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...

Friday, November 24, 2017

New Edith Flack Ackley Dollies!

It's been too long, my friends! Too long since I posted here and too long since I've made any Edith Flack Ackley dolls. I'm very happy to be doing both!

I had a bunch of doll bodies sewn and lingering in my stash. I decided to finally cut them out and make them. I've been working on and off on them for about two months. They're finally done!

I got a group shot before preparing them all for their ebay listings.

Sweet, adventurous Anne

My kindhearted Heidi

Curious wanderer Lucy

"Darling" characters from Peter Pan

Elegant Josephine

And Lemondrop, my Sweet Lolita

I had such fun making these girls, but I'm ready for a break! 

In other news, we are enjoying our new home very much and tomorrow we decorate for our first Christmas in our new home!
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New Home Color Palettes

What a fun exercise! I wanted to play around with the collage tool in PicMonkey and I thought it would be fun to create palette cards for our new home. Because it is such a small home, I know I want to stick to a fairly cohesive color palette.

I knew going into this exercise that I was interested in an analogous color scheme of blue, green, yellow and I searched Flickr for creative commons copyrights using the search term "morning meadow". 

Then I used the eyedropper tool to pick colors from the photo and dropped them into the smaller cells. I think this one, above, is my favorite. The saturation on all of these colors is probably higher than what I will actually use. One thing I do know is that there is going to be a lot of white!

My choice of white paint? Right now, Polar Bear from Behr is the front runner, but you never know until you start putting it on the wall, right?

Hmmm, I don't know- this one is really pretty too and much more muted. Lovely!

The first room we'll be working on is our bedroom. We're taking the tiny, bright blue bedroom so the larger room can serve as art room and guest room. We are going to remove the carpet and paint the floor- how fun is that? I've always wanted to try a painted floor. I think it will be gray and then the walls will be the Polar Bear.
We are finally closing tomorrow! I'm so excited to finally be at this juncture- talk about stressful! We have a truck and movers lined up for Thursday and I'm hopeful that we can make some real headway on the move and the bedroom project before I return to work on Monday. Wish us luck!

If you would like to create your own color palette, here is an excellent set of instructions from PicMonkey- enjoy! Happy making, Friends!