Sunday

August 31, 2014

Week 3: A Bad Habit
Read about my photo challenge HERE.
(I cheated this week and took a picture with my phone...#nofilter)

Junior's Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake.
I usually hate cheesecake, but I get some of this every time I'm in Midtown. So. Good.



Wednesday

August 27, 2014


                 This is my letter to the world,
                 That never wrote to me, -- 
                 The simple news that Nature told, 
                 With tender majesty. 


                 Her message is committed 
                 To hands I cannot see; 
                 For love of her, sweet countrymen,
                 Judge tenderly of me! 

                 ~Emily Dickinson

   PROMPT: "This is my letter to the world"

After wrapping up the 146 : a collection of love stories project, I have greatly missed seeing poems spilling into my inbox each week... I would love to get to keep reading your poems (or stories, or see your art and photographs) and would like to start sharing some of them here on The Stars Spilled!

Send your poem/s (and etc.) here: itsjustam@gmail.com

Sunday

August 24, 2014

Week 2: Something Green 
(Read about my photo challenge HERE.)


Thursday

August 21, 2014






New York City is vibrant, brutal, self-made, extreme, alive, and drunk.

~ Matt T. 
  Manhattan

@matttolbert

Sunday

August 17, 2014

A couple years ago I bought a big fancy camera with grand plans of taking brilliant, gorgeous photos for the blog, my books, my Etsy, for friends, as a side job, etc... The only problem was that I read the whole manual...twice...and learned nothing except how to turn the camera on and snap a pic in the automatic mode. No fancy tricks, no special zooming and focusing and light plays and whatever else pro-photographers know how to do to impress us with their images. I moved on to YouTube tutorials, but couldn't get through them. BORING. I'd rather take ugly pictures. 

However, after joining Pinterest recently I kept finding myself re-inspired by the beautiful images people take, and have decided it's about time I learn how to actually use this thing... I stumbled across a random "Photo Challenge" someone posted and decided to tackle it as a way to explore my camera, as well as all the cool photo editing programs available...

I'm currently still shooting in automatic, but have grand plans to switch over and try some new techniques as the challenge continues (or at least will just try pushing some of these fancy buttons!).









Week 1: Self-Portrait 


(Wanted to play with light...and failed miserably. I'm holding a starry sky globe which I hoped would cast some cool pin points of light around, but I had to hold it so close for any light to show up that the globe ended up in every pic...and then you really couldn't see the bits of light, anyway. On the upside, I learned how to use the camera's timer!)

Monday

July 28, 2014








New York City is magic. 
It is art, adventure, and 
also the biggest kick in 
the ass you'll ever get...

~am

Saturday

July 12, 2014 - Grand Opening...

FINALLY...

My Etsy shop, The Stars Spilled, is open!

It's a little space filled with stars, whimsy, sparkle and magic...

Here's a bit of the shop's story...and a bit of the reason it has taken so very long to officially open for business:

Once upon a time, an artist and writer living in New York City had many little ideas that she wanted to make come true. And so, she decided to open her very own Etsy shop and fill it with stars and glitter and magic and dreaming. She soon began her first project and worked for hours, which turned into days, measuring, cutting, and filling tiny jars with stars. Finally, she was finished, and had a lovely collection to begin her shop. To celebrate the grand opening, she went out for a nice walk and a delicious breakfast of pancakes. However, she returned a couple hours later to a trail of sparkles and stars all over the apartment. The trail led to a very naughty and guilt-filled kitten who sat in the middle of a large pile of spilled stars and broken jars, with glitter covering his paws. And so, the grand opening was postponed, but the shop found its name, The Stars Spilled, and in the end everyone, including the kitten, found a happy (and rather sparkly) ever after...



This is only the first small batch of items...More will be added each week, including: handpainted notecards, gift tags, fairy doors, garlands, etc.

If there is something specific you'd like to see, especially if it's sparkly, let me know! I have been doing custom ordered art for the past few months and would love to do more...it keeps me in my happy place... 

Monday

June 30, 2014


"Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic." 
~J.K. Rowling

Spent a couple of hours finding bits of magic hiding among the dusty shelves of Whitlock's Book Barn this past week...






I found a few vintage Nancy Drews to add to my collection, and then spent the rest of the time inhaling the sweet scent of wisdom and romance that only really old books have...and petting horses. My favorite kind of day...

Friday

May 16, 2014

"The artist's world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep."
                               ~Paul Strand

(The view from my own doorstep - inspiration and beauty surround me tonight...)



Thursday

May 8, 2014



"Go where your best prayers take you..."
~ Frederick Buechner


The words on my mind this week as spring 
finds its way into my city and my heart...




Sunday

April 27, 2014


The President of Love146 (...and my dad...) reading his copy of 
146 : a collection of love stories

Get your copy HERE
90% of profits from book sales go directly to WWW.LOVE146.ORG

Sunday

April 13, 2014

Spent the weekend working on some exciting projects to launch my Etsy shop! Yet another thing that was put on hold as I finished the book project, but it is now full steam ahead! Hoping to officially open the store at the end of the month! Here's a tiny peek at some of the sparkly fun to come...


       








Monday

April 7, 2014

I spent my birthday this year riding a Clydesdale named Tinkerbell in the middle of Brooklyn. I convinced my best friend to go with me after hearing about Kensington Stables. Seven years away from Texas has made me homesick for anything "horse." I will admit, I was naive enough to believe that there was some great big, sunny field with horses casually grazing buried somewhere here in this city, so it was a little surprising (okay, terrifying) to realize we'd actually have to spend part of our ride dodging honking cabs and traffic lights til we reached Prospect Park...

Also, being from Texas, my friend and I only had experience riding Western. When they pulled Tinkerbell around the corner, not only did I immediately break into a sweat thinking about trying to haul my butt up onto a horse that tall, but I was horrified to discover she had an English saddle. I tried using the "It's my birthday!" line with my friend to make her switch horses with me, but the trail guide didn't give us a choice. He also informed me that Tinkerbell was a bit stubborn and didn't like to listen. This was a nice thought to have in mind as he pointed out the big traffic circle we were about to enter...

It was such a strange experience, riding through NYC traffic and having to obey traffic signals while on a horse, but once we got into the park it was magical. It began snowing (hard) and we couldn't really feel our toes or fingers by the end of the hour long ride, but it was a happy, happy thing to have a piece of home, to feel that familiar ache after getting (falling) out of the saddle...to have that lovely horse-smell on my hands again... 

Tuesday

April 1, 2014 ~ PUBLISHED.

WOW.

I’ve been away for awhile…but I have a very good reason. The anthology benefiting Love146 has FINALLY (after about 3 LONG YEARS) been released!

Working on the layout(for a long time)...

...and finally getting the first (of many) proof!!

I am THRILLED to announce that you can now purchase 146 : a collection of love stories through CreateSpace or on Amazon!


It is full of beautiful photography, art and poetry from 49 amazingly talented, kind, lovely people from all over the world: A.A., Aaron Strumpel, Abet Lardizabal, Adam Lebowitz-Lockard, Andrew Strasburg, Annewil Stroo, Arabella Grayson, Ben Nardolilli, Brittany Howard, Carol Berg, Celina Wyss, Chris Kilmer, Christie Lambert, Chuck E. Costa, Cjet O. Raymond, Danielle Daniel, Danielle Miller, Desirea Stott-Rodgers, Dominick Montalto, Dylan Lamb, Eleanor Leonne Bennett, Elizabeth Socha, Elizabeth T. Vazquez, Erika Morrison, Gabrielle Nolan, Hannah Brencher, Jamie Loftus, Katherine Russell, Katie Donahue, Kylie Johnson, Lacye A. Brown, Laura Elizabeth Colledge, Lindsay Marie Knowles, M. Thomas Cooper, Michelle Palmer, Mnikesa F. Whitaker, Nakida Zuri, Nicole Hoelle, Preeti Chukowry, R.E., Rachel Awes, Rashid Gabdulhakov, Rob Morris, Sarah Lamando, Sinta Jimenez, Tangela Parten, Taversia and Tyler Morris…I was also honored to have Marilyn de Guehery from the U.S. Love146 staff design the book cover! (Many of these people have amazing projects, books, albums, and shops of their own...check them out!)

They all share their love stories throughout the book…honest, raw…full of joy and sadness… And 90% of profits from book sales go directly to Love146…an organization close to my heart, working to end child slavery and exploitation.

This project has been something I have wanted to do for a very long time…It would not have been possible at all without those mentioned above, and the actual publishing this past week would not have been possible without those who contributed financially to the project fundraiser earlier this year:
Page Frederickson, Celina Wyss, Shannon Trader, Rob Morris, Megan Moore, Alicia Snow, Jennifer Franz, and Jim Morris, as well as two anonymous contributors.

THANK YOU to everyone who has supported and encouraged me (or tolerated my long, exasperated brainstorming/venting sessions) throughout this process…and thank you to each of you who have already purchased the book. I am SO excited to send the first check from book sales to Love146. It has been a collective effort by so many, and I am hoping that even more people will be blessed from this final result…both by the words and images published, and also by the Love146 programs the book sales will help support.

To find out more about Love146 please visit: www.love146.org

To purchase your own copy of 146 : a collection of love stories visit Amazon or CreateSpace