4 years ago

The Right Kind of People

Hi thurr.  Here we are, getting comfortable on my new site. I know you can’t see it, but I designed a sitting space for you (in my head), for when you’re visiting:

Pinterest love.


If you’re not down with that, then you must pick from amongst these sitting items:

Pinterest has a trove of “uncomfortable chairs”. One only needs to spend the morning searching it.

Either way, I hope you like it.

Friday, Svellerella went live.  That was exciting… until I realized how much work I still have to do.  But then my brain smiled, because I like this work.

AND on Friday and Saturday –all in one weekend I say!– I got to visit with two high school girl friends.  That’s a lot of real life face time for this hobbit.

I hadn’t seen Caitlin in 5 (?) years, and I’ve not seen Beth in 11(?!?) years.  A mark of our friendship is how at-ease I felt with both of them, and how comfortably we fell into conversation, as if maybe it’d only been a few weeks since we’d seen each other.
Maybe that’s just how it is when you grow up in a small town with a smaller than average group of people.

But even more special is how inspired and energized I feel in my creative endeavors by speaking with both of these ladies.  Caitlin and Beth are both creatives, as well.

I learned a long time ago how hard it is, even among yon artsy fartsies, to find someone willing to share ideas and experiences, willing to show vulnerability, willing to appear as they are, without putting on airs, and without fear that someone will become “better” at the trade than me.

Maybe it’s because my husband took the boys to Costco while I sat at in Starbucks with Caitlin, sipping my second cup of coffee for the day, my attention allowed to focus on our conversation and not the terrorizing-of-the-cream-and-sugar-station by my boys, if they’d been present, but I came away surprised at how energized I felt. Usually, I’m spent for the rest of the day after the daunting travail of socializing. Probably the extra caffeine did the trick. BUT, I’m pretty certain it was something else.

While we are all similar in that we love art, both Caitlin and Beth lead totally different lives from small world momma here.

With permission, by Elizabeth Gilmore

Beth is a freelance graphic designer/photographer for some well-known, fancy-pants brands, and a designer at Facebook HQ in San Fran, and the colors in her portrait film photography project are stunning (keep an eye out, yours truly might be popping up on her page soonly).

We grew up taking art and french classes together, always -always- laughing. She talks fast and has double jointed elbows, which has proved amusing when while out for dinner she were to hand a glass to the waiter.  She was in town to speak at her alma mater university and solo critique some student’s work.  Beth downplayed the whole thing with a roll of her eyes, and it made me love her even more. While she works with some schmancy businesses, she is a champion for mom&pop shops and encourages even this lil’ momma to “Write a book! Seriously, DO IT!”

Beth came to visit me and the boys at our house, and she kept remarking on how well-behaved they are.  They perform very well.  I had to pep-talk Lexington beforehand to refrain from giving Beth the grand tour of EVERY single nook and cranny of the house, because he leaves no dirty pair of underwear unacquainted to visitors, and remember this from last week?

Property of C. Svellinger
clean, albeit chaotic.

Relocated to upstairs.
Beth is such a bright personality, and so willing to help everyone, and I am so glad we got to catch up.   Go follow her on Instagram and have your brain explode from all the colors.


Property of C. Svellinger

Caitlin is a film director in Chi-town.  Her first documentary follows the men who make a living impersonating Abraham Lincoln, as they educate others about a vital time in America’s history.

 I have to chuckle a little because growing up, we constantly created music videos while together at her house, before YouTube was even a thang –you know, by taping headphones from a CD player to a videocamera.  I grimace remembering a particular music video where we drew on our arms and backs with lipstick, donned shower caps and swimming goggles, and paraded in front of the camera to a Cher song, or perhaps Limp Bizkit.  Anything from the first three NOW That’s What I Call Music Albums.

Caitlin, too, speaks en français, and I could point out her handwriting and sketches if you made me pick it out of a hundred random people’s scribbles.  She’s silly and serious, and carries the totally French “pftff” when she speaks that only a francophile would detect, and we both agreed to bid good riddance! to being in our twenties during our last leg of it, while also conceding that turning 30 might as well be 40, and thus goes life.
I have to credit Caitlin for this blog.  She is the one who told me I should try it, many years ago.

Property of C. Svellinger


I came away inspired by their work, their stories, their struggles, and that they chose share them with me.
The older I get, the quieter it seems people around me become, as if hoping their bling and brand names will speak the story they wish everyone to believe, in fear that authenticity will betray them by revealing the regular Joe they’re ashamed they are.

The thing is, there is no such “regular” Joe.  Each person has a different story, full of struggles, some triumphs. If shared with the right kind of people, I believe authenticity will inspire creative thinking and deeper human connection.  The book I’m currently reading, Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown, discusses how we tend to recoil from authenticity out of a fear/shame of not appearing enough to the world around us. Visiting with childhood friends who’ve always stuck out in my mind as examples of an authentic “strong lady force,” as Beth puts it, seems to have come at the right time in combo with reading Brown’s book.

While I blog about the 6 bottles of nailpolish that Collin dappled into last night (–wait, what? Fun clean up, let me tell you.), it’s truly a privilege to know these girls– not only because of the inspiring things they do, but because of how they make me feel.
I hope I make you feel inspired, too.

Now, can someone tell me where to find those brassy mugs from my dream spot above?  Cause L.O.V.E.