Tuesday, November 29, 2016

325 Too Many, A Plea to Humanity

Image by Peggy

325.  That's how many people were killed by gun violence in the United States of America during the week of 11/1/16 - 11/8/16. That's 325 too many.

Even one is too many.  325.  In one week. There are 52 weeks in a year. My brain calculates quickly, almost without thought. I have to force myself not to do the math. Unspeakable.  But I can tell you one thing about it.  It's too many.  Even one person killed by gun violence - which is totally avoidable - is too many.

It is a turbulent time in the United States. Slow down. Read your constitution, study your history.  History repeats itself.  We are going down a path, and we can change our mind.  It's that simple. Not easy, but simple.  

Change is not hard.  The way we are living now is hard.  Young people feel helpless.  They ask me all the time, "What can I do?" The answer is easy:  Spread Love. Turn away from the ugliness and insanity.

And for goodness sake, it is time to lay down our arms.  It is almost 2017.  Not 1957.  

It is time to lay down our arms, because we are more similar than different.  We all grieve when someone we love is carelessly, foolishly and avoidably taken before their time.

It is time to lay down our arms, because the loss of even one is too many.

It is time to lay down our arms, because the loss of any human being before their time should be incomprehensible.

It is time to lay down our arms, not to make us great again -- but because we are great.  Great nations lead by example.

It is time to lay down our arms, because we refuse to live in fear any longer. Fear is a crippler.

It is time to lay down our arms, because it is the right thing to do.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Announcements and Social Media Update

Hi friends!  I know it's been a long time.  I just wanted to update you on what's going on in my life and how I am using social media.

First, and maybe most important, is that I am writing a book!  Yep it's true.  It's about my experience living in the sweet little beach cottage.  You can follow my progress at Instagram #sweetlittlebeachcottage.

Second, I am working on an installation piece honoring the Harvest Moon of October and the Supermoon of November 2016.  You can follow my progress at Instagram as well, but I am planning to post some pictures of this work here.

Here is an update of how I am currently using social media:

Facebook - don't like.  Too much drama.  Makes me sad and makes me feel excluded.  I have deactivated my account.

Twitter - use mainly for politics, but am giving up politics.  :)

Pinterest - I share designs by other artists I like.

Flickr - not currently updating, but parts of my portfolio reside on flickr,  (For my portfolio and links you can see my tab above entitled portfolio)

Instagram - is my favorite thing in the world right now!  I post my work in progress, the installation piece I am working on, pictures of my home, and of course urban photography.  All photographs are by  me. I also use IG to spread positive messages of love.  I hope you will follow along.

How are you using social media these days?  Do you also love the ease of Instagram?  I'd love to hear from you.

And remember my friends, during this tumultuous time to always choose love.  Whenever you think what can I do?  Spread love.  It's the only thing that matters.

Friday, July 29, 2016

I'm in Denver, yo! It's all about love

Hi friends, as you know I'm in Colorado and it is Nirvana!!!  I came here to escape the insanity of the northern mid-west (is that a thing?)  Tough to get away from, and BTW I want to marry Jon Stewart. Anyone got his number? Is he already married?  If so, sorry Mrs. Stewart. :)

I'm having a hard time adjusting to the laptop again, since I started my boycott of the robbers aka TimeWarner.  I got used to my Android.  At least I had a choice.  Choice.  Choice is what we need.  But here in the mountains, the Android is shit.  Shit, I tell you.  But.....

 the mountain air is heaven.  If you are a weather lover, this is the place to be.  Raining one minute, sun the next. Beautiful mountain air, sunset and sky.  It is heaven on Earth.  I feel sad when I see liter, so I pick up as much as I can without my back hurting or splitting my pants.  everyone is so patient, they move slow, they approach slow and in a non-threatening manner.  They are very polite. i feel like a queen.  when i was swimming i pretended i was Rihanna.  Man, I wish I had her skin.

It's so pristine and new, it's such a gift to be here.  I sure am tired, though.  This may be my last trip. Starting to miss my quirky little cottage.  I love the people here.  Love them. Love the diversity. There's just so many of them. In a year you won't be able to get near this place. And can you blame them? Gotta go where the opportunity is.  And they can pretend it's not about the weed trade, but it is.....and.......everyone........knows it.

 I feel like Michelle Obama designed the area.  Around all the available development areas - are areas reserved for agriculture.  Not sure what kind, right now it looks like sunflowers.  So pretty for a walk and a stretch at night.   The stars.....the air.  Ahhhh.

sorry I digress.  I swam so much I got burned.  Ooops.  Today I swam with my baseball cap 'cause my forehead is gonna blister.  I love the water.  it's the only time i don't feel awkward. It carries all the weight for me so I don't hurt so much from the weight of these gigantic tits.  I can't take the noon sun. I swear I am a hybrid mermaid/vampire.

another digression?  perhaps....i'm losing my train of thought.....,which is a good thing. my brain is too active at times.  i've got lots of good pics, but those will have to wait until i get home.

Remember, to choose love, my dears.  xo

to be continued......

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Living Simply: Use What You Have

I live in a very small place. It's not my first. In fact, I learned how to live small and simply by living in a studio apartment. I came to love that apartment. I wouldn't hesitate to move to a studio again. Now don't get me wrong, I love beautiful things, just not too many. I'm very careful what I bring into my home. Nothing could have prepared me for how many times I had to move over the last several years. I learned the value of traveling light.

Now when I buy something, I always consider whether it is something I would move, if I had to move again.  Great mindset when you are on a small fixed budget.  Simplicity makes me happy.

As you know, I've been decorating my little beach cottage, on the super cheap. I am using what I have.  The few new things I've bought come from the dollar store and the Goodwill.

Also, as you know, I've been using a lot of blue in my decor.  But, my first love will always be pink. So I decided to paint this vase pink.

I got this beautiful porcelain vase at the Goodwill for $1.50.


I used paint from Pat Catan's in a chalk finish. I always prefer pottery in matte finishes, so it worked perfectly. I love it!

I love this paint so much, I want to get more cheap vases and paint them too!
So what to do think, dear readers?  Should I paint these vases pink?
These are my favorites. The only reason I'm hesitating is they are vintage Haeger in a lava finish, which I love.

Monday, May 30, 2016

I get asked....

Hello dear readers, hope you are having a wonderful day!  I'm still stuck in the A/C. Not a complaint, just thinking about moving to Alaska. Lol, but really.

I was grateful to have some time to go through my neglected email. I don't get a lot of comments, but I do get a lot of emails. Not, a complaint, I love my emails!  Guess what the number one question I get asked is.

The number one question is......drum roll......that's right, you guessed it.  The number one question is:  "Do you really live like that?  And where's your stuff?"

The answer is YES!  I really do live like this. And in the next couple of days, l will show you how.

As you know, I am working on a social media experiment. I am blogging with my Android and it is a huge learning curve! Could I have a little feedback please?  Are my pictures too dark?  Any tips will be appreciated.

 It's dark in my little cottage, the way I like it.  And small. Very difficult to photograph. I have newfound respect for interiors photographers.  It's much harder than exterior shots.

Want more pictures, and less words?  You can also follow along at instagram, @margiemax #sweetlittlebeachcottage.

I really must learn how to link. ;)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

My Sweet Little Beach Cottage

Hello dear readers!  I hope you are having a great weekend. It's a hot one here in Ohio. Hope it won't be like this the whole summer! A strange thing happened to me over the last several years, I actually prefer the quiet and solitude of winter.  And rain, I love rain. Not torrential storms, but gentle, misty rain, cool breezes on my face. And the beauty of gray skies.
So, I'm stuck in the A/C, and damn grateful that my sweet little beach cottage has brand new central air.  Whew, hew!  What luxury.  I'd like to mention quickly that I have the best landlords in the world. I will be talking about the all-important landlord/tenant relationship in a subsequent post.

Since I'm stuck in the A/C I'm cleaning the place, and of course rearranging. Who knows what the place will look like by Monday, so I thought I'd show you it's current incarnation, minus the mess.  I receive emails saying hey there's no way your place is that neat.  Well yes and/no. I do keep it simple. But I don't usually photograph it when it's messy.  Maybe one day I'll do a post of it messy. But not today. :-)
So...you remember the new painting I've been talking about?  It was intended for over the sofa, and ended up in the dining room.  I'm still contemplating if I'm going to put a painting over the sofa. In the meantime, I found a large, blue throw pillow at Gabriel Bros. for $6.99. What a deal. Since I can't paint as often as I like, I've grown very reliant on textiles for color and coziness. This place was freezing when I moved in. So luckily, I had a small collection of blankets, sheets, scarves, pillows, rugs, all of which can be moved around on a whim - and all of which came on the cheap.
Here's a little secret about my living room. I use it like it's a studio apartment. The back pillows come off the sofa - which is actually a very old Danish mod daybed on its last legs,  not a futon. It's just not in the budget to have it repaired and reupholstered.  It's amazingly comfortable to sleep on. And while it's small, it's actually helped my sleep because it's taught me not to toss and turn. Sometimes I'm too lazy to put the pillows back on.  There are two bedrooms that are too small to put beds in!  I'll have more to say about these little rooms in a subsequent post.
Little dining area is a study in using what you have. This is actually an outdoor table from Target. Have you noticed how cute outdoor furniture is? It can easily be used inside. I love the simple shape of this table.
I love my kitchen!   
It's the perfect marriage of form and function.  I'm not gonna say too much about the kitchen now, because I'll be talking about it in a subsequent post. But, don't the landlords have great taste?  Love the tile. And dig that awesome hanging glass lamp in the window. Oh, and a window, what luxury!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

New Painting....Simple, but not easy

Hello dear readers!  In the last couple of posts I've spoken about the process I go through when contemplating a painting. It usually starts with a color I see clearly in my brain, and which continues to haunt me.  Lately a particular shade of blue has been haunting me. When this happens the need to express the color becomes palpable.  I don't know why I do what I do, I just know that I have to.

I humbly present the first successful painting I've done since moving to my new place. It's simple, but not easy.  In fact, the more simple the painting, the more exacting. As you know, much consideration goes into the color. Then there's the mixing of the color. Then execution. In this case, I was going for perfection, although allowing imperfection can be fun too, but that's not what I wanted to achieve here. I did not want brush strokes, nor variations in the color. Indeed, the color itself is the art. This is a great way to experiment with color psychology.

I'm going to toot my own horn here - it is too bad that I am not healthy enough to work as a professional interiors painter, because I am great at it.  So it occurred to me that I should use the same technique on a canvas that I would on a wall.

If you want a perfect, flat surface it's important to remember that a lot of paints are self leveling and look completely different dry than they do wet. I think Behr paint in flat finish is the most perfect paint there is, especially if your walls are in bad shape. And Home Depot are masters at mixing custom colors (although I mixed this color myself using paints from Pat Catans.) Wish I could say this is a sponsored post, but it's not. :) These are just my humble opinions based on years of experimentation.

The key is patience and restraint. When we are trying to accomplish a smooth surface, the natural inclination is to keep working the paint, going over areas we've already done and lobbing on more paint. Like I said, most acrylics are self leveling, so not only is this unnecessary, it  can be counterproductive. The way to accomplish a smooth flat finish is to put a whole coat on the canvas, in a thin layer. Don't go back over areas you've already painted. keep moving forward in one direction. Again bear in mind that paint looks very different wet than it does dry.

Put a thin layer on the canvas (or vase or table or whatever you are painting), without stopping and without retracing your steps. Then, patience. Let the coat dry thoroughly before applying another coat. Fortunately acrylic dries quickly. Then apply another coat, same way, sparingly, always moving forward, never back. Again let dry thoroughly. You might be surprised after the second coat dries, you might be done. In fact, I have never had to give walls a third coat, even when painting a light color over a dark.  Repeat the coats the same way until you are satisfied.  For this particulsr canvas, after the third coat dried, it was done and perfect.

I love most art, but the art that I find most aesthetically pleasing in my place is very minimal. And like I've said many times, it's simple, but not easy.

Untitled, 2016, 36" x 36", acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Taking clues from the rain

Ever since watching Design Star, I've wanted to make a custom chandelier. My new place has several chandeliers, and my landlord inspires me because she is skilled at making them. There is currently a sort of rustic chandy in my dining area that is not really me.  Landlord said she thought of hanging jewels from it.

Hmmm.  Now I've never been much for embellishments, preferring things more simple.  But one day while shopping in the bead aisle at Pat Catan's - and becoming completely overwhelmed and over stimulated - it came to me. Whatever I do must be simple. And influenced by rain. I love rain!

So I bought some chains and played with hanging them from the chandelier.  Now, if you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I have a ton of ideas, but I'm not that great of a DIYer.  So I'm pretty proud of this. 

Voila!  I have a new chandelier for about $12.00! I must say that I love it!  It's amazing how the chains look in the changing light of the day. And it's so romantic with candles on the table. I'd like to add even more chains, and to spray paint the fixture silver or white...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

And speaking of the blues....

As you know, I've been thinking about blue a lot lately. If you're like me (addicted to design) then you love movie sets too.  I recently watched the movie The Big Empty.  I was stunned by the beauty of this shot!

The gorgeous girl is dressed in blue and her apartment is blue. Even the phone is blue.  And will you look at that lamp!  I love it.  I would love to decorate a place in monotone.

If you love blue, you can also see a lot of blue inspiration on my board called The Blues at pinterest.  Sorry, I've been blogging on my Android and I don't know how to link yet.  It seems I'm always on a learning curve. ;)


Everything inspires me when I am contemplating a painting.  I am constantly amazed at the beautiful color everywhere I look.  I bought the most awesome blue lipstick and nail polish at the dollar store recently.  I can see a color scheme of blue, pink and gray.  I also found the most gorgeous pillow at Pat Catan's, on the cheap.  I usually don't like patterns, but the colors are so gorgeous.

I've been seeing a lot of blush or pale pink in decor these days.  And for the first time Pantone selected two colors of the year, rose quartz and serenity.  I am taken with how closely these colors resemble my sky inspiration photo (below).  I even love these colors with last year's color, radiant orchid.

All these thoughts go through my brain as I think about a painting. I become obsessed with a desire to reproduce a color I see in my mind.  As I contemplate, I move things around in my place. My place becomes my color lab.

My new pillow.
Part of my scarf collection
New makeup and thick socks, such luxury!


It's been a big adjustment moving to this little cottage. I actually sorta miss my apartment, go figure. Life in a house is a lot of work and hidden expense, even when you're just renting. It seems like something is always going wrong.  This place was so filthy when I moved in, I've scrubbed and scrubbed.  And it was infested with spiders! It was a nightmare!  I felt terrible because I killed so many spiders, but I am deathly allergic to their bite.

And the yard, my gosh.  I just can't keep up.   Suffice it to say I have newfound respect for anyone who goes through a renovation project.  I'm just not cut out for it.  And I may be moving again!  I never thought I'd move so much in my life.  I'm glad I travel light.

So okay, the place is temporary, but that's no reason it shouldn't be cute.  One thing I have really loved is living with walls that are not tan!  Honestly, I don't know why apartment buildings paint such ugly colors.  I'm rambling, sorry about that.

This is actually supposed to be a post about color.  If you've been reading for a while, you already know I love pink. But lately, I've been haunted by a shade of blue.  I need a painting for over the sofa, I think it will be blue, definitely influenced by the sky.

The sky is so lovely here. It's a source of never-ending fascination.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sweet Little Beach Cottage

Happy Monday, dear readers!  Did you have a good weekend?  I did!  I didn't do much, but that's just the way I like it. I am loving living the simple life. Less stuff means less time dusting! 

Now just because I love living small and simply, doesn't mean I want to sacrifice beauty.  I still want my place to be feminine, cozy and edgy. I still have design ADD. I'm just very careful what I bring into my home.

Of course I still like to change things up, but I do it with very little money. There's a great dollar store in my hood, so my style could actually be called "dollar store chic," lol.  Here's a few pics of my living room, showing changes I made. I'm so obsessed, I swear I move something every day!

 I'd love to paint the place gray, but it's a rental.  I'm just so glad it's not muddy puke biege, like most of my apartments have been. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

New painting

Untitled, 2015, 18" x 36", acrylic on canvas

If you follow my instagram, you've already seen this painting. It's the last painting I did in my apartment. It was influenced by the Colorado mountains, and rain. I must say, this is my favorite painting. I've become very intrigued with reductionism in art. This painting feels like I've achieved a style and voice that all my experimentation has led to. It takes a lot of restraint to put a small amount of paint on canvas. Just as it takes restraint to decorate in a minimal way. The painting is soft, romantic and mysterious. Perfect for my new place.  My love of rain is inspiring my decorating decisions.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hello again! Big changes in my life.

Hi friends, how are you?  I've missed you. I haven't decided if I'm going to start blogging regularly again, but I thought I'd do a few posts on what I've been up to. I've been unplugging quite a bit, and it feels great.  I'll talk a little about the way I am using social media in a subsequent post.

The big news is that I moved.  Yep it's true. And another big move is on the horizon, I think.  Living very simply and taking things day by day. I want to move somewhere with legalized weed and lots of rain. Like Seattle or Portland.

I moved to a sweet little beach cottage. It's been quite an adjustment. I've lived in an apartment most of my life. And I was surprised how much I missed my apartment (not the hood), when I moved. My cottage is a small one story ranch. No basement -- yay! basements creep me out, I'm traumatized by the horror movies I was forced to watch as a child -- and no attic. It's not much bigger than my apartment at around 650 square feet.

One of the things I miss is being on a higher floor. I never had to turn on my heat, and I could keep windows open all the time. I love fresh air and love sleeping by a window. I miss my balcony, and my tree. I love feeling like I am in a tree house.

I had a rocky start when I decided to move. I moved half my stuff and the deal fell through. I was so beside myself when I had to move the crap back, I almost put it all in the garbage.  Things worked out for the best in the long run. Typical mercury retrograde stuff.  Fortunately, I believe in travelling light. I did almost the whole move by myself, in my little station wagon. God, I love that car.

Here's the last few pics I took at my apartment. My ever changing living room. I sold that coffee table and now I regret it!  Oval coffee tables are hard to find. Not only was the piece gorgeous, it was so functional. I'm watching the Goodwill and yard sales for one like it.  Like I said, I miss my friend the tree. I used to sit on the sofa and watch the squirrels and birds play in it. I also loved to watch its seasonal changes.  Oh well, there's lots of amazing fauna here, which I'll be sure to tell you about.

I hope you will follow along as I tell my story of setting up home in this sweet little beach cottage.  You can also follow along on instagram @margiemax.  I did this post on my Android!  I'll have more to say about that in my upcoming post on social media.

Thanks for reading!  


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