:7/30:

A super busy day today, most of it spent chauffeuring the kids. Now I’m taking the time to work on my journal. I’m doing my first urban sketch of Uncommon Threads, the local yarn store near one where they have an activity. I get a blissful couple of hours, hanging out with other knitters and drooling over the new shipments. Here’s the unfinished page:

I’ve figured out that I am not going to make it to the end of the month in my current Bullet Journal, so I went ahead and set up my Traveler’s Company notebook. I can at least start the art journal there before the calendars get put into use.

:5/30:

Good morning lovely people!

This morning I was so excited to get up and play with the watercolor set I got myself. It is the Sakura Koi Pocket Field Sketch Box. I’ve heard it recommended by quite a few planners, art journal keepers and artists on YouTube. The best part was using a 50% off coupon. This one is the 24 color set and it looks to have more than enough to keep me going.

I’ve been using my Tombow markers, but this is something I wanted to learn how to use, especially since it gives me a greater range of color saturation and dilution. I only have three of the Tombow sets and it does limit my color choices.

I took a little time this morning swatching all the colors on some Fariano dot grid paper I have.

Yes, ‘Lanta spends her morning napping in my lap while I do my planning and journaling.

Today is one of my favorite types of days. I get to spend the whole day at home, just working on the property and the house.

I really am a homebody. I swear, if it weren’t for the kids activities, I would only leave to go grocery shop once a week.

We are still in the thick of harvesting chestnuts and cleaning up the fall leaves. The trees are only half through shedding and the it is a daily job keeping up with it. To top it off, the wind has really kicked up over the past week.

What we need now is some rain. There is currently a 17 acre fire burning on the other side of the range from where we live. Even a heavy fog would be welcome at this point.

What about you guys, have you had a good fall? Have you started something new? or is the approaching holiday season the only thing you are gearing up for? Please post to the comments. I’d love to hear how others are spending their fall.

:3/30:

One of the new things I have decided to do is to begin sketch journaling. There are a few things which prompted me to start one. I have always, always, always been fascinated by journals which include drawing. I love seeing those old travel journals and artist sketchbooks of victorians. I love sketchbooks that incorporate ephemera and photographs in with the writing. But I really do not consider myself an artist.

To say I was never really encouraged to express of pursue any kind of creativity is an understatement. Coupled with an almost crippling self-doubt, I never did the things I wanted. It took decades and an uber-supportive husband (and watching my Breezy blossom as an artist) to give myself permission to try.

I also found this amazing artist. Her name is Samantha Dion Baker and she is a graphic designer and illustrator from New York City. I first found her on Pinterest. It turns out she is mostly on Instagram (Yes, I broke my self-imposed IG ban to look at her work!) It was beautiful. I also found out she has written an inspirational book on starting sketch journaling. I ordered it right away. It was so worth it!

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This book has prompted me to start sketch journaling in my bullet journal. I had finished the lined journal I was using, So I jumped into it on November 1st. Here are the first two pages:

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One of the things that really called to me about how Samantha Dion Baker does hers is that she focuses on the beauty of the mundane in her life.

At that point I decided not to just draw random sketches, but to use the pages to draw a true record of my life. I thought, Instead of writing out my day for may journaling practice, why not illustrate it?             (Draw Your Day, page 3)

She can turn a piece of fruit or a tin of tea or a the bodega on the corner into a beautiful record of her life. Her book took the intimidation out of sketch journaling.

I also realized that the long-hand written journals I have are not anything I want my kids or Doug EVER reading. They are filled with a log of anxiety and worry and fear and anger. Page after page of it.

I have ordered the three of them to burn any handwritten journals they find, unread upon my death.

Pretty grim.

I don’t even want to ever read them again. Those books represent hours of my life, and I am ashamed to share them with anybody. 

I know now I do better focusing on positive. Plus I really do want a record of my life to pass down.

So now I am going to throw myself into documenting my days in my journal. Doug got me the a brown Traveler’s Company notebook. I’ll be moving my planning over to it in December (though it is already here and I am so tempted to start now!) I have a few pages left in my current bullet journal, so I will finish out November there. But I am on day three of art journaling, and really, really loving it.

:january 2018 zentangle challenge

In the past my drawing efforts have been sporadic at best. I’ll do a big piece and then I won’t touch my pens for months. So, to go with my word for the year, I am doing a daily drawing challenge in my bullet journal this year. this is my first effort. Unfortunately, I did not start it until I came back from my trip to Florida, thus the crossed out days.

This month I am going to try a more free-form format. I may not always do zentangles, as I want to start doodling and drawing in other styles as well.

We’ll see how that works out.

:TEDx Talks: Why Write? Penmanship for the 21st Century:

Due to my fascination with pens and paper, and having been a life-long journal keeper, I have always been interested in handwriting.

Right now I am helping my son with his penmanship. Due to some of the issues I mentioned him having from when he went to school, he has hated writing.

He avoids it like the plague.

Now, he is ready and interested in learning cursive. Mostly because he wants to read my writing. So, I spent the weekend surfing the web, looking for the best way for us to approach this. In my surfing I watched a whole bunch of videos.

Videos on how to, on methods, on curriculum reviews.

And I came across this gem:

Now, I want to go practice my own handwriting.

:a bit of a ramble:

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Trying to come up with a topic every day for this uncategorized blog is not coming easily. For years I have read blogs from artists or homeschooling moms, baby blogs and CrossFit ones. I love having an insight into people’s everyday lives. It is one of the reasons I wanted to do this blog.

But there also seems to be this tremendous pressure to monetize blogs and make them look super curated and artistic.

I’m not sure that is me.

I just want to share a little bit about myself, and make connections with readers and bloggers.

My life is not super fancy. I don’t have a gorgeously decorated home. I live in a tiny 800 square foot cottage in the mountains. I’m a true homebody unless I’m traveling somewhere. I love to craft, but I’m not a guru in any one discipline. Probably because I love to do all the things, so I never get really good at any one thing. Hell, I’m a beginner or dabbler in almost all of the things I do.

I can guarantee anyone who comes here will mostly see ramblings about my day and photos when I remember to take them. They will see me write about fears and insecurities (a lot). They will read about my attempts to make art, both in writing and through textile and visual means.

And they will see me document the life I want to make for myself.

I am embarking on a journey into the Creative Life.

It is a world I have watched, standing outside in the cold, with my nose pressed against the glass, and longing for the warmth within. I would tell myself that was for other people, people who were “good at it.” Even as I tell my kids that they have to start and make mistakes before they could develop the skills they wanted, I never let myself hear my own advice.

It has only taken forty-two years to give myself permission to live that creativity.