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Archive of ‘Design Your Life’ category

From Man’s Land to Wonderland

I love Rice DK decor, it’s no secret. I love Wu and Wu tins, Jeu de Paumes books and all the colorful and modern European designs with a flair of kitsch. I cannot get enough. My Lovely Lovely UK collection is still in wrapping because my kitchen is not yet ready for the palette nor have we finished deciding how, why and where things will be.

In this stage of our relationship I am NESTING. Nesting to the max. No I am not pregnant but I believe women are nesters in these stages anyway. Stages of the decision that this is going to be your life together, your home, your family. With that I’d like to say that men can also be nesters as my mister plans and completes renovations of spots in our home without me even implying I want him to. He also asks for my opinion and I ask for his. This is tough for 2 artists with VERY DIFFERENT art styles. I’m saying pop surrealism VS contemporary realism. Think bright color POPs vs calming earth tones.

I believe when you settle down and start a new life with someone else that you are combining your lives into one delicious (lemon poppyseed) cake. You must sacrifice yourself to become unified and to ensure both feel at home rather than one being resentful or stifled. So we begin the road to mixing the 2 styles in one big (pink) Kitchenaid mixer and set it to low speed (while I toss in sprinkles for funfetti cake). I found a few articles on the subject of collaborative design in the home with your partner but not many so I feel it’s best at this point to learn from the adventure. Please join us on our journey to create our dream home from our beautiful house (inspiration and mood boards included!) and the things I learn about designing it with mister.

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Getting Lost and Being Found

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I’ve cleaning and organizing our studio because that’s often what I end up doing in times when I’m stuck at home (such as the ridiculous amount of time we’ve been snowed in lately). Our house and all of her cupboards, closets and drawers have slowly been organized and sorted since I’ve moved in but never so much as lately. I can’t get enough of discarding the old, jaded and faded and replenishing with all things good and sometimes new. In this spare time I’ve also found extra moments to spend sorting through packages, boxes and files filled with photos, letters, nostalgia and clippings. Things I had forgotten about and things I had chocked up as gone — casualties in the divorce, move and hard reset of my life.

Wendy & I at Midland Antiques

Wendy & I at Midland Antiques

I’ve realized that in finding these fossils of my past life I’ve also found a part of myself that was neglected to the inner and outer war that has been going on since around age 15. Losing yourself teaches you a lot about the hardships and the long journey you have ahead of you to try to find yourself again. It teaches you about the you you always hoped and planned to be, the yous that you left behind and want to find, the yous that you’d prefer to grow apart from for the extent of your waking hours.

In realizing these things exist you find you have changed, your life has changed and quite possibly you have found the person you know you will be. I believe this happens to each of us a bit with every new year, we reflect. However, in my experience, unless a grand change is made resolutions will be forgotten and old habits will resurface.

I lost myself once and I am still looking for myself. Who I wanted to be as a young girl, the things I wanted to do and see, the life I wanted to live. I’d gotten so closed in, I magnified certain aspects of my goals and forgot about others. For instance, I wanted to get married and have a daughter but I forgot I had wanted the most grand love there ever was. I forgot that I didn’t want to just be content, that I wanted to experience pure love for a beautiful man, to experience a love like we hear about in fairytales only more real and passionate. Someone I didn’t want to change but someone whose love changed my life. I didn’t just want to have a child but I wanted to bring a child into a love-filled family of magical wonder, a magnificent home life and many adventures lined neatly with security and stability. With parents who love one another more than anything else, with siblings that give, teach, take and give some more.

by David Cunningham

by David Cunningham

I saw that I wanted to write. I found many old memoir notes and pages of manga dialogue, articles, fairytales and more. I lost the motivation in trying to do anything other than to fix things that were far too broken and then zoning out completely when they appeared impossibly broken.

I saw that my art was a major focus in my life, other than true love and family, and designing everything I do. I saw my plans for paintings, illustrations and web sketches; designs that never made it off the paper and into illustrator because I lost the ambition and self-esteem needed to go.

Now that I am finding myself in so many ways, I figured there were others that have lost important pieces along their journeys as well. Others that might need a little push to gather those pieces strewn along the ground and trudge on through their own adventure of finding their true, superior self. The self they are, were and wanted to be. What have you lost and found along the way?

Happy New Year.

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Obsessively Compulsively: Navigating OCD

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So how do I begin my story? My life has taken me many crazy places, but none as wild as when I worked on an acute psychiatric ward for children. I moved out of state and was pressed to find a job with my only experience and education being in the field of psychology.

I’ll be honest, I saw a lot of disturbing things on that unit, but the day that changed me was when a 12 year old girl was admitted. She had herpes all over her mouth. As soon as I found out what it was, I couldn’t feel clean enough. I’ve never been a type-A, hand-washing, anal-retentive person, but that is quickly what I became. Seemingly overnight. Upon coming home from work I was in horror to discover I still continued to feel unclean, even after I had showered, washed my hands about a billion times and sanitized everything that I had had with me at work.

From there it got much, much worse… washing my hands once at a time wasn’t enough. Twice wasn’t even enough. Then I started having obsessive thoughts. What if I had accidentally touched the phone at work to my face? What if I hadn’t washed my hands enough and had touched something I ate? It got to the point where I wouldn’t even kiss my boyfriend, avoided situations that previously seemed normal and so on. The obsessive questions were never ending. They even haunted me in my sleep.

Later I had a tragic death in my family and I started obsessing over other things in my life. Had I done something wrong? Was I going to hell? Was I going to jail? Was I going to hurt my family beyond repair? These thoughts were so constant and pervasive that I sometimes hoped that I wouldn’t wake up. I wished that somehow the pain and constant anxiety could end without hurting my family and loved ones. I did this for three years and it was the most painful three years of my life.

I’m only pouring out my heart anonymously because I wouldn’t wish what I went through on my worst enemy. OCD on its own is hard enough, but it also brings extra disorders to the front such as anxiety and depression. One happy day I decided that I could not live like this anymore. I sucked up my pride and went to my childhood doctor and told him that I had OCD. He didn’t judge me. He told me that stress can trigger reactions in the brain that lead to these kinds of thought patterns. He didn’t even treat me like I was sick. He put me on Prozac and probably saved my life. Since I have taken the medication, I have transformed back into my old self that I and loved ones know and love. I didn’t realize how much I missed being me until I started to get better. I started to think about normal things instead of morbid obsessions. I started to smile again… a real smile that meant something, not that sad inside, outwardly fake one that I had become so good at. I started realizing that my life was promising and happy, not scary and terrible.

I know that medication is not the answer for everyone, but if you read this and have ever wondered what is wrong with you or why you have so much anxiety then maybe it is an avenue to explore paired with talking openly to a professional. I would never push medication on anyone, but when I see myself now as opposed to two years ago, I know that I made the best decision of my life. I had something inbalanced in my brain, and medicine was able to fix it. Best wishes and love if you find yourself on this haunting journey, I hope my honesty can help you. I decided to publish this anonymous article in hopes that it could save someone some pain in feeling like they’re crazy and to be open with a professional and get help so they can live a hopeful life.

Step into StoopidGerl’s Delicious World of Wonder

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Kim (aka StoopidGerl) is one of my closest online friends. We are both colorful artists that had adorable baby girls very close in time to each other, her Chloe Pearl was born several months before Colette Fawn and we learned a lot from each other along the way. Our pasts share many similarities as well so it’s no wonder that we hit it off immediately once upon a time. I’ve been planning a feature on Kim and her amazing creations and splendid aesthetic for WAY TOO LONG and here it is!

So as you’ve probably noticed I’ve been featuring a lot of my favorite artists and handmade mavens. I feel Kim (stoopidgerl) fits with the Miseducated way of life as much as anyone I know, her work reminds me what earth would look like if many of our rainbow-obsessed, candy-coated brains puked all over the place. Her style is no ones but her own and if you look into her world you’ll never want to leave. Please visit her gorgeously kitschy shop to purchase any of her works of art.

How long have you been crafting your world (your intoxicating-eye-candy photos and dazzlingly-saturated-with-color pieces of jewelry)?

I got started a few years ago. Working from home has been a dream come true!

When did you decide to turn that hobby into a business?

After I graduated from school I somehow ended up working a super crappy job at a Sears Portrait Studio. Going to work there made me want to kill myself! It was HELL on earth. I got pretty fed up with it and ended up quitting one day. I needed something to do and I needed money. I had been selling on Etsy for awhile and then I decided to take the plunge and try to do it for a living. I don’t know how it happened but it was magical! My shop took off quite quickly. I really love what I do and I think that is the key to my success!

All of us reach creativity blocks at some time.. where do you find inspiration when you reach a block?

The nearest candy shop~!

A lot of my inspiration comes from the past… movies I’ve seen, people I used to hang with, places I visited, my childhood…

Sometimes I find that browsing Flickr is inspirational. I love to just get lost in Flickr. I could spend hours browsing photos and adding them to my faves! There is some phenomenal shit out there!

Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry that you have made?

Oh my goodness it is hard to pick just one but if I had to choose my absolute favorite I would go with this~
Rainbow Bright Heart
It is impossible to be in a crappy mood when you surround yourself with so much color. This necklace is a sure pick-me-up when you need one!

Do you have any exciting stories about the purchase of one of your pieces?

I shit myself with glee when Courtney Love purchased a necklace from my shop several years ago.

Miss World - HOLE resin necklace

What inspires you when decorating your space?

…the pursuit of happiness! I love all things that are sweet, rainbowy, clownlike, kitschy, and cool.

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What sort of things are must haves on display in your home?

I have been a collector of cameras ever since I went to school. I took a short break from collecting for awhile and recently got back into it. I have a neat little collection of minty green vintage cameras that sits on a shelf in our living room.

all here

I also have to have clowns… lots of clowns.

Do you have any tips for readers trying to design their world?

Don’t worry about sticking with any sort of theme… just go with the flow and hoard all the things you love!

Eat Cake

You can purchase Kim/StoopidGerl’s amazing creations at her rad Etsy Store.

Talking to PETA About Animal Abuse and Euthanasia

PETA is a group I have always been fond of. Although they get some flack for their extreme campaigns I believe these measures are taken because animals are under extreme attack and more of us should be willing to fight against it. Remember that as humans we are also animals and more compassion is needed in our world for the ethical treatment of all animals, including ourselves. I have been looking forward to interviewing PETA for some time and I am very grateful they have taken time out from their busy schedule to sit down with us for a spell~

Q: Why do you think it is most important that we as humans should be aware of the torment many animals in this world are going through?

We can make a difference. We’re faced with a lot of circumstances that are out of our control such as genocide and natural disasters but this is violence and suffering that we can actually stop. There’s no difference between a pig or turkey than a dog or cat other than how we view them. Why do we feel that way? It’s the same as when some of us look at humans as inferior. It’s injustice and these are things that no one agrees with or supports. We need to educate ourselves and others about this and realize why it’s important to go vegan.

Q: What are some of ways you feel that PETA has made the biggest differences in the lives of animals?

By educating people about what happens to animals before they wind up on your plate. You can’t trust big companies like McDonalds and Hormel to educate consumers about their food. By going vegan you can save nearly 200 animals per year. It’s important to educate people about veganism and the positive impacts it has on our environment and on world hunger. There are so many negative things directly tied to meat consumption which is why PETA steps in to remind us of a healthy diet without using meat, eggs or dairy.

Q: What are your thoughts on medicines tested on animals not for cosmetic products but for saving human and animal lives?

It’s a common misconception that medicines tested on animals save human lives. Animals are not little men and women; their bodies do not work as human bodies do. 92% of the tests fail after using live animals to test human medicines. They are unreliable, unnecessary and cost the lives of over 100 million animals every year. In fact cancer was cured in mice 15 years ago and it has never even been used for humans. The reason these tests go on is to ensure grants that go to more animal testing. So much money is used to torture animals when it doesn’t give reliable results. There are no laws to protect animals from this horrendous treatment. They are deliberately starved because no experiment is illegal no matter how cruel it is to the live animal or how little it relates to helping humans. The workers in these test labs are subject to horrible and inhumane conditions as well. All medicines are actually tested on humans before they are even able to be used on humans. This is unjust testing for many reasons unrelated to saving human lives.

Q: Do you believe animals should be kept as pets if they are given the utmost love and care? Why or why not?

Sure. PETA supports and encourages everyone who has means to adopt and care for animals from their local shelter. Each year 6 to 8 million abandoned dogs and cats enter animal shelters and approximately 3 to 4 million cats and dogs—many of them healthy, young, and adoptable—must be euthanized in these shelters every year. We must put a stop to this by spaying and neutering our pets and by researching the amount of care an animal companion needs before adopting one.

Q: What are your thoughts on the euthanasia by PETA of unwanted animals and the misunderstanding about this by many online?

Many anti-PETA websites are run by consumer groups for the meat and dairy industries. The information they use is biased and inaccurate. PETA is open about the fact that we are forced to euthanize animals in some cases. The figures used by anti-PETA campaigners are deliberately chosen because they are just the euthanasia figures and do not include perspective—i.e., the more than 10,000 dogs and cats PETA provided with no-cost to low-cost spay and neuter surgeries and other veterinary services in the last 12 months alone, the hundreds of animals delivered to large high-traffic shelter facilities for adoption, the counseling and aid services that PETA provides in order to enable people to keep and properly care for their animals, and the animals we have put up for adoption, like the cat currently featured on our website, whom we nursed back to (almost) good health and who is still seeking a permanent home.

PETA’s Community Animal Project offers food and shelter for dogs in the poorest areas in Virginia and North Carolina, free vet services and food water and toys to animals who have never felt a kind touch in their lives. In some cases if we find an animal who has been in dire need of vet care euthanasia is the best option we can offer them. We have also offered families who cannot afford to get their pets proper vet care for long suffering animals to euthanize them which adds to the number online.

PETA’s spay and neuter program has several mobile units that spay and neuter dogs and cats for low cost or free. Thus far we have sterilized 80,000 animals in the last 10 years. PETA does a lot of preventative local work but does offer euthanasia for extremely abused animals and to relieve animals from suffering. Yes we euthanize but so do many other shelters in this country, 3-4 million animals are euthanized every year in our country because of the purchase of unwanted animals, breeding animals and owners not spaying and neutering their pets. The core issue here is that people are not spaying and neutering their pets so please encourage others to do so.

Q: A few readers who are not on board with PETA have made the assumption that you care more for animals than for people; do you have a response for this?

That’s really funny. We are unapologetically an animal rights group. Humans are animals.

For example, it takes 13 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat. I believe everyone needs to think about how much grain they would throw away to get one pound of meat and how many people die everyday (25,000 people) from starvation because they don’t get enough to eat. Factory farming contributes to world hunger and climate change. Many think meat is vital for our health but it is not the case anymore. Meat consumption is linked to many of our biggest health risks such as cancer and heart disease. We are not only supporting animals but also human health and the earth we share.

Q: Who are the top unfriendly to animals businesses or products that should not be supported?

There are many but some major campaigns we currently have are:
Ringling Bros. Animals are beaten, hit, poked, prodded, and jabbed with sharp hooks, sometimes until they are bloody.
McCruelty In the slaughterhouses of McDonald’s U.S. and Canadian chicken suppliers, birds have their throats cut while they are still conscious. Please sign our petition and boycott McDonald’s until they can make more positive changes for animals.
UW-Madison They abuse and decapitate cats to study in their labs tortured for results that are never mentioned or used.
Whose skin are you in? Every year, millions of animals are killed for the clothing industry—all in the name of fashion. Rabbits in China are slaughtered for their fur while living.
Canadian Seal Slaughter During Canada’s annual war on seals, hundreds of thousands of seals are slaughtered for their skin. Baby seals are clubbed to death on the ice which is an off-season money venture for fisherman. This isn’t about the native people, this is just about money making for off-season fisherman.
Down Feathers Birds used for down feathers are live plucked until red, bleeding and terrified. Try down alternatives using man-made fibers.

Q: Who are the top friendly to animals businesses that should be supported?

Gardeen These vegan meat-alternative products that you can find at whole food groceries and even target are more healthy than traditional meat products.
Daiya Use these cheeses for anything you would use cheese for, it melts.
Urban Decay One of my favorite makeup brands. They were thinking of selling products in China which means they could be tested on animals which is mandatory for some products but PETA reached out to them and they decided to pull back. This company makes a huge statement by selling all vegan products.
Cirque de Soliel A circus that doesn’t use or abuse animals. They only use performers that choose to perform.

Q: Do you have any advice for those teetering on the edge of becoming an animal advocate?

Start educating yourself and become a knowledgable consumer. We all have values and ethics that we live by and every time we pay for a product we’re making a decision to support a practice or an industry. I think it’s important for consumers to know what they are supporting and promoting and for people to educate themselves and do more research before spending. We cannot expect companies to be honest outright when they have an opportunity to make money. Start questioning everything you buy and find out ways you can make a difference. Find out if the money you spend is going to companies you support. There are simple things you can do everyday that make an impact on animals, our environment and our own health and people need to look into it more.

Q: It’s so nice to have been able to sit down and get to know your wonderful organization and all of the ways that you help animals and their humans to live more positive lives. I do have one last question for you for the time being.. do you consider PETA to hold Miseducated values (Weaving a world of colorful and whimsical lifestyle inspiration.) to heart while promoting and ensuring the ethical treatment of animals?

Of course. There are always new ways to promote the ethical treatment of animals in our world and we appreciate the many ways there are to do it. We are very thankful to Miseducated for showing us a unique, colorful and whimsical way and we look forward to working together much more in the future. Thank you!

Thank you again, PETA! Miseducated is very excited to have teamed up with you and to be collaborating on more projects in the future. We adore you, what you do for us and most of all for our furry soul mates! XOX


Visit PETA online for more information about how you can support animals.

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