Sunday, December 30, 2018


December has been...chaotic, for the most part snowless, frustrating and sometimes overwhelming. Yet in the quite moments there has also been great joy.

We brought Atticus home on December 2. He has added to the house some of that chaos, frustration, and also great joy. I haven't threatened to send him back to the breeder this week, so things must be looking up. Somebody we met recently summed it up best, "You are training a puppy, but you are also retraining yourselves."

The mostly snowless December has been great when you have to bring a puppy outside every 15 minutes to go to the bathroom. Not so great because the snow would cover up the acorns he gets distracted trying to eat and forgets to go to the bathroom. Then 15 minutes later we are back outside to do it all over again.

We didn't put our tree up until the Friday before Christmas due to a curious puppy, and it is down already, even though he did learn to leave it alone. The bows on the Christmas presents never lost their appeal though.

Atticus loves the beach! Hallelujah! I know I have the right dog. December has had a fair amount of 40 degree days and a little sunshine, perfect for digging in the sand and running up and down the little sand dunes. One sunny, 45 degree afternoon when we were there, there was a boat cruising the channel, the stereo system blasting Oh Holy Night and Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow. I felt like I was in some weird time warp.

Somehow I got everything done in time for Christmas; the presents bought and wrapped, the food bought and prepared, the house cleaned, the traditional sugar cookies cut out and decorated, the family party hosted and cleaned up. I'm glad it's over though.

I got an Instant Pot for Christmas, I am excited to try it out. Mallory surprised me with a month of unlimited yoga classes for both of us. I can't wait!

We had a mini-reunion of the boys from Atticus's litter along with their mom. The boys all live in the area so it will be fun to have play dates every now and again.

I committed to doing the online Summer Studio video lesson on Art Journaling for Dirty Footprints Studio.

I am looking forward with anticipation to 2019...

Watching Atticus grow up. Hard to believe he will be 12 weeks already on Monday.

I am entering 1-3 collaged postcards in a Postcard Salon exhibition at the Muskegon Museum of Art. Deadline is January 13. I have one almost done.

On January 2, I will begin the steps necessary to start my long dreamed of art business. I am applying for a LLC, setting up a bank account and getting a business credit card and all the other things that come with starting a business. I have a friend that will be doing a logo and branding for me. I need a head shot done for my website and for Dirty Footprints Studio, so I will be seeking somebody to do that. I plan to open an Etsy shop once I have some art ready to post. The art most likely will be a combination of collage and my photography, similar to the postcards I am making for the exhibition.

I have no idea where any of this is going to go, but I am buckling up for the ride and trusting the journey on the twisting road before me.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Day 12

The story we often tell ourselves is that we aren't good at something. The honest truth though is that we have never even tried. How in the world can we be good without trying?

Day 17

A couple posts ago I wrote about my art journey this fall. At the end I shared a bit about wanting to learn to draw. I was convinced that I wasn't good at drawing, but in all honesty I hadn't tried since I was ten. Our vacation up north motivated me to try again, at the age 50. Once we were back home I had to find a way to keep trying, even without the inspiration of the place I love.

Day 15

I seem to do really well with 30 Day challenges. November conveniently had 30 days. I decided to do 30 Days of Drawing. I even went bold and posted my daily drawing on Instagram, hoping that a few of my friends would keep me accountable.

Day One

It was scary in the beginning to put myself and my lack of skill out there. But somebody has to be brave and show others that even if you don't start out good, you can come a long way in 30 days with a commitment to daily practice. It wasn't a big time commitment each day. On the average I probably spent about thirty minutes per drawing. Some days I had more time and some days I was lucky if I had ten minutes. But it was the showing up every day that mattered, not how much time I  had.

Day 19

With any project there is the dreaded middle. I would have a few really good days, and then it felt like I took three steps backwards. The above drawing was suppose to be a moody stone barn, but to me it feels like a slightly moody Caribbean stone house. Not what I was going for.

Day 14

I am someone who needs to have an image in front of me to draw. But I also have seven years in as a photographer, I am image driven. Besides my own photographs, which I drew from quite a bit, Pinterest is a fabulous source. Oh the rabbit holes you can fall into. I swore I would never draw people because I wasn't good at it. But...I had never tried.

Day 9

Some of my ladies have been drawn with the X and Y axis and reference points and some have been outlined with my Lightbox, I am completely fine with that. Seeing how far I have come in thirty days, I know I will get there with them too. We all have to start where we are and grow from there.

Day 27

I am also completely in love with charcoal.

Exciting News

Today, Sunday December 2, we bring Atticus home. Let the adventures begin.

Second: I was contacted this week by Dirty Footprints Studio about teaching a small segment of a summer on-line course for them. You can just image how dumbfounded I felt when I read the email. Me? Are you serious? The story I am telling myself is that I am not ready for this, I don't know how to shoot a tutorial video. But the truth is that I haven't tried yet, and until I try I don't have any right to say I can't.

The theme for this is Capturing Moments, which are to be brought to fruition in your art journal. I am looking for ideas from you, my friends, about what this theme would mean to you. I am kicking around an idea, but I would love to hear your thoughts.