Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Podcast Roundup // Creativity & Lifestyle

Podcasts are a wealth of entertainment AND good information! I love these podcasts for the inspiration and sense of camaraderie they provide... we're all trying to figure out what it means to be creative humans in the 2000s, and I'm so super grateful to these folks for sharing their stories and giving us some great tools as we get on our way!

Art for Your Ear // (not necessarily kid-friendly) Danielle Krysa is SO fun to listen to, and she's a wonderful, casual, and enthusiastic host. One of my biggest dreams is to be interviewed by her some day! Danielle, if you're reading this, put me on your "to-interview" list! Danielle interviews some of her favorite artists, and asks them all kinds of wonderful questions about their backgrounds, their processes, and whether or not they like chips or sweets (the answer should always be chips). This podcast is PACKED with inspiration! I love to listen while I'm working on my own art.

Happier // What I love about Gretchen is that she is aware that she is a bit hokey and over-the-top as a happiness guru, but she does it anyway. She is a very Type-A personality, balanced out by her co-host and sister, Elizabeth, who is far more laid back. They are the perfect pair as they go through tips and tricks about how to be happier! Which I know sounds like they're selling snake oil, but you guys, everyone could be a little happier. And if you believe it'll work, it magically does.

Magic Lessons // (not kid-friendly) Another creativity/happiness guru of sorts, Elizabeth Gilbert, has just begun Season Two of her new podcast and it is GREAT. I love that they've changed the format to be one episode per lesson instead of three... it's a longer listen and feels much more satisfying and complete. Liz is a wonderful cheerleader and tells it like it is. She's a wee bit "woo" for some, but if you can get into it, this is a great listen.

What podcasts inspire you to go make stuff?

♥ Ciara Kay

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Summer's End

Tonight is the last evening of my summer. A new season begins in the morning. I'm feeling particularly wistful about it because my husband caught a ride with our good friends back to our hometown for the week to speak about his research, and I'm all alone. I would have been crippled if this had been my first-day-of-school scenario last year, but here I am now, with only a few tears shed and a heart full of hope.

I've been in school now for a year and a half. I'm starting my 4th semester, which I'm hoping will be a fairly low-key one. I need to apply to transfer to UCSC this semester. I have several personal projects to juggle as well. I have a job which needs more from me than I want to give. I have a husband who I love. A heart that wants children (or at very least a pet to cuddle). A body that does not want to sit in front of a computer for more than an hour at a time, that wants to be outside more than in. But I find myself indoors most of the day.

I dream of a home on a little bit of land in Butte County, hot summers and wet, cold winters. A horse and a pony. Dogs, cats, chickens. A little garden. A house full of love and laughter, of creative messes and mending hearts. I dream of family gatherings and no more long road trips home for the holidays across the brown valley of California. I dream of a studio space, shared with other artists, on top of a workshop and gallery, nestled on the outskirts of downtown Chico. I dream of a future full of heartache, which means full of love, of laughter and of tears. I don't want a whole lot; I just want to be home.

♥ Ciara Kay

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cooking Up a New Series...

...here's some of my inspiration.

© Roger Dean
[National Geographic]
The Mithchell Park Domes in Milwaukee (photo by James Jordan)
Artwork by Prophet Royal Robertson
50's Sci Fi Movie Posters

Maynard Dixon, "Land of Tilted Mesas"

And, always...

Have I piqued your interest? I'm hoping to get started before school does on Monday! Can't wait...
♥ Ciara Kay

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Podcast Roundup // Comedies

Hey! Another podcast roundup! I adore podcasts. They get me through the work day (and any other day, really). This week I wanted to share a few of my favorite comedy podcasts. Enjoy!

Lizard People // (not kid-friendly) If you are as into conspiracy theories as I am, or would like to be as into conspiracy theories as I am, this is the podcast for YOU! In each episode, host Katelyn Hempstead lets a guest do their best to convince her that their favorite conspiracy is fact, and at the end she scores them on how much she wants to believe and how much she actually believes in said conspiracy. Pure delight & hilarity ensues.

Something Rather Than Nothing // Ok, Preston Yancey is not only a wonderful Anglican/evangelical author and theologian, he is HILARIOUS. He only got three episodes in to this super fun interview show before his son Jackson was born with several health problems, but I hope that once he and his family settle in to a less stressful routine he will pick it back up. I love the premise of this podcast and I love listening to Mr. Yancey.

Spontaneanation // (not kid-friendly) I had no idea who Paul F. Tompkins was when I started listening to this show... but a few minutes in I blurted out, "IT'S MR. PEANUTBUTTER." I was very happy to go on imagining Mr. Peanutbutter as the host of the show until I saw PFT in human form on another tv show, and what a sad day it was. Regardless, the man is super funny. His announcer-voice thing totally kills it on this show and I simply cannot get enough. Everything about it is hilarious: the monologue, the interview, the narrative improv, even the ADS. Go listen now!

And remember to please share YOUR favorite comedy podcasts in the comments below!! I'm always up for a wholesome (or not-so-wholesome) laugh.

♥ Ciara Kay

Monday, August 22, 2016

Salukis: The Most Magical Dogs in the Universe

I first discovered the Saluki a couple of weeks ago while browsing Pinterest. They and their lanky Windhound and Wolfhound bretheren have taken over my Dog board. But what makes the Saluki the most Magical of these long and limber breeds is those EARS. Those fabulous fabulous ears!

© Ninni Österholm
Super-model dog
Not only do they have gloriously short coats to show off their lanky limbs & sleek bodies (as compared to the Silken Windhound or the Borzoi), but you have that contrasted with the luxurious locks on those amazing ears. I'm in love.

© Paul Croes & Inge Nelis

Not only do they have beautiful long flowy ear-hairs, they come in a wide array of eye-popping colors.

El Ubaids Saluki
link to original
Alla Fina Hundar

And they have beautiful flowy tails and butt fluffs!


And if you're all about that perfect muscle symmetry, they come in a smooth coat as well:

Check out that curly tail and deep chest... ooh yeah!

They also look super fly in all of these fashionable dog accessories with which to adorn their long necks.

© Maria K Steinsson
SO regal.

Aruby Sighthound
© Kari Kinnunen

Want to know more? Yes... yes you do.

See? Magical.

Also, I drew one, because I love them so.

Buy it on Etsy!

♥Ciara Kay

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Camp Wilder: A Week with the Nieces

Jamie and I just got done with a whole week of fun with our two nieces, Eleni (age 9) and Madalyne (age 7). We brought them home with us last Sunday and the fun never stopped! A library stop, yummy foods, video games, roller coasters and boogie boards, all four of us had a very memorable week. We decided to call it "Camp Wilder," and I even made t-shirts for us all to decorate.

[I do apologize for the bad photo quality in some of these... Life lesson: don't use zoom on an iPhone 5 camera!]

Mine, Jamie's, Eleni's, Madalyne's
All decorated & ready for FUN
First order of business: get the girls on the Giant Dipper! The verdict? It was scary, but a little bit fun (they were so proud of themselves for going on it). Their favorite ride was the space bumper cars, which we did twice.
This Boardwalk pic cracks me up.
Madalyne won a fish in the balloon-popping game! And enjoyed the Carousel. She named her horse "Winter Snow" and Jamie's horse "Summer Breeze." She eventually named the fish "Goonla." I have no idea where she gets these ideas from.
Enjoying some art at Firefly before dropping me off at work the next morning
The Mystery Spot was definitely a highlight! I had to work, but Jamie and the girls had never been and they all had a blast.
In front of the bumper-stickered car
On Thursday night we went to Wilder Ranch to have a picnic on the beach and look for Geocaches along the bluffs. We found two! And saw pelicans, seagulls, an otter, seals, two rabbits, quails, and a dead bird.

...and we explored some caves.

On Saturday we all went to the beach in Capitola. Madalyne & Eleni quickly made it their goal to collect ALL of the seaweed.
Quite a pile accrued.

Rented a boogie board for Eleni - she LOVED it

Oh, joy!

Today we made another stop at the best bagel place in town, Firefly Coffee House! Yum! Hot chocolate with caramel for the girls, light roasts for us, bagels & cream cheese all around.
Now our little apartment feels SO empty! We will miss these two... both of these little loves have so much joy to share. We loved borrowing our nieces for a week, and we can't wait to do it again soon!

Do you have any fond memories with aunts & uncles, grandpas & grandmas? I LOVE family traditions and stories from childhood. Do share in the comments!

♥ Ciara Kay

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Podcast Roundup // True Stories

As I mentioned last week, I like many have become obsessed with podcasts. And I thought I'd recommend a few of my favorites! Last week I introduced some of my favorite docudramas, this week I thought I'd share some of my favorite podcasts of true tales.

Note: not all of these podcasts are kid-friendly, either due to language or subject matter.

Lore // Host Aaron Mahnke tells well these eerie and spine-chilling true tales from history. Some stories explain the origins of many of myths and legends that are still around today, and very often the truth is WAY scarier than the myth. Mahnke does an excellent job of leaving the final conclusions up to the listener. Don't listen alone unless you want to be up all night!! Seriously. Every episode is terrifying.

Serial // Each season, journalist Sarah Koenig dives deep into one story. The first season was a fascinating crime story, an old murder case with some fishy facts that no one ever seemed to get to the bottom of the first time it went through the courts. The second season covered Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier captured by the Taliban in 2009. While I'm partial to crime stories, Bowe's case was told in the same compelling way and I was soon hooked. I await the third season with much anticipation!

Snap Judgement // If you've somehow managed to catch up on every episode of "This American Life," it's time to move on to Snap Judgement. Host Glynn Washington definitely knows how to tell stories with style, and like Ira Glass he introduces the theme for each episode with a story of his own.

Someone Knows Something // Essentially "Serial," but with delightful Canadian accents! Someone Knows Something season 1 covers the cold case of Adrien McNaugton, a little boy who went missing in Arnprior, Ontario. I have hopes that in the aftermath of this season more information about Adrien will turn up.

Sounds of the Trail // Even if you have no interest in hiking across the country, you'll enjoy hearing the crazy stories of the people who do. Let's go for a hike!

This American Life // Now you can listen to this quintessential NPR radio show whenever and wherever! Ira Glass is lovely to listen to, and the stories they share are always interesting and engaging. I've learned a lot from this podcast as they share stories from experts, and I've had my preconceived ideas challenged by the diversity in their stories as well. An eye-opening glimpse into, well, this American life.

Please please let me know of your favorite non-fiction story podcasts in the comments! I'm always on the prowl for a good story...
♥ Ciara Kay

[favorite docudramas]