Saturday marked the one year anniversary of leaving my day job, and Richard took me to the zoo to celebrate! As I walked around the DC Zoo, I saw a lot of people from other countries, and I realized that this is probably one of the few zoos in America that people international tourists make a point of visiting during their trip, since it’s in the nation’s capital.

I hadn’t been to this zoo in years, and it was a really great experience. We saw every open exhibit, and were sweaty messes by the end of the day. Totally worth it.

First up was the panda bears. It was an amazing start because as soon as I walked up to the wall, the momma started sauntering down and she and her cub started rolling down the hill in a cuddly carefree way that would have made your heart melt.

Washington DC Zoo

There were some really interesting animals, including many I didn’t know the name of. Look at this crazy guy! That tongue, those spikes!

Washington DC Zoo

I’ve always enjoyed the bright colors of those itty bitty frogs you see at zoos and aquariums. How wonderfully vibrant.

Washington DC Zoo

As much as I appreciate Louis CK’s joke about how life would change in no way if we called seals and sea lions the same name, I really do prefer the sea lions. They’re like gentle puppies, twirling around in the water.

Washington DC Zoo

I named this guy Nigel. Nigel was sitting on the grass as I approached his area, and then he climbed up his tower, which I then realized connected to these long trapeze wires that were draped high above our heads. Apparently the orangutans will climb across them to other areas of the zoo! We were really hoping he would do that, but he seemed content to hang out in the hole you see him in here.

Washington DC Zoo

Nearby Nigel’s habitat was the most gorgeous waterfall, flooding over into a serene pool that was full of flower petals and turtles swimming around. I loved how gorgeous and tranquil it was.

Washington DC Zoo

Washington DC Zoo

As I approached the lion area, I realized that the dude lion resembled Scar the most from The Lion King. I looked around and realized that the crowd of people didn’t realize what was happening. This was the bad part of the movie, where Scar reigns and Nala and the other lady lions can’t find enough food for their pack. I told Richard we should come back in about an hour, when everything was happy with Simba as the ruler.

Washington DC Zoo

One of my favorite parts of any zoo are the otters, and they were on point this weekend. They were all working as a team to build a nest at the end of a log. Most of them were bringing grass and other plants over to create the nest, but then one of them started dragging his giant stick over, and I lost my mind laughing.

Washington DC Zoo

Richard bought me a stuffed otter (yet to be named), and I had a delicious frozen lemonade while people watching. There were tons of mist machines I got to walk through, and I got to take a picture in a standing photobooth. All in all, you couldn’t have asked for a better day to a free zoo.


Time for the monthly internet round-up of things that have made me laugh or think enough to share. I hope you enjoy it! And feel free to add links in the comments.

Oh Internet, Uncustomary Art

An immersive kaleidoscope installation

Are Knit-Ins the best new kind of protest?

18 empowering feminist illustrations that will give you goosebumps

I was the Cookie Of The Month over at MCHS!

Oh Internet, Uncustomary Art

Beautiful heart shaped balloons

Baltimore’s harbor is getting clean! 40 tons of trash in a month?!

Turning medical imagery into art about internal beauty? Go ahead, girl!

Veronica shares 5 quick ways to get inspired

The only make-up tutorial you’ll ever need to watch

Matt and Katie got strangers in a park to write postcards to their loved ones

The best motivational sticky notes I’ve ever seen!

Ask Michelle to send you some postcards on her trip

Oh Internet, Uncustomary Art

Gorgeous camera illustration

This note that Kara wrote to herself

Caylee quit her day job! Go like her Facebook page for me

This wonderful HONY portrait and quote

My favorite new song, “Into The Wild” by LP

Dudes with beards eating cupcakes

A beautiful poem

This hilarious Craigslist post

This quote:

“While we are living in the present, we must celebrate life every day, knowing that we are becoming history with every work, every action, every deed.” – Mattie Stepanek

Oh Internet, Uncustomary Art

Incredible paper crafts

For more frequent updates of inspiring images, follow me on Pinterest!

What did you find on the internet recently that you can’t get enough of?


In June, I went to my first professional photoshoot. If you’re from the Baltimore area, you’ve probably heard of Atomic Cheesecake Studios, where all your pin up dreams can come true. I originally wanted to get a burlesque shot for future shows, but I figured while I was there, I might as well get a cutesy one too!

Stacey was really fun and great to talk to. Her studio is a wonderland, full of bras, corsets, and heels in all colors and sizes. She had refreshments and a card waiting for me as I walked in. She told me about jobs she’s had over the years while she curled my hair and turned my sunburned skin (bad timing!) into something flawless. (It looked great even before the edited photos!)

I felt gorgeous all day long, and she was really patient and understanding with my needs. And by needs I mean that I can’t stand in five inch heels to save my life. Fall on your face at a photoshoot? I can cross that off my list, too!

Anyway, I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves, but if you’re wondering if it’s worth the money… yes it is! And check out the Facebook page. She’s got a sale going on until Sunday.

Atomic Cheesecake Photoshoot Uncustomary Art

Atomic Cheesecake Photoshoot Uncustomary Art

Atomic Cheesecake Photoshoot Uncustomary Art

Atomic Cheesecake Photoshoot Uncustomary Art

Atomic Cheesecake Photoshoot Uncustomary Art

Atomic Cheesecake Photoshoot Uncustomary Art

Atomic Cheesecake Photoshoot Uncustomary Art

The first one is my favorite. What’s yours?


I still don’t remember how I heard about the flash mob through Dance Baltimore. I think I just saw someone vaguely mention it on Facebook, and I looked into it to find out that practice would be held the following Tuesday, so I wrote it down on the calendar in my phone.

Artscape Flash Mob Happy Dance

That Tuesday, I was in a tunnel taping up letters and my alarm went off, alerting me that the practice was starting in fifteen minutes! I had completely forgotten. I finished snapping some photos and raced off to Howard Street. It was pouring that day, and I had to run three blocks in the rain.

I stopped about a block in to take off my shoes which were completely drenched. I got off the elevator and entered the studio, soaked and smiling. The entire class (whom I’d never met before) started applauding for me. That’s the moment when I knew it would be a good experience.

Artscape Flash Mob Happy Dance

The dance was jazz-like zumba-esque, and the song was to Pharrell’s “Happy”. I picked up the steps that everyone already knew, and a few weeks later we met up at Artscape.

Artscape Flash Mob Happy Dance

There were two performances each day, and people were really energetic about it! I always like being one of the people who joins in after the dance has started, so I stood on the sidelines for a few measures before I jumped in.

Artscape Flash Mob Happy Dance

The flash mob was choreographed and sponsored by Dance Baltimore. If you’re local, check them out for future classes and events!

Artscape Flash Mob Happy Dance

Thanks to my friend, Cristen, for taking the photos of us dancing, and to Charlotte for recording the video. I tried really hard to dub the track over the video so the audio would be louder for you, but something about the timing just never synced up. Enjoy either way! You should be able to see me throughout. I’m wearing that Party Hard shirt as I am wont to do. ;)

Have you ever been in a flash mob?


Today is a special week for me and Get Messy. Not just because it’s the week that everyone shares their responses to the monthly prompt (July = Party!), but because this week was when I finished my first art journal. I’ve started countless art journals over the years, but today I can say that I finished one cover to cover.

I like to decorate the covers of things last, and I was actually kind of hesitant to do so because there was already a nice image of some wind turbines on it. So I compromised and covered the text and background with washi tape, still leaving the original image.

Get Messy Art Journal | Uncustomary Art

On these pages, you can see a cat and I partying pretty hard. I received this cat in the mail (possibly from Ann-Marie?), and I gave him a body made out of toys. He obviously represents Bug. Both of the “Party Hard” stickers are courtesy of Andrew WK’s merch shop, and obviously the image of me was turned into a cartoon masterpiece by Michelle.

Get Messy Art Journal | Uncustomary Art

Get Messy Art Journal | Uncustomary Art

On the left, I included the envelope that LaShandra sent my congratulatory card (for quitting my day job last year) in. And on the right, I used a drawing that Jaclyn made of me for the Monster Cookie Heart Squad. You can see that I am a cookie, holding a balloon and envelope, making magic. Just like normal.

Get Messy Art Journal | Uncustomary Art

It’s also important to keep balloons around in case you have an emergency. This one is easily removable.

Get Messy Art Journal | Uncustomary Art

I was really drawn to the image on the left. The idea of partying on a rooftop in the city in a bunny costume is pretty brilliant to me. And I included one of the Stories Of The Day that Jaclyn thought to mail to me.

“This is a magical beast that holds the secret of light and shadow in a safe place in her heart and when it has been too long and grey, she starts to dance and laugh and cry and sing and the sunlight fills her up and spills in wild abandon back into the world again.”

Get Messy Art Journal | Uncustomary Art

And on the right, on the very last page of the first journal I ever finished, is a picture of me, waving a magic wand in my favorite city while wearing an outfit that can only be described as gaudy. I surrounded myself with gold glitter, both literally and figuratively; both past and present. No matter what happens, I know how to party. And party I will.

Get Messy Art Journal | Uncustomary Art

I hope you’re partying, both in and outside of your art journal! Be sure to check out everyone else’s work this week. Stay classy, San Diego. I will leave you with this quote about partying:

“You gotta have life your way. If you ain’t losing your mind, you ain’t partying right.” – Young Jeezy

Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practise our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal

Older Posts