For those of us in the northern hemisphere, today we’re celebrating the Winter Solstice! It’s the shortest day of the year, my half birthday, and the official mark of that cold season so many of us dread. I’ve got a list of activities you can partake in this season, but don’t forget that you can do something special today, too! You can learn about the way the Earth moves, and how it influences the seasons. My go-to solstice celebration is to run around the tree in my front yard, changing “Winter, Winter, Winter!”

In Pagan traditions, we call this day Yule. It’s all about the rebirth of the Sun! Think about it, since today is the shortest day of the year, the days will only get longer from here. Plus, we get to have the longest night of the year. Night is a special time. Use it for planning for the next year!

60 Ways To Celebrate Winter

knit a scarf for yourself or a friend
go ice skating
drink hot cocoa by a fire
get a Tarot card reading
cut out colorful paper snowflakes
write greeting and/or thank you cards
wear leg warmers
go snowboarding or skiing
donate gifts to less fortunate
buy yourself a new fluffy blanket to keep warm
make a snow angel
decorate a gingerbread house
bake cookies
have a fondue party
decorate with twinkle lights
sit under a happy/light lamp
take a yoga class, work on flexibility
have a snowball fight
volunteer at a homeless shelter
attend a tacky sweater party
make a snow globe
build a snowman
make a peanut butter bird feeder
make a wreath
go sledding
give a tree a sweater
drink egg nog
make your own candy
build a bonfire
use food dye to draw in snow

make origami
catch snowflakes on your tongue
build a fort
make winter themed pages in your art journal
binge watch shows on Netflix
make a Winter playlist
have a board game day
go caroling
plan out your resolutions for the new year
build an igloo
draw (snowman) faces on marshmallows
 shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk
bundle yourself up in extremely cute scarves and earmuffs
make snow cones
wear onesie pajamas to bed
go see a ballet or off-Broadway show
eat all the potatoes: mashed, fried, baked
make up dances in your living room
latch hook a giant rug
take photos of gorgeous window displays
get a spray tan
paint pine cones
find one of your favorite childhood books at the library
make a list of things you accomplished over the past twelve months
get in an outdoor hot tub
walk through a Christmas tree lot, even just to take in the smells
make a wreath
adopt a penguin
decorate with cotton balls
rent a snow machine

How are you going to celebrate Winter?


It’s still hard for me to believe how short of a time I’ve known April Gomez. This time last year I had experienced my first of her Christmas parties, and on my drive home I recorded my thoughts and feelings on my drive home. That party had authentic carolers, a stripper dressed as Santa, and the unveiling of a ball pit. Everything that woman does is made of magic, and being a part of her life feels so incredibly right.

Anyway, this year was no different. Well, actually it was. She only had three weeks to prepare versus months like she usually has, but it was still spectacular. It was themed around Saturday Night Live, and after we were all warm from sangria and hot chocolate, the show began.

Sean (April’s husband) came on stage as Santa and slowly undressed down to red velvety boxers and bunny slippers. He poured himself a drink and all of the sudden the music changed and he did some Risky Business style dancing before yelling “Live from Baltimore, it’s Saturday Night!”

20th Annual Christmas Party

Next, I came out as a wrapping paper saleswoman. But before I could make any sales, a giant wrapping paper person came out to rap. She was shortly joined by a giant gift bag. They did some more rapping and dancing and the disappeared. At this point in our rehearsals, all I knew was I was supposed to put on a song and wait.

20th Annual Christmas Party

Before I knew it, there was snow pouring from the ceiling and April and Sean reappeared with a giant basket of fluffy white balls that lit up when they hit things. It was amazing. On the video footage you can just see me pause and radiate with pure joy. Everyone figured I was in on it, but April likes to surprise me, too.

20th Annual Christmas Party

We took a break for a bit, and while I  was having my ears covered in the kitchen by Joe so I couldn’t hear anything, April introduced the three suitors of The Dating Game. Elvis, Santa, and Anthony. All I knew was that I was supposed to prepare ten questions to ask and that I had to pick Number Three. I had no idea who was on the other side of the wall, but things got pretty risque and hilarious.

20th Annual Christmas Party

I should have known that it was rigged for a reason. Number 3, AKA Anthony, was a stripper.

20th Annual Christmas Party

Santa passed out gifts, we ate more snacks and drank more sangria, and then it was time for Santa’s Secret Room. April insisted I go down first because she knew I would love it more than anyone else, and she was right. It was a basement full of balloons. It was impossible to walk without popping them. My face in photos is almost identical to when the snow started pouring from the ceiling. I actually almost cried. It was magical.

20th Annual Christmas Party

I was surrounded by my oldest and newest friends, my boyfriend, and balloons. I loved it so much. So, so much.

20th Annual Christmas Party

As a gift to Joe, I had prepared a lip sync performance to Kirby Krackle’s parody song “Comic Shop” to the tune of 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop”. Charlotte’s boyfriend, Jason, came up and put a dollar in my cleavage and then Joe sent some money up. I passed out some random comic books to the audience. It was really fun.

20th Annual Christmas Party

At some point, Ashley convinced Sean to let her wear his Santa costume. She pulled it off pretty fantastically. Sexy Santa, indeed. As the night wound down, we even did a gift exchange.

20th Annual Christmas Party

It was an amazing time, and I hope that everyone gets to experience something so fun. April put together some footage of the party:

And you can see more photos in my + April’s albums.


Hello you beautiful beings. It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for me to tell you a little bit about my week, or so it says in my blog book. I’ve been enjoying reading your responses to my blog reader survey. If you haven’t filled in those few questions for me, I’d appreciate it a lot! Plus, you can get a New Year’s card from me in the mail if you choose so.

A few of my days this week involved waiting at places to fix an admin related problem for someone else. It was a true testament to attitude. If you go into a situation thinking it’s going to suck, then it’s going to suck. But if you decide to make the most of it, you might actually enjoy yourself. Yeah, going to the MVA (DMV for you non-Marylanders) is a generally boring task that people dread. But sometimes, even if you’re exhausted and running an errand for someone else, you can meet a delightful elderly man named Dave, who collects toys that he glues to his desk. He’ll let you take a picture and you’ll give him a “You Are Beautiful” sticker. You’ll get a bunch of knitting done, and on your way back from the bathroom you’ll break into the staff lunch room and get some cookies under false pretenses. And if you’re lucky, someone will sit in one of the cardboard display chairs and fall over before you leave.

I’ve mentioned my fear of being “normal” before, and sometimes when I’m exposed to a lot of regular “adult” conversation I get worried and need to do something to counteract that anxiety. It’s not to say that one day I won’t be married or need to remodel my kitchen, but you can bet your butt that my savings account will be more focused on funding things like basement ball pits.

This weekend, I counteracted that anxiety with walking into a bar at 1 am as the bouncer told me I couldn’t go in. I got motorboated by a giant teddy bear, met someone who is really named Catniss, and then headed to the hot pink ladies room covered in band stickers. The sink was running on full blast, but no one was there, and I had this thought that everything in that moment was pretty punk. I liked it. Afterwards, Ashley and I held a talk show host in her living room. We weren’t videotaping and had no audience other than the wall in front of us, but that didn’t stop us from going on commercial breaks, giving free gifts to the live studio audience, and diving into the real issues.

Extra Sparkle:  the lady who thought I worked at Michaels  how nice my postal worker, J is  my friends making their own Muppet prototypes and Janice getting her real one in the mail for her birthday  putting kitten in a nest  taking a day to rest and get better  going through my top ten lists from 2014  sending tons of Girls “gifs” in my girlfriend text thread  getting my own health insurance  watching Sweet November  going through a Little Caeser’s drive-thru for the first time  meeting more of Joe’s friends at a Christmas party  Cards Against Humanity  liking eggnog for the first time  taking witch, psychic, and empath tests  getting a new video camera and Chromecast  making a pretty absurd video at 3 am  snow  sushi for Munchel’s birthday  doing an interpretive dance while an older man sang karaoke for the first time to “My Heart Will Go On”  my new “happy” sweatshirt

I may never want to “grow up”, but that doesn’t mean every night has to be wild and crazy. I’m completely content to share a pizza with my best friends and watch 90’s movies about witches while working on Christmas cards and answering e-mails.

What’s on your happiness list this week?


No matter how behind I get on my mail, you all still send me the loveliest things, and I’m so grateful. Look at this awesome stuff! Fortune cookie postcard, rainbows surrounding my address, and a piece of handmade pie for Thanksgiving. You’re the actual best, you guys.

Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

I’ve worked on mail in chunks. Like sending postcard responses on these beautiful Pantone cards I received as a gift this Autumn. And they’re garnished with bright fuchsia glitter tape that I found at the dollar store. It’s always bittersweet when your interests get super popular. It makes me a little sad when things go global and it’s not my/our “special thing” anymore, but the sparkly lining is always that your accessibility to that thing will grow. Back in my day we had to order washi tape straight from Japan! Nowadays you kids can just walk down to any store and grab it off the shelves.

Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

I did do one cool thing since I last showcased mail. It started when I finally got the Batman stamps. My boyfriend is really into Batman and I decided I was going to send him something just so I could use one of the stamps. But then I decided that it would be silly to not go all out with the envelope. And then I decided that I should do the same thing for 20 of my friends so I could use a whole book of stamps.

This project used an entire printer cartridge as I printed out maps and cityscapes of Gotham and other Batman-related images and text. They were sent to friends who I tend not to send mail. The thing about sending and receiving so much mail is that I feel obligated to respond to the people who send me mail first, and I’m not left with a lot of time to make “extra” mail. But for this Batman mail, I wanted to share my love of snail mail with the people I see all the time and love.

Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

One of the last days in November, I hosted my first mail social in Baltimore at Red Emma’s via Baltimore’s Free School. We had a great turn out. Thanks to Ashley, Cristen, Tom, Jaye, Erika, Kerri, Shannon, and Ida for coming out and making a bunch of mail! I did some lecturing on sending mail within the United States and shared tips and tricks, penpal prompts, and resources.

Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

I had everyone make me a postcard on a blank yellow postcard that Karen cut out and send to me. I have a plan for them, but I need to gather quite a few more before I can debut them.

Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

It was really fun to watch people work. We had all ranges of experience in the classroom. Some people send mail art on a weekly basis, and some had never sent any in their lives! Everyone here was creative, though, and it worked out beautifully.

My next mail social will be held on January 10th, 2015.

Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

One of the best things I’ve received in the mail recently was from Angie and Emie, two enthusiastic and creative ladies who read my blog. They teamed up and sent me the most amazing package! A gorgeous necklace, a Moleskine book, a cupcake cup, mermaid cards, washi tape, puffy hearts, stickers, and other craft supplies. Emie makes brilliant mixed media books (top center) and Angie makes great notecards (top left)! Isn’t this spectacular? It made me feel really great to know not only that you ladies cared enough to send me such a beautiful parcel, but that you nailed my interests so well. I feel like I’m doing a good job of representing who I am online based on this package.

PS – I keep the jingle bell stick in my car, and it annoys everyone and I don’t care!! I’m rocking out. It’s my Uncustomary tambourine.

Snail Mail | Uncustomary Art

I was sick for the DC Mail Social this month, so I didn’t get to go. I have a very large pile of mail to respond to from you lovelies, and it’s going to be a while before I get mail back to you. I’m working on Christmas cards still, and next up is New Year’s Cards! Speaking of which, if you’d like a New Year’s Card from me, please fill out my Blog Reader Survey!

How are you doing with your Christmas cards? What’s been in and out of your mailbox lately?


Are you unsatisfied with the way you look in the mirror? Pffft. Tell me about it! Thank god I’ve invented a fool proof way to shed those last pesky couple hundred pounds!

With Shake Yer Boom Boom you’ll gyrate that unwanted weight away fast! Just give me nineteen easy payments of $4.95 and then leave me alone forever! But definitely send in your photos of you wearing your old fat pants, because I can add them to my slideshow.

Just look. Look at these photos of my friends wearing their old fat pants. They are proof. They are the proof that this thing I’m talking about works. It works so good.

Shake Yer Bon Bon | Uncustomary Art

Shake Yer Bon Bon | Uncustomary Art

Shake Yer Bon Bon | Uncustomary Art

Shake Yer Bon Bon | Uncustomary Art

Everything else you’ve ever needed to know is in this video.


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