Keeping Sane

Art journaling is one of the ways I keep sane while the world whirls around me. Though I’ve been “crafty” all of my life, I’ve only attempted to be “arty” relatively recently. My crafting adventures have included a number of sewing related things(quilting, applique, home dec etc.), crochet(can’t coordinate two sticks to knit), scrapbooking, jewelry making…the list does go on….

As part of my transition to a less child-full home, I’ve been taking art-related classes both around town, and online. I love the steady, meditative, precise strokes of Zentangle, the freedom of expressive painting, and the challenge of faces(stylized and whimsical, but not straight portraiture). I like to explore these topics, as well as techniques and prompts from some books I’ve collected and classes I’ve taken in my hand bound art journals. I learned this particular book structure from Effy Wild. The center journal in the photo is my first attempt. It’s about 2/3 full of art journal spreads. The other two are WIP(work in progress…).

At the end of the day, I love to fling my arting materials all of the table and wallow in creativity. It feels good to lose myself in something other than my day to day stuff.

a glass of wine is optional ;>)

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Telling Tales

I have always loved telling stories. Over the last few years, I have participated in a November writing romp called National Novel Writing Month(NaNoWriMo). Basically, you try to put together a 50,000 word novel in a month. I’ve participated 5 times and finished 4 novels. I’ve loved the momentum and discipline of it, although I think only two of those novels might be worth further work.  The emphasis of the exercise is definitely on process not product, there just isn’t enough time for fine writing and revision.

NaNoWriMo also offers an April session called Camp NaNoWriMo which offers another chance to work on new pieces of writing, or to do revisions. I was planning on revising a steampunk novel I completed for NaNo two years ago and was asking my daughter her opinion about how to handle the rewrite. We tossed ideas around for a few minutes, and then I said, “Maybe I should just start over, tell a new tale.”

Em said, “We should write that bad romance novel we’ve always talked about.”

I carefully considered her suggestion…for about two seconds…and agreed. We are planning a truly terrible and cliched romance novel!

Is it wise to add another item to our already crowded to-do list? Only time will tell. I think we will enjoy it though. Creativity is always a great stress reliever for both of us. A little laughter and silliness never hurt anyone.

This might not be such a crazy idea after all.

Ostriches

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Yep, that’s the one. That’s how I’ve been feeling. If you didn’t already sense it, WARNING, VENT AHEAD….

I thought I was more prepared for this last school year, but, boy was I wrong. I’ve spent my time rushing from activity to activity, weathering a long series of “lasts”, wondering if it will ever end. Wishing it would end sooner. My daughter actually has a countdown on her phone. I added one this morning.

This is not what I wanted it to be. I thought I was prepared for the tasks ahead. I’d been down this road before. I was emotionally in a really solid place. Ha!

I am done with school, teachers, administrators, counselors, cranky classmates, senior projects, field trips, current events assignments and endless emails about senior events. We have paid for transcripts, applications, tests, AP exams, and the Financial Aid forms. Don’t even get me started on the graduation swag…wow…   I feel like I’m drowning in paperwork and wasted time. 

Not much joyful in the old nest today, but this too shall pass right? Someday we’ll all look back on this and laugh?

Probably. 

I comfort myself knowing that most of this is already behind us, I think she has picked her school. It’s a good choice for a lot of reasons, she seems excited to take on a new world. I know I’m ready for a new groove. Been thinking about it quite a bit, as a matter of fact. Guess I’ll hang onto that for now.

By the way, ostriches don’t really bury their heads in the sand….

I’m off to plan a better day.