Friday, October 30, 2009

Sometimes I just love people so goddamn much

Submissions to a Where the Wild Things Are fort building contest, at (in collaboration with More forts can be found here and here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Austin Creative Reuse!!!

What the What?!?! Is it possible that my dreams could really become a reality? Those of you that have followed my rantings and ravings may remember me frothing at the mouth about my idea for a business named Mungo. Wow, my God... that was only 8 months ago or so, I now realize. The universe was working fast on my behalf, thanks a bunch, Universe!! So anyways.... I started this blog all fulla reuse ideas also named Mungo.... And then got matched up with a wonderful bunch of people who had a similar idea to me (thanks Bernadette!!!) , to create this wonderful reuse resource center similar to the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.... and now we've got a groovy logo and a name and are about to invite all of Austin to find out what we are all about! And that means YOU.... if you're out there reading this and this lights your fire in any way, come on down to the AAMP warehouse at 411 W. Monroe on Thursday November 5th at 7 pm to find out all about it. More here at


Here is my dollhouse that I've been working on on Tuesday nights with my friend Kiera. I'm doing a kind of bare bones, modern style, because it's the best my feeble carpentry skills can muster. If anyone wants to come build a dollhouse with us, the club is an open one! Kiera is doing a total remodel on a huge dollhouse she found at Blue Hanger. I think I'm going to do mine all with reused objects.... kind of set myself a challenge, and then it will fit in with this project, and then I can kind of justify to myself the time spent futzing around on this fun little project that, well, when you think about it, really should take a back seat to some other, more pressing tasks. But I'm staving off that logical brain, trying to just allow myself a little play time. I need it, I need it, indeed I really do.....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Turkey Creek

We are in paradise... the drought really really did end after all this rain... and it coincided perfectly with some crystalline, warm fall days, still warm enough to splash around and swim IN THESE CREEKS THAT HAVE BEEN DRY FOR TWO YEARS NOW!!!! This is so miraculous. I thought even if we got enough rain we might have to wait until spring. But praise be. And get thee down to the Greenbelt or Turkey Creek or Bull Creek or choose one from this fine assortment of creeks that Austin has to offer.... Truly Glorious.

"Flores! Flores! Flores por los muertos!"

I'm sorry, I can never get that line from Streetcar Named Desire out of my head. Chilling.
OH we had so much fun at our little party and then the parada on E. 6th street was fantastic as usual. Matt was correct in stating that kids seemed a little more intent on actually eating the sugar skulls this year (for some strange reason it was completely a non-issue, last year) and we also filmed a very short and incoherent zombie movie and we actually did a tad more actual talking about the dead who we are actually supposedly honoring so that was cool. For the record the top photo shows a picture of me and Auggie Doggie... our dearly beloved dachschund who is hands down most beloved pet of mine of all time so it is very fun to be inspired to tell the boys Auggie stories, which they love, of course.
I also called my mom yesterday and asked her for a little inspiration about how to represent my grandma and grandpa on the altar. She reminded me about how my Grandma lived in Wichita Falls, TX during the depression, a hot dry land that she hated. She read the book, The Girl of the Limberlost, over and over, and when she moved to Oregon she was in paradise. That was very fun to remember and imagine. I remember that she loved that book... I read it at some point in my childhood, too. And I remember her talking about how blisteringly hot Texas was. She said in the summer they'd just start getting up earlier and earlier each morning... trying to catch a breath before the sun came up. I also remember her always saying that How Green Was My Valley was her favorite film. I've never seen it...
My Grandpa was actually super cool. I'm sad to say I had no idea how cool until recently. Now I realize I must have inherited my tinkering proclivity from this man... who built a homemade roller coaster in my Mom and Aunt's backyard when they were little, along with a playhouse and a miniature golf course. These are just my Mom's parents of course... I'll have to get to my Dad's parents next year. Can't overload the little ones, who only have so much patience for hearing tales about their ancestors before they start gnawing on sugar skulls and going into sugar shock. Though I did hear one fascinating little tidbit from my mom yesterday... My Grandpa Bill on my Dad's side was badly narcoleptic, which is really interesting because my Dad is like that too... in the evening or at movies, and once in high school I even heard him snoring out in the audience of Bye Bye Birdie, in which I had a starring role... but my Mom said, "No, he was way worse than your Dad... when we went over there for dinner he would always fall asleep at the table after supper.... just sitting there and smoking his cigar... and everyone was so used to it they wouldn't even say anything... and he had all these holes in his shirt where he'd dropped his cigar whilst nodding off." So keep an eye on me folks... am I really listening to you with rapt attention, or have I just inherited my grandfather's condition but one-upped him by learning to snooze with my eyes wide open...
Anyway, all that bla bla bla just to say, I really love this holiday, and I love honoring all these dear good people who have passed on to the other side, sharing stories and believing that they're watching over us... all these grinning, dancing, jolly skeletons... really makes you feel safe and cozy. It really does!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Oof I'm just feeling awful today. They say depression is always the result of an unexpressed emotion but what's unexpressed? I'm telling you right now that I feel wretched. Just one of those days, or few-day-long stretches, where my main feeling is I. Just do not want. To be here. Right now. I just need to check in to the MaMa Spa for some sort of two day extravaganza of movie watching, mud baths, and people telling me they find me fascinating and brilliant and did I mention good looking, all day long. Oh well. I know. It doesn't exist. It can only exist within me, I gots to go deep inside and find all that love and care and approval inside me, or the fix will never stick.... gosh darn it all to heck.
So right now I think I'm being smart.... just doing my work and hanging in. It's interesting.... yes a lot of the time you'll hit on that one perfect thing that just jolts you out of your bad mood in a really spectacular splashy way. But sometimes it's just like you're in a valley, and the only way to get up to the peaks again is to keep moving. I'm doing my gratitudes, that always helps. Meditating. Breathing in fresh, sunshiny air. Keeping things flowing.... responding to emails, setting things in motion... that's always good. I have been writing a screenplay and I have a commitment to write three pages a day (shh, don't tell anyone... it's kind of a secret) so I'm plugging away at that. Anyway, all that good stuff and I'm still grumpy. If I stumble on something that really works for abolishing sour moods I'll let you know (and will maybe make myself a million dollars) but until then, forward, march!

Such fine friendly beautiful ladies

First meeting of the second phase of our fabulous women's group, led by myself and my friend Laurie Kemp. It went so swimmingly.... further reinforcing our theory that only good can come of women getting together (and if it's in the name of positivity, change, and sharing on a deeper level, then all the better!).
So super fun, inspiring and rejuvenating as always, and WHAT fun and cool women.... time could not be better spent.

Hee hee!

So brilliant. Designed by Mekko Alatalo for Company. Found at

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Finishing School

It's been kind of throwing me for a loop, taking care of my little girl's lovely curly locks. I'm pretty nervous about having another head of hair to care for, other than my own. I feel like I don't do that great a job with my own hair, body, clothes etc.... and now I'm supposed to prevent my little one's hair from forming into one little dreadlock on the back of her head?
I've been saying all year that I was going to put myself through finishing school this year. Like this was the year I was going to kind of get a style going, get some clothes that I like, proper shoes, and nicer hair. I feel like in my early twenties I could not shower for two weeks and still roll out of bed looking fairly adorable. During this period of having three children in six years I've pretty squarely lost that ability. Besides which, I'd really like to kind of look deeper into why I have such a lack of joy in the self-care department. And by self-care this time I'm speaking obviously more in the physical realm... just caring for this particular body I've been assigned to, this time around. I don't have very positive associations with getting dressed up (stressful shopping trips with my Ma) or with doing anything with my hair (a bossy older cousin use me as one of those semi-life-sized Barbie heads that you can play hairdresser with, and she was NOT gentle as she yanked the comb through my snarls) and I'd like to clean that up a bit so I don't pass that on to my kids.
When I was pregnant with this last little one of mine, the one who turned out to be a daughter, actually before I even knew she was a daughter, I read Mother/Daughter Wisdom by Dr. Christiane Northrup, who I hold in SUCH high esteem, I absolutely adore her. Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom is huge for me. It made me think about a whole lot of stuff, and I remember one day early on having a big ol' cry with a friend and thinking about all these generations of women behind me, leading up to me, and leading up to this baby who was maybe gonna be a woman too, and thinking about how I hoped to release all the sadness and hurt all those women had endured and stored.... so that I could pass on less of that and more of all the other wonderful qualities they had, the strenth and wisdom and humor and brilliance and creativity. And of course, of COURSE, same thing goes for my boys too...
One thing in that book that I thought was really sweet was that she did this spa night with her two daughters once a month, where they would just just do facial masks and comb out their hair and just have a really sweet togetherness few hours where they relaxed and had fun with this kind of spa theme. I thought this would be just as well for boys to learn and so I tried to do it with them... and maybe at some point they will be down with it, but it just devolved rather quickly to a lotion and water fight, not exactly what I was going for. I gave up on the idea, until a few weeks ago when I found myself really needing to confront the tangled little knot of hair that was forming yet again in my little girl's hair. She's an opinionated little sprite and it wasn't going to be easy convincing her to let me drag a comb through those snarls. So I climbed into the bathtub with her and lathered her head with conditioner and we just had this really sweet and gentle time very slowly and carefully working out those tangles, and also just enjoying each other's company. And I realized that this really was what I had been aiming for, and we were doing it together way earlier than I had imagined... sharing this time together, and having it be a really positive experience, caring for the ol' body and all...having it be a bonding experience rather than the stressful power struggle that happened to me, and to my mom, and to my mom's mom... a definite shift, and enjoyable, to boot.
Of course I'm not very far down the road with this whole mothering-a-daughter thing... and as far as finishing school I'm pretty sure I'll probably always be pretty rough around the edges... and I don't know about being finished, but at least it's a start.

Photo jojo

This book is really incredible... they're not even kidding when they tout themselves as being chock full of 'insanely great photo projects and DIY ideas'. Use your photos to re-do a rubik's cube, or make a magnetic version of yourself or one of your kids along with interchangeable magnetic outfits, or design a cross stitch from one of your favorite photos, or make a snow globe with a photo inside... seriously, this book has so many great ideas, and I'm not really that easily won over anymore, having read altogether TOO many craft-y/make-y books. But this ones a must-have. Check it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Bruno's been going to the sweetest little preschool this fall, called Tigerlily. Everything about Tigerlily is sweet and adorable and wholesome and wonderful, most especially the fact that Bruno is raring to go to school each day. It's worth the extra money and it's worth the long drive, to see his beaming little face each day when he gets home and to hear him singing the little songs he learns there and to hear him tell about how they made banana bread or pumpkin muffins or playdough or watched a spider build her web. Bruno is such a sweet sweet sweet easygoing (for the most part) middle child and I feel really good about him having this top notch experience rather than just getting lost in the shuffle.
By the way, Tigerlily has one more opening for a three year old girl... got one who needs some schoolin'? As you can see, they have quite a time.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Austin Village

Austin Village series: round 2!
revamp, rejuice, share, explore, and shift your body, mind, and soul
…a women’s group

We invite anyone and everyone to join us as we continue to sink deeper into our soulful selves~ together!!

For our next series, we will carve out 5 monthly sessions to explore and focus on 4 key issues in our lives:
money & true prosperity
body image
(although these inevitably tie into the entire fabric of our beings…)
and end, with a luxurious, fun, creative mini retreat as our grand finale.

We will delve into what we truly want in these areas and clearly define our dreamiest versions of ourselves within each.

Our wish for all is to create a clear pathway and arc of awareness within each area, putting all of our affairs in order and readying for one big leap into the upcoming year, THE YEAR in which we all truly embrace our essential selves. Finding all the love and support we could possibly hope for, releasing old patterns and limitations, and lifting off into what will surely be the beginning, deepening, continuation, or even complete soaring into the next phase of our brilliant & happy journeys ... with a little help from our village...

Our original intention remains the same -- which is to offer each other a safe, cozy space to connect with ourselves & explore these issues (at the very least) , which we believe will absolutely eventually catapult each other into a greater connection with each other, community, the greater sisterhood, and ultimately, the whole wide world and universe (at the most, totally doable)!!

And, our greatest hope is still that women will leave feeling lighter, more connected, and encouraged to explore the endless avenues of self care and be on their merry way toward what we are really here to do which is to either begin, define, deepen, or enrich our own personal journeys.

This will be led by Kami Wilt and Laurie Kemp in our usual cozy space using the same easy organic flow of conversation (allowing plenty of space for our messiest, teary, bright, dreamiest selves), with the addition of a light snack + bevies, with a mega healthy and delicious lunch at our final meeting.
For the final meet we will invite 2 special guests to join and share their version of self care, healing, shifting, with lots of additional fun and easy tools for you to take home!
Last but not least, we will offer a mid monthly check in by phone (via teleconference) for additional support towards making that major shift in consciousness that will result in more fulfillment and deep, beautiful growth.

WHEN: 10 – 1, one Saturday each month
October 17
November 14
December 12
January 9
February 6

WHERE: the home of Laurie Kemp, South/ Central Austin

COST: $150
This cost is NOT meant to be prohibitive~
we’re very, very open to barters & trades in any fashion



Kami Wilt and Laurie Kemp are both mothers of three, self employed, and both have a yen for personal growth, community building, and spiritual questing. We are avid students who have taken scads of classes with Carrie Contey and Bernadette Noll, Kirsten Nottleson, Dottie Curry, and Amy Childs. Our influences include Shakti Gawain, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Caroline Myss, Sonia Choquette, and many more.

what we're up to out in the world~

WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID (testimonials)...

"This group has meant so much to me. It has been, and continues to be, a place where I feel REALLY SAFE to share and experience whatever's up for me. Laurie and Kami have been the perfect gentle guides, so loving and accepting and wise, with just the right amount of encouragement, creating a space that made it possible."


"Oh how I wanted a village. I wanted a group that I could spill my saddest, my darkest, my most conflicted self to, and have respond with a "hmm, I gotcha," "I feel ya." I'm glad that I accepted the invitation to this nourishing, loving, supportive, and even enlightening circle. This village of support helped me through a difficult time..."