Sunday, January 24, 2016

Weekend Update 2

Welcome Winter! Storm system Jonas brought us a wonderful eight or ten inches of beautiful white snow yesterday and overnight (I will take pics later today after the sun has come up--my camera doesn't take great photos in the dark...) Can't wait to get out there and start shoveling! But first--my week in review...

Last week I began a daily tracker in my bullet journal and did so-so with it:

I did manage to get the newest set of journaling Bible bookmarks finished and listed in my Etsy shop:

And I've revamped the tracker for the coming week, taking out some of the less important tasks and hopefully will find better direction this time around.
Other projects I've been playing around with:
A water soluble graphite grid envie
This is a bit blurry but just a quick shot of a couple tie dye papers I'm making for some envie mosaic work this week...
My February monthly layout in my bullet journal
And this is Tucker staring down his arch enemy The Squirrel. These two have a daily chase--The Squirrel will taunt Tucker from atop the fence, running back and forth in some death defying balancing act while Tucker chases him below. Every. Day. Best friends or Best frenemies? I'm just super impressed with this little fella's agility!

So today will be digging out from Jonas. I need to get a five mile run in as well before any arty play time--but for now breakfast is calling--oatmeal with mixed berries--yum! Have a great day--enjoy the snow, and hopefully I'll see you again next week!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Weekend Update

It seems I have lost the entire week of blogging opportunities. I had wanted to do another What's Going On Wednesday but ran out of time and just never got back to it-hence, The Weekend Update! There's always a fix if you look hard enough, right?

So! What a week-we've lost David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Dan Haggerty...Cancer's got its glutton on--enough is enough already! Keith Richards at least, still alive and well, probably always will be. Thank heaven for small favors.

But, a little closer to home--the hubs and I ventured out to a new art supply store in Somerset last weekend, Riverside Art--this place is an artist's dream! I'm almost a little afraid to go back...I had to rein myself in being with my other half--but holy mackerel! What a great place! When you first walk into the store you enter their gallery where they have displayed all these beautiful creations from local artists--it's like a special little art show! Down below the gallery is their art supply store and they have the best of the best-no penny ante Michaels or AC Moore crafty student grade art supplies, this is the real deal! I drooled through aisles of pastels, paints, papers, pens, pencils, rulers, books, canvas, easels...a sugar starved kid set loose in a Willy Wonka level candy store! I gathered up a small selection of goodies that I couldn't forgive myself for if I'd left the store without them, and THEN! We got our own personal tour of their scanning/Giclee printing rooms! Okay, I completely geeked out over this. Their Cruse scanner has a room all its own--it's gianormous! And their printers, huge--three or four of them--I was too excited for it all to really sink in--top of the line, state of the art, beyond all coolness...Kim, their printing pro, let me drool over some of the prints she'd been working on from another artist's amazing sketchbook--it all made my mind spin! I walked out of the store with a zillion ideas to play with and super excited for the day I let myself go back for more goodies!

And, home at last, I've been busy playing with a few odd things through the week...I've been completely obsessed with graphite abstracts lately, so decided to create an inspiration board for my arting area. I printed out some pretties found on Pinterest and hung them on a simple cork board bought at Walmart:
And this little guy is from one of the books I posted last week that I'm working through: Draw Realistic Animals by Robert Caldwell. Husky fur is challenging so I'm taking my time with it--no rush, it is just a practice piece after all. He's still got a long way to go but I'm happy with his progress so far!

This morning I came across a bullet journal challenge on the Tiny Ray of Sunshine blog--to create a daily focus log. I have so many little project ideas and inspirations, even if I manage to jot them down into my bullet journal, they often get overlooked and eventually forgotten. So Kim's Focus challenge seemed like a great accountability tracker that just might help me crack down and actually get some of these projects finished!
(First, if you're not sure of what a bullet journal is, you can check them out here)
I thought it might be easier to understand what I'm talking about if I gave a full view of how I work my bujo...This is a two week spread. I list daily cleaning chores, appointments, rowing and running days, my weekly budget (which sadly gets neglected but one of my goals is to get that under control this year!), snail mail replies, and the week's Action Items--projects that need to be prioritized. Sometimes that works, other times maybe not so much...And of course, doodle and lettering space! Oh, and the week's menus. The left side is this current week and the right page is next week. I don't typically fill the whole week in ahead of time--you never know what can pop up at any given time and it's better to leave yourself some wiggle room. However, with this Focus challenge, I wanted to work in a daily log space to track some of the projects that seem to be falling between the cracks, so I've done that at the bottom of the right page:
Two week spread
The upcoming week
Daily Focus Log
Below is my monthly January spread--I'll pencil in daily cleaning tasks and appointments each week, then along the side I keep track of things that I'm working on, need to complete, and also projects I'd like to think about for the coming month:

I got the idea for a project breakdown sheet from the This is a great planning system and a beautiful book but bullet journaling allows room to create these pages in my own way and so, viola:
My only problem seems to be remembering to incorporate these projects into my daily task lists. So, I'm hoping that's where the daily focus log will help bring about the accountability and eventually get these projects DONE!

And one final shot of the stash I just grabbed from the library this morning and will be working on for the next six weeks:
I'm most excited about the two Lee Hammond books, and Hillberry's Textures. The Basic Perspective book is for an upcoming project I'm pretty psyched about as well!

I think that catches us up. I am hoping to get another post in for the coming week--fingers crossed! In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the weekend, hopefully it's snowing where you are--I wish it was here...See you again soon!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What's Going On Wednesday

I wanted to give a quick peek at some of the books I'm working through right now:

I've been a big Danny Gregory fan forever--I love his books and am really enjoying Art Before Breakfast. I've also been playing off and on with his Creative License for the past few years--his books are so fun, beautiful to read and look at, and always encouraging and inspirational!

The Sketchbook Challenge is another one I peek into from time to time--it's great for getting through creative slumps when you just don't know what you want to do!

I discovered Lynda Barry's Syllabus through Danny Gregory's blog He had listed several books that he had found to be greatly inspirational and Syllabus is a whole lot of fun to play through! The fact that it looks like someone's old composition notebook makes it seem all the more appealing to me--like sneaking a peek into somebody's lost diary!

I just picked up More Creative Lettering at the library yesterday--it has one of my current favorite lettering artists: Lindsey Bugbee of the fabulous blog: The Postman's Knock. I'm a huge snail mail nut and love love love pretty envelopes. Lindsey is a generous spirit who posts all sorts of great tutorials to inspire you not only in making beautiful mail but also all kinds of fun artsy projects. She's got a great creative challenge and giveaway going on for the month of January, so you might want to pop on over and check it out here!

I've really enjoyed Draw Realistic Animals and Realistic Drawing Secrets. It had been so long since I'd actually done any graphite drawing, these two books offer fantastic direction and step by step instruction to get you from a beginning sketch to a fully realized drawing. I've gotten myself quite a stash of graphite pencils now and feel like a little kid every time I take them out to play! It feels like I've found that one thing that just makes my heart and soul soar...I love it!

Drawing 365 is another one to dip into here and there--anything that encourages a daily art practice is a wonderful inclusion in any collection!

So that's what I've got going on here. I need to go print out the details of Lindsey's new challenge and get that worked into the month's schedule...Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

First, A Look Back

Before plunging straight into the new year ahead, I want to take a look back at the successes of the past year and maybe create a platform to build upon going into 2016.

I've gotten my Etsy shop, the Blueberry Loft, stocked and selling. It did quite a bit better than I had imagined it would--who knew? So my plan is to create more inventory and hopefully continue this endeavor as the year goes on.

I finally reached and surpassed my fifty pound weight loss goal and have lost sixty pounds total. I made it through the holidays without any gains and am looking forward to fitting into a size two later this year!

I successfully ran my first 10k and loved it! It was a gorgeous fall morning, the weather was cool and overcast with a slight drizzle--perfect for a good run. I was very happy with my time which was much better than I'd anticipated: 1:05:15, and this year plan to PR that in each of the two 10k's I want to run. I've been doing a lot of speed work since racing season ended and hope to get my pace up a good bit this year. Next year I'll be moving into a new age bracket and being on the young end of it, I plan to contend for a win!

I rowed in several water races and managed a first place win in the Slocum River Regatta Challenge with the team Lorelei--wins are always gratifying and encouraging to keep on at what you're doing! Rowing is so much fun and great exercise, winning a good race is like icing on the cake!

I've also finally started drawing again, a long lost passion that, for the life of me, I can't imagine why I ever gave it up! My favorite of the year was a portrait of our grandpuppy, Monticore:

This was given as a Christmas gift to Ashlee and Kyle. I'm working my way through several drawing books and had signed up for a drawing class at our local Voc-Tech but it was sadly cancelled due to personal reasons for the teacher. I'm hoping they'll reoffer the class for spring, but in the meantime, I'll just keep practicing!

So, that's the best of the best of 2015. I'm definitely looking forward to what 2016 holds in store for us. It's going to be a good, good year!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 Happy New Year!

A new year, a new blog. I've kind of gotten away from blogging this past year in an effort to cut back on how much time I was spending on the computer. Social media, mindless matching games, and other online endeavors sucked up my day and I never managed to get anything outside of barely skimming through the household chores accomplished. So I had to go a little cold turkey--dropped my blog and Facebook, packed the laptop away after a quick morning perusal of email, calorie counting, and a zip through Pinterest--and amazingly I found time for the things I actually wanted to do every day!

So why am I starting back? I still waste a good half hour playing a PC game every morning that I can easily drop and use that time more productively. I've signed up for a couple online challenges this year that I'd like to actually be able to link up blog posts and share my work again. And I've found blogging can be a helpful accountability tool as well. So, I'm back to sharing and blogging--for now. If I find myself spending too much time at it, it may just go back to the chopping block. I did learn to set some priorities in 2015 and I plan to stick with it.

And so to begin this new blog as we embark on another new year, I thought I'd share my list of goals and my One Word for 2016:

Goals 2016

  • Draw at least five days a week
  • Expand offerings on Etsy
  • Work towards commissions (get my work out there!)
  • Calendar drawings
  • Run the New Bedford Half Marathon
  • PR my 10k time
  • Reach race pace of 9:35/mi
  • Read 25 books
Road Races for 2016
  • March-New Bedford Half Marathon
  • April-South Coast CARE 5k
  • June-Fairhaven Father's Day 10k
  • July-Mattapoisett 5 mile; Fisherman's Tribute Fund 5k
  • Sept-Acushnet 4.1 mile; Fort Phoenix 5k
  • October-Spooky Spooner 10k
My One Word for 2016 is Commit.
Commit to the LORD whatever you do,
and He will establish your plans.
Proverbs 16:3


1. to give in trust or charge; consign.
2. to consign for preservation
3. to pledge (oneself) to a position on an issue or question; express (one's intention, feeling, etc.)
4. to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance; pledge: to commit oneself to a promise; to be committed to a course of action.
5. to entrust, especially for safekeeping; commend
6. to do; perform; perpetrate
I come up with lots of ideas and plans, grand schemes and wild dreams--but I seem to have trouble with following through any of them to completion. This year I intend to commit to the work, and to commit that work to God--in all I do: art, health, family, relationships. Trust in Him to lead me and help see me through. And committing it all here is my first step of accountability as well.
I have lots on board this year, I hope you'll stick around and see how it all unfolds with me! For now, have I wish you a happy, healthy and productive new year! Thanks so much for stopping by!