Mindfulness and More Photo-A-Day

I took a break from craft shows for most of this year, because last year felt like each show was just (maybe) paying for the next, and I felt like I needed some time to recenter myself and figure out what my work was about again. Like most things when I say I’m going to think about it though, I really just filled that time with other things and kind of rediscovered that there was more to life than work…or more to work than the grind of it. Something like that.  This past weekend I decided to do a small show with my best friend Sally. The booth fee was really low, and it ended up being really chill. I got some drawing done while I was there and made a little money…not a lot, but more than I would have staying home and reading all day. hahaha. 

Olive has been seeking ways to practice mindfulness and get a hold of some of the feelings she’s been having lately. I wish I could shield her from all the things that are going on around her, but sometimes the best I can do is hold her hand and help her find her way. She discovered Zen Kids on YouTube and we spent some time doing meditation and yoga together. 

It’s been an okay week for the most part. I’ve been enjoying taking pictures for the Photo-A-Day challenge and reflecting in these mini blog posts.

 07/31 Under
I’ve  been doing shows, conventions and events since 2011. In that time I’ve  met a lot of people, made friends and felt like a part of a family  within the art and craft community. 

As  many artists as there are in the world, there’s an even greater number  of ways to display their work. One of the things that I’ve always found  fascinating is seeing what everybody does with the stuff that they’re  NOT selling. The back stock, the notebooks and handwork. The empty cups  and half eaten lunch. Hahaha.

My  tables sit on risers and all my totes go under that. The rest of my  displays have voids in the back, so I end up having most of the table  left to work on and store things underneath my art. 

08/31 Dinnertime
Being  a vegetarian is not an ethical choice for me. It has nothing to do with  my feelings for animals. I have no problem with my friends and loved  ones who eat meat. In fact, I still eat eggs and milk and cheese. It’s a  responsible choice for my own body, I think. I feel better now than I  have in forever. It’s good for me, but my choice to be vegetarian  shouldn’t effect anyone else’s choices for what they eat. 

The  downside of this choice is that sometimes, my favorite humans worry  about how they’d ever cook for me. Or sometimes, I end up picking apart  wonderful pizza to make sure that I don’t eat pepperoni. My guts will  thank me later. Do I miss meat? Sure! Some of my favorite foods are  literally made out of it. But I’m not ready to eat it again either. 

09/31 I bought this
Before  you buy a house you know how much the maintenance will be work, but you  don’t really have any idea how much work it’ll be. Some days it feels  like you’re fixing the same thing over and over so you don’t have time  to move on the the next thing. Even if you had the money to. Hahaha. 

I  found myself thinking about this yesterday because my sewer drain  backed up (again). In addition to that, apparently the nut that holds  the cleaning attachment on the auger cable got lost down the drain last  time…luckily the attachment made it out. 

So  here I was, with a puddle of foul water all over the floor and a drawer  full of nuts that didn’t fit the bolt I had. Sigh. Maintain the tools  so the house can be maintained. After a trip out to the hardware store  and to the coffee shop, I was finally ready to do what realistically  should have been a thirty minute job. 

I pulled what looked like a small rat pelt out of the drain about forty feet in. 

Plumbing’s disgusting. 

10/31 Joy
Few  things make me laugh as quickly, as heartily, and as long as this  frowny face. Something about it just hits that part of my brain in  charge of humor and happiness and light and it triggers this…I have  kind of a “mad scientist” laugh that bubbles up from my guts and sort of  takes over my whole body. And I love LOVE that these girls share that  with me. 

Tonight,  Olive asked me to take her picture so she could see the frown on her  own face. “Is that your frowny face?” I asked as Abby and I demonstrated  again. 

“It is. Am I doing it right?” She asked, squishing up her face as her sister and I sat across the table giggling. 

“Abby,  go over there so I can take a picture of you two making the same face.”  So she did. And I did. And we all looked at the picture. And laughed  and laughed.

11/31 Begins With S
I’m  an illustrator, designer, crafter, parent…whatever it is that I do  during the day, and I work from home. Illustration is a solitary thing  and while messenger is great for “water cooler talk”, it’s not the same  as actually seeing real people.  I missed that feeling of creative  comradierie that came from working in a studio. 

A  few years ago, my best friend Sally and I started organizing  Crafternoon. A biweekly meet up for us and our friends who similarly  needed to get out of the house. We get coffee and lunch, bring something  small to work on or just hang out with real live adults for a few  hours. It’s ended up being a great way to remain connected with our  community and help drive our own creativity. 

Hanging  out with my best friends Sally and Sandy today. We’re finishing up work  for Christmas commissions, talking about derby and thinking about our  goals for the new year. 

12/31 Lights
I  have a Pinterest board full of pictures of beautiful, spacious, well  lit and organized studios. The kind of creative spaces I can picture  spending entire weeks in, happily designing, painting and creating. The  think that I find myself longing for most often are windows filling the  space with sunshine and views of the world. 

I’m  actually pretty lucky. There’s a ton of space in my basement studio. I  have room to store things as well as work tables that I can leave  dedicated to different tasks…including holding piles of mail, half  finished drawings and art supplies. 

The  lighting situation can be less than ideal, so I have so many lights and  lamps in an effort to save my eyes. This little lamp is my favorite to  paint under, and I’ll bring it upstairs to the kitchen table sometimes  when I need a little change of scenery. While I may not have all the  sunlight I could ever want, it’s at least possible to find the light I  need.

13/31 Decoration
The  instructions said “remove a few sprigs of parsley to use as a garnish  and chop the rest to use in the sauce.” I love the detail of adding a  little splash of green, a color of life to the edge of a meal, well  made. 

Tonight,  my best friend Sally invited me over for dinner…she had some Fresh  Express orders, but doesn’t really enjoy cooking. I love cooking,  especially with friends. We both love eating, especially with friends.  It was pretty much perfect. 

Also,  a pro tip. Maybe you don’t care for red pepper flakes or something. It  may be tempting to leave out ingredients. Leave them in. Some really  smart and talented person put those pepper flakes in the recipe for a  reason and they add the perfect amount of zing. 

I hope you all had a great week. Thank you for spending part of it with me, I appreciate you all every day. Until next time, take care and be good.
Your friend,

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