all think we want it, many of us are convinced, deep down, that it's wrong to be happy (or too happy). Whether the belief comes from religion, culture, or the family you were raised in, it usually leaves you feeling guilty if you're having fun.

"Some people would say you shouldn't strive for personal happiness until you've taken care of everyone in the world who is starving or doesn't have adequate medical care," says Howard Cutler, MD, who co-authored The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World with the Dalai Lama. "The Dalai Lama believes you should pursue both simultaneously. For one thing, there is clear research showing that happy people tend to be more open to helping others. They also make better spouses and parents." And in one famous study, nuns whose autobiographies expressed positive emotions (such as gratitude and optimism) lived seven to 10-and-a-half years longer than other nuns. So, for any die-hard pessimist who still needs persuading, just think of how much more you can help the world if you allow a little happiness into your life.

Friday, March 21, 2008


thanks ashlee for the AWESOME!!! website full of free fonts.
if you're bored over easter break, check this out....

let me know which are your favorites!!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Ana Pier, one of my very loyal customers from when i first opened, brought this in with her sister to have painted. it was originally a painting of flowers from kirklands or pier one, and she really liked the canvas mounted to a wooden border but not the picture itself. so i gave the canvas an overhaul and this is what we came up with. the browns and turquoise match her house at OU. i would love a picture of it hanging in her living room!!!


this is one of the more exciting paddles i've ever painted!! a customer brought it in from out of town to have painted for her little. i hope she just LOVED it!


so if you missed all THREE shows during SXSW listed before you can still check out tyler's music at.... and join us every thursday in may at opal divine's on 6th for live music!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


if you'll be in austin this week, you should really REALLY check out these shows. plus, if you show up early tyler's giving away free sampler CDs to the first 50 guests at each day.

Monday, March 10, 2008


it is SXSW here in austin this week and thursday through sunday aaron and i are working at a booth to sell music garb. primarily the tshirts and prints we have left over from his mural. it was this time last year that his South Austin Music mural, featuring 30 local musicians, was dedicated. remember how much fun it was?? i am planning to recreate the same amount of fun at this event. this is one side of a flyer we're passing out to promote Austin Art Biz. check out the text around "people are talking about". i couldn't believe it worked out so perfectly. but i really love this little detail. and if you haven't tried it yet, i encourage everyone to try making a ransom-note-inspired piece of art. it is SO MUCH FUN!!!


i wish i would have thought to make this little card a month ago for valentine's day, but giving it to aaron on a random day in march will just have to do. i do wonder though if making cute little cards like this would sell at harts n crafts. what do you think? of course it wouldn't say "ren is brilliant" because then i think maybe only stimpy would buy one. tee he he.