Sunday, January 19, 2020

Once More Into the Fray

Happy new year! And so we begin...
I've made some goals for the year and I'm very excited about accomplishing them, but I would be lying if I said I was not afraid of failing. I've made the goal to lose weight many, many times and not had lasting success. So, why do I continue to put it at the top of my goal list? Is it habit? Is it an unexamined tic that I need to revisit? Why do I do it? I'm 56 years old and I'm at my heaviest weight so one might say that by continuing to focus on my weight, I am attracting more weight to me!

Hmm, I don't know about that, but I know it is, again, my number one goal. To lose 52 pounds in the year 2020. I genuinely believe this is the year I'm going to make that happen. I look forward to sharing the why, the how, challenges, the successes right here on my dear old blog. By the way, I'm five pounds down so I'm off to a good start.

Other goals include refinancing our home so we can finally do away with the mortgage payment insurance! Pete and I also want to pay off our credit card debt which is hovering around the $10K area.

Another big one for me, personally, is to earn at least $1,200 via Tender Arts Studio. The "how" of this is unknown to me yet, but I know that blogging has to be part of the equation. I imagine my etsy shop will play a good size role and my sister-in-law and I are signing up for a May craft show. I see this income as coming from many different sources, but mostly I see at as me finally getting serious about my creative business. It and the weight loss are the two accomplishments I want the most and I cannot see why I shouldn't be able to do these things.

I am reading Marie Forleo's "Everything is Figureoutable" and it has been a great read thus far. I've gleaned some important truths that I believe are already transforming what I believe about myself and my capabilities.

So much to share! I am looking forward to this year and I am committed to being BRAVE in my pursuit of the things I want. I plan to record monthly updates here on the blog about my progress with these goals.
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Getting Festive

Well, I'm as decorated as I'm going to be this year and I love it! Simple, quiet, minimalist- these are not words that usually define my holiday decor, but I am really feeling it this year. Here is the full extent of it:

Okay, I am also working on the mantel too, but that's not ready yet for a photo! And the rest of the house will remain just as it is. Nothing in the kitchen or my bedroom or the bathroom like I did last year. Pete has not put up any exterior lights yet and he may not at all. That is just fine.

I am still making a lot of my gifts and I will be baking. And listening to lots of Christmas music! So, you know, "S'all good, man!"

Happy making, friends!

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Lying Low and Cozy

Here it is the 8th of December and I don't even have a tree up! It's been an intense couple of months and Christmas has snuck up on me.

I'm nursing a cold this weekend and taking it pretty easy. I did spend some time up in the attic and only came down with my little grandma tree and a few boxes of decor. I think my theme this year will be "minimalist"! Last year I did Christmas in a big way, but this year I'm definitely keeping it simple.

I made one of our favorite dishes for lunch today- it's a vegan recipe called Atkilt which I understand is a type of Ethiopian stew. Simple ingredients (cabbage, carrots, potatoes), complex flavors (turmeric, cumin, ginger) and so satisfying. Here are some process photos:
Since this dish relies on fresh veggies, I do all the chopping first so I'm ready for each step. (The recipe calls for onion, but I needed to use up some shallots.)

I also combine all the spices.

The cabbage takes up a lot of room initially, but it does cook down.
So delicious and satisfying. This is the recipe, but I'll give you a tip:  pre-cook your potatoes or you'll be waiting for them to cook forever!

After our yummy stew, I treated us to vegan hot chocolate. Delicious! The recipe came from Chocolate Covered Katie- she has lots of great looking recipes and I can't wait to try more!

The sun has come out a bit and my tummy is full and happy - maybe I'm ready to tackle a little "hall decking". Happy making, friends!

Saturday, July 06, 2019

A Happy Little Summer Note...

I have a lot to talk about- I've been revisiting some old, dear blogs and it reminded me of how much fun blogging was. I know it still can be, but back in the day (you know- 10 years ago or so!) we just shared because we wanted to. Now when I visit new blogs, I find that some of them are really nothing but commercials. I don't begrudge anyone a living, but have some content too, eh? I sound like a cranky old woman and that was not my intent!

I really am in such a sweet spot right now! My new job is much more manageable and, for the first time in a long time, I'm feeling some breathing room to really stretch my wings a bit. It's funny how life can be like that, isn't it? Sometimes I feel like I want to hunker down and keep low during life's storms. After a while though, I feel a breeze at my back and my sails just fill! 

Hard to believe it's been two years already since we bought our sweet little cottage. She just gets cuter and cuter. Pete has become such a serious gardener. He has put so much love and care into our yard. We've had a bumper crop of zucchini this summer, the tomatoes are ripening and as I type this, I am looking into the backyard at my tall, happy mammoth sunflowers!

Inside, I've been a busy bee. My brother Jon and sister-in-law Deb volunteer at their church thrift store. They know my style and last week they alerted me to two armchairs that were in stock. Well... $40 later, we came home with the armchairs and a teal velvet couch! They are really lovely. On the 4th, I checked out the Goodwill half -off sale and scored a beautiful round coffee table, a french armchair with footstool and a little wall cabinet for all of $30! I'm happy as a clam contemplating all the fluffing and fixing in my future. I'll share the progress as I move along. 

I guess that about does it for me for now. Thank you, little blog, for always waiting here patiently for me!

Saturday, April 06, 2019

New Endeavors

Hello again, friends! I have become nuts for chalk painted jars and cans. I'm making so many I need to share them. I'm firing up my etsy shop again and I hope you'll come by and see what I've been up to. So far I've been in production mode, but tomorrow I start listing- so exciting!

I have been watching some really fun tutorials on YouTube lately about image transfer and decoupage. It feels like the possibilities are endless. One of my favorite YouTubers is Fairy Chic Emporium-  a very talented Englishwoman who did a video about creating your own decoupage images by stamping on the white napkin backing that is discarded when decoupaging with printed napkins. Genius!

I can't wait to show you more! Tomorrow will be a big photo shooting day and then I start listing. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Good morning. I’m trying to get back on track with the Miracle Morning. I’m not sure why I’m struggling so much to stay on track. Part of it may be the changing of the seasons. The other part, I know, is because I am eager to move forward with my illustration career. It sounds so pretentious to say that because I know right now or even for the next few years, this will not be a “career” in the true sense of the word. I really ought to say “illustration side gig”!

But anyway, my point is that the 65 minutes it takes to complete the Miracle Morning feels like 65 minutes I could be using to move along in the side gig. Except that… I’m feeling a little lost regarding next steps with that too!

Here’s where I’m at- I create an index card every day. I just completed number 95 of 100!! That kind of blows me away, btw. I have stuck with the project every single day for 95 days. I know that when I reach 100, I’ll need to spend a little time reflecting on the process and talking about what made it work, what I learned from it and what I’ll carry with me.

Once I complete the project, I want to create some larger pieces to develop into prints that I can sell on Etsy. At the moment, I’m a little lost as to what the subjects of the drawings will be. I’m 99% sure that I want to continue with my cute little animals- after all, that is why I developed them. They’re cute and I can tell stories about them which I love. I think I’m afraid! Afraid to work big, afraid to actually have something to sell and be rejected, afraid that everything I do looks completely amateurish.

What I told myself going into this process was that it’s not the best artists who become successful, it’s the persistent artists who know how to build a following. That is just as much what I do on Instagram with this challenge as it is about the actual index cards- it’s connection and persistence.

My own fears are just fears and if I truly want this as I say I do, I will have to move forward IN SPITE of my fears.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018
Good morning! I had to drag myself out of bed this morning and I almost talked myself into going back to bed once I was up! Especially when I got on the scale and saw the same number that was there yesterday which is essentially the same number that’s been there for the past three months.I really don’t seem to be progressing, but just as I've been doing since January, I'll keep at it.

What else? As much as I want to obtain my business license and my fictitious business name, I have to be honest and look at the facts- I do not have a single piece of artwork that can be scanned in to create a print. Not one. I have 87 index cards and many of them are adorable, but I definitely have a lot to do before they can be something marketable.
I think when I complete my 100 day index-card-a-day challenge, I’ll transition to completing an illustration everyday. First I’ll finish Inktober and then I’ll move directly into November where the daily illustration will not be part of a prompt list or someone else’s challenge.
Once I have some actual pieces to sell, then maybe I can look at a business license! Spending almost $200 when I have nothing to sell doesn’t make any sense at all. I am just so eager to move along this journey and feel like I’m ready to something happen.

I need to take a minute or two to enjoy the process and reflect on where I’ve been. 87 days ago I drew sometimes, I lettered sometimes, I crafted sometimes. That was all fun, but it felt very directionless. Now, I feel restored to my first love- drawing. The thing I did the most of when I was a girl. I am excited to get better at it, but I have to face the fact that I am nowhere near ready to make any money doing it.
Not just yet...