Rusty

I haven’t been here in some time and I feel a bit rusty. It took me a minute to remember how to post. Ha Ha. Yes, it’s true. Summer has been moving along at record speed. How’s your summer (or winter) going?

In just 3 weeks my children will be returning to school! The light is starting to shift again and you can sense that fall is coming.

Earlier this summer I started All Shapes and Sizes Watercolor Workshop with Misty Mawn. You can see some of the projects we’ve been working on above. Accordion books filled with shapes and making more books to fill. The books she teaches us to make are simple, no glue needed books. She always jam packs her courses with a lot of information. If you’re interested in learning different ways to work with watercolor I definitely recommend her course. I’m really enjoying it.

I’ve also been enjoying going outside every day and picking a small amount of our cherry tomatoes. The plants themselves aren’t doing well but the fruit is. I’m not sure what is going on with the plants. We went to the farm stand over the weekend and bought kirby cucumbers to make pickles (among tons of other veggies). They should be ready this weekend. I can’t wait.

About a week ago my copy of Find Your Artistic Voice by Lisa Congdon arrived. I was so excited to read it. She seems to know so many of the thoughts that run through my brain. I’ve also just finished this book. I think everyone should read it.

I have knitting and other fiber projects and dreams to share but I will save that for another post. I won’t be gone for so long this time.

See you soon.

Changing Perspective + Lots of Lovely Things

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It’s been some time since I last posted. Lately I’ve had to watch my amount of intake of information. As a highly sensitive person things can get to me quickly. I have to remind myself to not drown in the negativity and craziness of this world and shift to seeing all the good.

I recently read something and I’m sorry to say I can’t remember who wrote it or where it was but it stuck with me. The idea was to change the way you think of the things that you don’t particularly enjoy doing. For example, instead of bemoaning the fact that you have to make dinner you can think of it from the point of view that you get to make dinner for your family or yourself. Instead of thinking that you have to shop, prepare and cook the meal think instead how lucky you are that you get to do that. You have enough money to buy the food. You have the ability to get to the store to buy the food and you’re able to cook the food.

It certainly changes the perspective doesn’t it?

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I’ve been coming upon lots of lovely things lately.

-Jen Hewett has a really cute bag in her shop. She’s also teaching her last online print making class. It starts soon.

-I love Chip and Joanna Gaines. Did you know that they have started their own network? From what I’ve read and watched it seems like it will be filled with lots of positive stories. Coming soon.

-I recently listened to this podcast and found it so interesting. From the Amazon page for his book :“David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields—especially those that are complex and unpredictable—generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.” So if you have started late and/or you aren’t a specialist here’s some encouragement.

Enjoy!

Summer so far

Color everywhere. Summer is in full swing. How can it possibly be July already?

Our yard is sunnier as we are having two trees taken down this week. One is already down. A locust. You can spy it in the orchid photo. The other is a maple that is dying. I’m hoping to do a little garden next year now that we will have more direct light available. Veggies I think. I’m excited to think of the possibilities. I will miss the shade but it was time for them to go. The neighbor was having two dead ash trees taken down and we decided it was finally time to let our trees go too. They were both about 60+ years old and overhanging the house. When storms would come up there was always the concern of parts breaking and falling on the house.

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My orchids are all blooming. I only have 3 but still it’s exciting.

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I cut my knitting! On purpose! The socks you see were knit cuff to heel in a tube and then I cut in the knitting to insert an afterthought heel. It wasn’t hard or scary at all. It was actually pretty fun.

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I’ve signed up for Misty Mawn’s new class that starts on July 12.

How’s summer (or winter) going where you are?

Being You

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It’s a strange thing keeping a blog. The worries of saying too much. Not saying enough. Is anyone reading? What do you write about? Maybe people don’t care so much with all the things swirling around the web. It can be hard to keep up. To take it all in and remain level headed.

Lately I’ve been head over heels with my knitting. Elizabeth Zimmerman books (I’m eyeing this dvd), socks, knit alongs, scarves, shawls and knitting podcasts. I’m starting a knitting/fiber arts group at the library in the fall. The one that used to exist there I was unable to get to. The kids were much smaller and it just didn’t work into my schedule. I’m not sure what happened to the group but a few years ago it stopped meeting. I love the community aspect of knitting among many other things of course.

I haven’t painted in about a week or so and I want to get back to it. My love for abstract painting is growing stronger and I will pull out my abstract sketchbook very soon. School is wrapping up next week and the days will slow down a bit so there will be more time to start the day slowly.

In the past I would feel conflicted about wanting to paint and wanting to do fiber arts. It really isn’t a surprise that I love them both considering that is exactly what I studied in school. Painting textile designs with gouache and learning how to weave. Drawing nature studies with charcoal and using a knitting machine (not fun). So it’s all related.

I’m no longer going to deem it as a bad thing to love both and will follow the energy where it leads me. Maybe this makes me an amateur. Maybe I’m a pro am. I don’t know. And I don’t know where it will lead but I don’t even think that really matters.

So if you love only one creative expression and you are in it fully that is great but if you’re consumed by many like me it’s okay. It’s okay to be you. Come to think of it there are more than just knitting and painting that I’m interested in. :)

Lovely Things

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I’m really enjoying sharing fun, lovely things here. The above painting was done a very long time ago.

*I made this cake over the weekend and it is delicious! If you go strawberry picking and are looking for a way to use some of them up I highly recommend this cake. I didn’t use freshly picked strawberries so I can only imagine how good it would be with them. I’m sure you could try different fruit too.

*I started watching this on Netflix and I’m really enjoying it. I rarely stayed up for the Late Show but I like the mix of guests he has had on so far and that I’ve watched.

*Do you know of Arne and Carlos? They are designers, textile artists and authors. They have a YouTube Channel as well. Here they are teaching how to make a granny square scarf. They have lots of other great videos to check out as well. I enjoy watching them.

Abstract Sketchbook

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I’ve been watching Pam Garrison and Jennifer Mercede on Creativebug teaching their Daily Abstract Painting Prompts class and I’ve followed along with the artist Sonia Brittian sharing her abstract sketchbook on Instagram and felt inspired to start one myself.

I love that there is no right or wrong way with it. You respond to what is on the page. If you are interested in playing or need to work through some feelings I highly recommend it.

I’ve been using cheap craft store acrylics and water soluble crayons in a cheap soft covered sketchbook. You don’t need a ton of time and it is all about the process. You will probably make new discoveries with your paint and tools. I used a palette knife, brushes and old gift cards to spread the paint and scraped into the paint with these as well as the water soluble crayons. Let me know if you decide to give it a try.

Life Lately

-The irises were just amazing this year. That rich purple is stunning. They are starting to wither now and I will miss them.

-I swatched with this yarn for this spring/summer cardigan. Shhh. Don’t tell my fall/winter cardigan. I love the yarn so much. I thought it was going to be more of a blue grey based on the photo but it really is more of a neutral grey. I can’t wait to cast on since the swatch was so fun to knit.

-Cutie and Piper say hi.

-I have no idea what the soft pink flowers are but I love them. They are in the neighbors yard and smell lovely too.

-This morning I decided to break out my acrylics again and paint some color. With summer right around the corner I’m thinking of painting a summer flower series.

-I will be seaming the sides of my Flex tee and I can’t wait to wear it. It has a very neat construction.

-My hydrangea bush is doing so well this year and I can’t wait for it to burst open with its gorgeous periwinkle flowers.

-Meditative watercolor play. I was dreaming of being at the ocean when I was working on this. It was incredibly relaxing.

What is going on in your life lately?

Little Florals

I’ve been working on these little florals on hot press watercolor paper and have been really enjoying them. The top one I showed in my previous post and I’m really loving where it is now. I may still play with it a bit more and then risk it not being what I had hoped but that’s a chance I will have to take. The other two still need work but I love the thick layers of paint.

Authentic creating

Lately I’ve painted some crummy paintings. I felt a little frustrated with it but decided to instead look for things that I do like within the painting.

That has been incredibly helpful. These paintings are from the second day of working on them and while I don’t love them yet I do love certain parts of them.

The colors feel pleasing for the most part and I like the paint application in parts. It felt good to paint them.

I really get into the zone when I paint abstractly which is exactly the way I want to be. I watched this video last night and it really spoke to me. Art certainly shouldn’t cause stress and anxiety which at times I will admit that it has. Art making for me needs to feel good.

I think that we can learn something from everything we make even if in the end it isn’t quite what we had hoped it would be. And we may even end up loving it more.

Is art making stressful for you? Do you feel you create from an authentic place?