Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Things I know for certain.

These are a few of the bits of advice that I've found to be useful over the years.

1- Always wear sunscreen. Every day, even if it is overcast.

2- Always wear stockings with a skirt. Unless you get a regular leg wax and have perfect skin tone, naked legs generally ruin an otherwise polished look. Never leave the house with naked stems sticking out from under your skirt unless you are on your way to the beach or poolside.

3- Invest in one really good pair of shoes and one perfect pair of shades. You will never regret it.

4- Get your hair professionally done. It is less expensive than you might think and you will be glad you did it in the long run.

5- Take advantage of your yearly teeth cleaning on your dental plan even if you have never had a cavity in your life.

6- Learn that saying "I'm sorry" really means; it won't happen again.

7- Don't drink at work functions even if the alcohol is free.

8- Always stand up for yourself. Be your own advocate and best ally.

9- Try to do something that you have never done before at least once a week. You will only regret the things you never tried and the dreams you were too scared to chase.

10- Love with your whole heart, without expecting anything in return, at least once in your life, so you will know how it feels. Having a child is an easy way to do this, but not the only way.

11- Don't let people hide behind email and text messages. If someone is being a bully, go, find them, look them in the eye and ask them in person to explain themselves.

12- Don't ever let a negative person rent too much space in your head. See #11

13- Don't ever be a "Do as I say, not as I do" parent.

14- Smile, every single day, as often as possible. Even if you don't mean it at first, you will eventually. Negativity always breeds negativity and bad luck.

15- Try your hardest to always live in the now. Right now is the only certainty we have. Don't waste your life wallowing in yesterdays sorrow or tomorrow's "what if's" Embrace your very own "right now" with your whole heart and enjoy the ride.

16- Always wear pretty underwear.

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Today's post is brought to you by Maya Angelou

This is really advice to live by. She already said it so perfectly, there was no reason for me to try to rewrite it.

Happy Holidays!

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday season!


"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.
I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."
I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.
I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.
I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
-Maya Angelou

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Show at Sugarcomb Salon next Saturday!

There will be art, music, photos and bees!

"Everything is going to be better now."

Queen Bee

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thought for the day:

‎"Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me." -Anonymous

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hey, kid! Wanna buy some art?

Insomnia- 10x10 original acrylic on canvas- $95

I have posted several of my paintings on my Etsy account for sale. Please swing by and check it out. There are lots of great, original things to be found on Etsy. It's the perfect place to find one of a kind holiday gifts!!
I'm willing to negotiate with you if you are interested in buying more than one, just shoot me an email! If you are in Seattle, you can see them in person at my show:
Thursday, October 21 · 6:00pm - 9:00pm

LocationGibson 206 Showroom
87 Wall Street - Belltown
Seattle, WA

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Another Art Show!

Here is the FB link for the show if you do that sort of thing:!/event.php?eid=103590413038170

Become a fan of my art on Facebook:!/pages/Art-by-Michelle-Auer/160445507300083

Thursday, October 21 · 6:00pm - 9:00pm

LocationGibson 206 Showroom
87 Wall Street - Belltown
Seattle, WA

Art- Live Music- Good times!

Photography by Niffer Calderwood and Art by Michelle Auer

Live Music: The Moonspinners and FEELINGS, featuring Kurt Bloch and Leslie Beattie, will be playing sets for this event. Not to be missed!!

Please join us in the spectacular Gibson Guitar showroom in Belltown for Third Thursday!

If you missed Niffer and Michelle at the Barton Street Lofts last week, you have another chance to see their work! (If you were there, you should come to this show because it's gonna be a great time and there will be some new stuff exclusive to this show!)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Finding me.

I'll be the first to admit it. This last few years have completely kicked my butt. There is no other way to explain it. I don't know what happened. I can't tell you the moment where the downward spiral started. There was no one thing, just fifty billion little things that piled up until I was buried.

I can tell you the day everything changed.

*May 27th.

I woke up to an email where someone had tagged me in a photo on Facebook. I knew I had just been to a show, and thought I was looking pretty cute that night, so I was not too worried.
I clicked on the link, and looked at the photo and all I could think was, "Who is that??"
What I saw looked like a pale, fatter, older version of me. It was not the me that I see in my head. Not the me that I've been for the last 3o something years. This was a less attractive relative with a lot of sadness in her eyes. I did not know this person at all.

I knew that getting braces last year was the beginning of my depression. I used them as an excuse to eat lots of carbs and ice cream. My excuse to myself was, "My face hurts and no one will ever think I'm pretty with these things anyhow, so who cares?"
Well, I will tell you who! The version of me one year later looking at the havoc I had reeked upon my body. She cared a lot!

There were other things, but I'm certain that was the catalyst. The proverbial straw that made me fall apart and gain like a bazillion pounds, let my roots grow out, and be generally an unhealthy person.

On that day, I woke up.
There is no other way to explain it. I told myself, it's now or never. I'm closer to 40 than 30, and I have no urge to get old just yet. I still have a lot that I want to do!

Today I weigh 3 pounds less than I have in all of my 30's and most of my 20's and I'm still losing. I looked at myself when I got out of the shower today. I mean, really took a hard look at myself, and guess what? I actually like my body again. I look good! And I worked hard and have earned the right to say that again and it is only going to get better.

Other people have noticed too, and have asked me what I'm doing. I'll do you one better. I'm going to make a list of all of the things that I've learned since May 27th. The list is for me to come back to and revisit if I go to that dark place again. The list is also for anyone out there who might find some inspiration in my experience.

Steps to a new life:

Step 1: Lose the weight.
I know, easier said than done. Trust me. I am the laziest person on earth when it comes to myself. I will go above and beyond to help other people, but when it comes to taking care of me, I will put it off like nobody else. But guess what. You are not getting any younger. It doesn't get any easier. And fat, doesn't give a crap about your excuses! It's as simple as that. So, decide today, recommit to yourself to be the best you that you can be. Lose the 10, 20, 30, 50 pounds you have been carrying around for the last however long. Guess what, you don't need it anymore.
And frankly, I don't care about all of the advice that I've seen all over the internet, "Do it for yourself, because you love yourself."
Yes, I agree we should love ourselves, but it is our lack of love for ourselves that got us to this place in the first place. Do it for whatever reason gets you up off the couch and motivated.
Do it because your significant other's ex is coming to town and you want to look amazing. Do it because your doctor told you to. Do it because you want to wear a slinky dress to your Christmas party, or you want to wear a bikini to the pool on vacation, or you want to spice up your marriage, or you want to date up. Frankly, I don't care what you tell yourself. Just do it. Because no matter what you tell yourself to get you started, when you start to go through the metamorphosis, and you start to really fall in love with yourself again, you will realize who you were really doing it for all along.

Step 2: Throw away all of your underwear. (and then go shopping)
I know that this is the strangest bit of advice ever, but it is very important. When you decide to lose the weight, reward your first 5 pounds with new underwear. Plan an entire afternoon and set aside a few hundred dollars or better yet, bring a credit card that you can max out, and go crazy.
I don't care what size you are, that first 5 pounds feels so amazing! It is the first major hurdle, and when you see that new number on the scale, it really puts an extra spring in your step.
5 pounds doesn't usually equate to smaller clothes, but throwing out all of your old underwear and replacing it with pretty new underthings really does do something for your mind. No matter what size you are, pretty undies are dainty. End of story. They make them in all sizes, and just knowing that you are wearing them under your clothes, is a reminder of why you are doing what you are doing and it makes you feel better about yourself. Also, not enough can be said about a well fitting bra. Take it from me, who has been lugging around a D cup for many years. A well fitting bra can make you look instantly 10 lbs lighter. if you are a woman and have boobs and have not been fitted in the last 3 years, take thee to Nordstrom right now.

Step 3: Get all new bedding.
I went to and bought all new bedding after spending a weekend in a fancy hotel in New York. Something about crawling into bed under a fluffy down blanket and being surrounded by white cotton everything makes me feel good about myself. It's like being on vacation every day. I also invested in a new mattress which is a major life changer. It makes my bed one of my favorite places to be.

Step 4: Try something new.
I'll be the first to admit. I was in a routine and that was making me miserable. I was watching life pass me by doing the exact same thing day in and day out. Wake up, go to work, go home, fall asleep. By the time the weekends rolled around I didn't want to do anything or see anyone.
I find that signing up for classes is a good way to get out there and try something new. I've taken art classes, cake decorating classes, I even started playing piano again!
I have been making a point of trying something new at least once a week, even if it is as simple as going and hanging out with a new friend or watching a movie on the other side of town. Getting out of your comfort zone is so important. You won't love every new thing you try, but you will appreciate that you did it.

Step 5: Be reckless.
When I say this, I do not mean, "Go rob a 7-11" I mean, take a chance! Do something a little dangerous. If you don't drink, go out one night and drink a little too much. If you have never smoked, bum a cigarette off of someone you find attractive and tell them it is the first time you have ever smoked. Ask someone out on a date. Kiss a stranger. Dance on a table. Tell someone off who has had it coming to them for a long time. Get laid.
Do something/anything that will get your blood pumping and that feels a little dangerous. Then, when you feel that feeling, memorize it. That is what really living feels like.
Being a little reckless is the best way to be reminded of it, and that is why some people live their lives that way, chasing that natural high. My feeling is that if you have been mentally asleep for a lifetime, you need that rush to remind you why you are doing all of this. If you go about it the right way, that is a feeling that you can have in your every day life without being reckless at all.

Step 6: Forgive yourself.
I'm still working on this one, but I know it is something that needs to happen. You can't live under the weight of regret of failure. Life really is too short. If you can't forgive yourself, you won't ever be able to move forward. Look in the mirror every day before you start the day and tell yourself, "Today is going to be a good day." Guess what. Your brain is very literal, and if you do it often enough, you might actually start to believe it. And if you don't, what can it hurt?

Step 7: Clean house.
In every way. Get rid of clutter. Just throw it all away. Like the weight, there is no reason to hold onto these things/toxic relationships anymore. The same goes for people. If they make you sad more than they make you happy, it's time to let them go. You don't have to make a big production out of it, just give yourself permission to not answer the phone, or to say no, or to walk away from bad situations. You owe it to yourself and you will be better for it.

Step 8: Cry.
This is hard for me and I'm still working on it. I was convinced for years that my tear ducts were literally busted. It is so hard for me to cry, but when it happens, it is such an amazing sense of relief. I know that I have triggers. there are a few movies that will get me, so if it has been way too long, and I need to get it out, I will plan a night where I let it all go.

If you have read this far, that means you probably found something in here that you needed to hear too. To you, I wish you luck on your journey. Just try to remember, life can be really amazing if you give it a chance.

*Ironically, "the 27th of May" is a line in a song that Jon wrote about me called, Angelita. This is just a coincidence, and the date really had no significance to me until now, almost 8 years after the song was written!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Love at First Listen

It is not as often as I like that I fall madly in love with a song.

Sure, just like boys, I get little baby crushes on songs all of the time. Some are pretty, some are fancy, some are complicated in a way that they keep me interested until I figure out what's behind the curtain. But every once in a great while I have an actual, honest to goodness, love affair with a song.
I hear it.
It knocks me off my feet.
The music, the sounds, what it has to say.
Not a phrase out of place, not a note out of tune.
Like the song reached inside of my head and pulled out my feelings and put them into words.

That doesn't happen very often, but when it does, even when the song and I go through rough patches where I think, "I have had enough of it." but I always, eventually, find myself being drawn to it again.

I am writing to say, it has been a long time, but I have fallen head over heals in love...
with a song.

Falling by The Comas 2004

When the sun thinks of the moon..
does the sky get jealous too?
Like I used to.
Is this true?
Why its always black and blue.

Sometimes when I lie..
I've the truth still in my eyes.
But you saw through.
And it was cool
if I kept lying to you.

Now you are falling..
through outer space.
Its okay
cuz you're coming back someday.
And I've been crawling through outer space.
It's ok
cuz you'll pick me up someday.
It's ok
cuz you'll pick me up someday.

Now the paint chips fall like rain.
On the pillow where you slept away your pain
And again, and again, and again
Now I'm stuck here in this room
While you're tethered to the moon.
But you will soon come around
an I'll be waiting on the ground.

Now you are falling..
through outer space.
And it's okay
cuz you're coming back someday.
And I've been crawling through outer space.
And it's okay
cuz you'll answer me someday.
It's okay
cuz you'll answer me someday.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Fresh Paint

Heart Bandit

Alone Time

Collection (So far)

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Originally uploaded by pretty-kitty

This image popped into my head today almost on accident. I was on a call and on hold and, as usual, started to doodle in the margins of my intake form. The next thing you know, this little image manifested itself and I could not wait to get home and paint it.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

I'm here for you.

I'm here for you.
Originally uploaded by pretty-kitty

By Michelle Auer
Painted May 9th, 2010
Inspired by my friends, my daughter, and some of my family. Sometimes all you need to hear is, "I am here for you."

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Books & Keyholes

Darian and I went and saw the new Alice in Wonderland this weekend. I made the above painting as soon as I got home. It was visually inspired, but the story was a little uninspired.

The below photo is just something I was trying out. I did that thing where you just randomly open a book on the shelf, but instead of trying to play magic 8 ball with it looking for deeper meaning, I turned it into a canvas. I think the Keyhole was partially due to the fact this was done on the heels of finishing the Alice painting. (No classic books were harmed in the making of this painting. I scanned it and painted on the printed page.)


"Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly."

Saturday, May 01, 2010


I've been away for so long...

Where do you begin when you have taken a seemingly forever hiatus from doing something?
I have a theory that I am to art as bi-polar people are to mood swings. You just cruise along all normal and stuff and then, suddenly, a manic episode where everything is moving in fast forward. That is how inspiration hits me. I get really super involved in certain mediums for a truncated period of time. During that time, I am very prolific and create tons of stuff in that medium, but if I take a break from it, or get interrupted, boom, the ride is over, back to reality. I've done it with music, writing, drawing, photography, painting, sculpting, sewing, cake decorating, knitting... you name the genre and I have probably dabbled in it at one time or another.

My family has been kind enough to dedicate one of our very few and precious closets in our tiny city dwelling for me to store all of the supplies, so if the mood strikes me, I will be ready. They also don't seem to mind when I spend a long weekend in my pj's keeping strange hours just creating one thing after another like some sort of machine until finally I am nodding off and Jon tells me that it is time to go to sleep. In that tiny closet, I have supplies to do pretty much anything. I like knowing it is there. Opening the door is unlocking the things that are always swirling around in my head.

On that note, instead of trying to detail with words everything that has been happening in my life recently, here are many visuals to show you what I've been up to:

Chewie is still the cutest doggie ever and I discovered he has a teeny mustache:

There was The Posies show at The Croc where I got to see lots of friends I have not seen in ages:

A new art store opened in my neighborhood, so I've been painting:

and I went to SXSW for the first time. Here is a video I shot backstage:

more happened, but right now I'm distracted by an empty canvas across the room...

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Ballad of El Goodo

I'm sure most of you have already heard that Jon's dear friend and band mate, Alex Chilton passed away last Wednesday. I don't really have the words in me right now to string together everything that has happened in the days since we got the news, but I would like to share with you a touching scene in a hotel room in Austin, TX.
This is Jon Auer and Sondre Lerche preparing for the Big Star tribute to Alex Chilton that happened later that evening at SXSW 2010.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The newest member of the Auer family

Meet Chewie. (He's named after Chewbacca.) Isn't he the cutest? We adopted him from the pound. He was found wandering around the city, he was not tagged or fixed.
I walked into the shelter and he was the first dog that I saw. The minute I saw him I just KNEW I had to take him home.
Adopting him was the greatest decision ever. In the last week every person in our house has fallen completely in love with him. Not only does he bring nothing but happiness, we have gotten more exercise, spent more time outdoors, and just generally more family time than we have in ages.

He's so pretty when he runs! I must have walked 20 miles in the last week and have totally enjoyed it. I love how having a dog just gives you a reason to go outside and enjoy the world every day, even if you didn't think you were in the mood. It's so easy to hole up in the house and work on art, watch movies or just generally waste time. Having a dog changes all of that. It is amazing. I've already met and talked to so many of my neighbors that I've walked past since 1997 and never had a reason to talk to. Chewie makes everyone smile with his sweet little face. He is basically a superstar!

Here is Chewie making friends on his 1st visit to the off leash park.
I was thinking about our three exceptional pets this morning. Our two cats and one dog. They were all "throw away" animals.

Buddy I found at the shelter. He had only one whisker and tons of scratches. Now he is an amazing, beautiful, and super lovely kitty. You could not ask for a sweeter lap cat!

Moo was literally left out on the street in a box as a tiny kitten. He was terrified of humans. After a lot of work, we got him inside, and now he is the fattest sweetest cat of all time.And now, Chewie. He came home, and to our surprise was not only super well behaved, doesn't bark, doesn't chew things up, but he is also potty trained and gets along fine with the cats!! It amazes me that someone just threw him away. Their loss, our gain. (As I type this, Chewie is sitting on Jon's lap getting lots of hugs and cuddles.)

Best dog ever!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Big Toothy Grin

I took a photo of my Xray to show the adult tooth that I have impacted. I've marked it in the photo. It's just hanging out there. It's very uncommon to still have a baby tooth when you are an adult, but here I am, in braces, waiting to make enough room for this tooth to come down and join the party! Only 1o more months to go! When there is enough room, they will extract the baby tooth and begin pulling that adult tooth down and into place. Right now it is hiding and can only be seen on xrays.

Here's the profile shot, just because it's creepy cool!

Naked Lemon Cake Experiment

I was experimenting with my Wilton Fanci-Fill Cake Pan today. My daughter isn't really a fan of cake because she doesn't like frosting. She thinks it is too sweet. I thought I tried to make a cake sans frosting, but still full of pizazz. I made a basic lemon cake in the Fanci-Fill pan. I filled it with Lemon pie filling and home made whipped cream. I sprinkled confectioners sugar on top and, viola. It's basically a giant, super delicious lemon Twinkie!
It is light and yummy with a surprise in the middle! I would add fresh raspberries to the top if I made this again, just to make it more presentable. I think they would taste great with this.
I was going to today, but the store was running low and the raspberries that were left looked a tad mushy. I might do this one again when they are in season!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Italian Tortellini Soup

This is what I made for dinner tonight. We have a vegetarian house guest, so I wanted to come up with a new veggie option. It was also a good practice run for the next time our favorite Brit veggies, Mark and Suzy, visit again!


  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 6 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 mini can of V8 juice
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen cheese-filled tortellini
  • 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Place the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, thyme and 3 cups of the broth in a 6-quart sauce pot. Heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the onion is tender.
  2. Add the remaining broth, V-8 juice, zucchini, tomatoes, tortellini and beans. Heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the tortellini is tender. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Strawberry Refrigerator Cake

Here is the strawberry refrigerator cake I made for the office party yesterday. New recipe. New FAVE!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Merry Everything from The Auer family!!

This is the art we used for our holiday card this year, drawn by our lovely and talented daughter, Darian.

Black & White Cake

This is the cake I made this evening using another one of my new Wilton Checkerboard cake pans. (They were a Christmas gift from my Dad & Carol) It is supposed to be a checkerboard cake, but it didn't quite work. It still looks cool, but it is my first try.

I made my favorite whipped buttercream frosting using the new Red KitchenAid I got from my Mom & Warren.

Not perfect, but still pretty awesome and DELICIOUS!

Apple Pie

Just because it was so good!

Easy Apple Pie


  • 1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust
  • 5 cups apples - peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C.) Arrange apple slices in unbaked pie shell. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over apples.
  2. Mix 1/3 cup sugar with flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Spoon mixture over apples.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until apples are soft and top is lightly browned.

Purple Christmas Duck

I made this duck for the office holiday party. It's a duck because I wanted to use the new cake pan my Dad sent me for Christmas. It's purple because that is our company color.

Pumpkin Soup

I actually cooked down two small pumpkins to make my own puree for this soup.
It came out super fresh and delish!


  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 whole black peppercorns


  1. Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
  2. Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender.
  3. Return to pan, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

Two going on twenty. Template by Ipietoon Cute Blog Design