So….yeah

Remember in my last post when I said something to the effect of “hey, I took a break but now I’m back every Saturday” yada yada yada..?  Well, as you can probably tell, I didn’t post last Saturday and it is very late in the evening on a Tuesday now when I finally started to write this one. And I will admit, I felt so angry at myself for not posting on Saturday even though I had every intention of doing so. So what happened? And more importantly, why would I even be upset about it?

Well last weekend, my oldest daughter celebrated her birthday and we had a small party for her and a couple friends. It really wasn’t anything major and everyone had fun and there was great conversation. (Bonus, the house still looked clean when everyone left!) After the kids went to sleep I pulled out my laptop and started blogging about the day and how great it was. It really started out as a great post that was full of emotion, reflection and motherhood. I wrote about half of it and decided to step away to get myself something to drink and that’s when my husband showed me some houses (we are moving soon). Of course we jumped in that rabbit hole and looked at so many houses and I completely forgot I even wrote anything.

The next morning, I realized I didn’t post anything and thought ‘no big deal, a post a day late is fine with me’. But Sunday somehow became one thing after another and yet again I forgot to not just finish the post, but I forgot half of what I was going to write. So I went to bed yet again remembering that I still didn’t post.

Yesterday and today, I worked on commissions. Almost entirely for both days. I went to a friend’s house because she was also working on orders so we had our kids play together so we could work. And work we did. I’m done with a crochet doll that takes forever and was able to work on some individual sketches. But it wasn’t until tonight that I forced myself to sit and finish the blog post. Well, I started a new one technically.

So there are the reasons, so why am I mad? It’s not like I wasn’t doing anything or that I just sat around for three days not caring. So there really isn’t a reason, right? Well, I hold myself to a standard with only a few things in my life. And keeping up with my creative outlets is one of them. I like blogging a lot. It helps me write, even when I haven’t written anything in my novel. I do expect myself to sit for an hour and write once a week about something because it’s not an unrealistic goal. But I also live a lifestyle that has a husband, 5 children, 2 dogs, homeschooling, working from home and  being a housewife. Sometimes those goals are easily over shadowed and even though I  feel great about staying on top of my proprietors, I still get upset when I don’t accomplish those personal goals. It’s so easy to lose yourself in taking care of others all the time. Seeing someone’s gratitude and appreciation for your hard work is a wonderful feeling and is something to be happy about. But when you set goals for yourself, to improve yourself or your own ability, and then don’t have the time to meet that goal, it can feel frustrating and a bit of a let down. But something I have learned and striving to remember, is that its not a failure. Its not a set back. Its a pause. I can pick up things relatively back up where they once were, may not be easy, but its reasonable and perfectly okay. When the time comes, and I can get my goals completed, I like to take a bit of time to appreciate what I’ve done for myself.

So if you can relate, then high five, because it’s nice to know we aren’t alone!

 

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The challenge has started

[Featured image is my drawing and painting from days 2&3 from the daily challenge! Check out my Instagram for more detail on this image!]

I decided this year to make a resolution to challenge me to become a better artist. I am to draw everyday, nothing too elaborate and time consuming but a good sketch that I spend at least an hour on everyday. The goal of this has many angles to it. I want to become a better artist, I want to make sure I spend at least an hour everyday to myself doing something I enjoy, to show my kids that mommy has more ambitions than a clean house, to make my art into more than just a hobby, etc. The list really does go on because there are so many positives to taking on a 365 day drawing challenge, but I won’t bore you with every detail.

If you want to see the pictures, I post them everyday on Instagram and Facebook! I have also updated my Patreon rewards to include discount codes, tutorials, fan art, original prints, stickers and more! The rewards are for those who want to get to know me as an artist better, help the aspiring artist or just want to show their support! Make sure you check it out and spread the word to your friends!

Take a look at the menu on my site and you’ll notice more categories such as blog post, free coloring pages and a shop! The shop has my links for my coloring books and to a new account on Threadless where my designs can be printed on blankets, shirts and bags! I will add a new design every month so don’t forget to check back!

There are a lot of good things happening this year and I am to share it with you!

 

The shadow in the mirror

I have rewritten this blog post about four times already. This is harder than I realized. When I came up with the drawing, it was inspired by some of my friends and family reflecting on how they have treated me at one point or another in my life. There was no particular conversation that really brought it on, no event that would have really triggered it, but it happened. As nice as an apology was to hear, it was also that twinge of a reminder of it happening and it sent me shooting back to the feeling I would get when I would go through any hard time in my life.

Per the title and illustration, you can see what I saw in the mirror when I was feeing less than what I am. They saw ‘Don’t let people get to you’, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’, ‘Always keep going forward’. It’s pretty sound advice in my opinion. I mean, why would I let someone else’s opinion of my life wreck my decision making and question my intelligence and make me feel incapable of living a good and happy life? Not that difficult, right?

Except when those are the people you trust and love and they turn to you and suddenly question you so much that it makes you step back and wonder, ‘Do you not know me?’ or ‘Don’t you understand how you are making me feel right now?’. It’s enough to make you hide in the shell you spent so hard coming out of. For me, it used to make me hate everything around me and wish myself invisible. But that, my friend, isn’t how life works.

That certainly proved true for me when I was going through this multiple times in my life. I was forced to see things clearer and remind myself of exactly who cares and who doesn’t. I was given new knowledge that I was unaware of until I accepted it. I was given the wisdom to know that some people don’t care and some do and others use me for a comfort.

After processing all the apologies for my past, I realized something about myself. I do keep moving forward. I do push through. I allow myself to feel my feelings but I don’t let them bring me down. I don’t abide by everyone’s opinion of a happy life. I realized that I have had to push myself on my own because at the end of the day, I was all I needed to keep going on. That’s not an easy skill to obtain, but I plan on mastering it.

The shadow eventually went away over time. I am thankful for that. A lot of that has to do with my own spiritual journey and how I can live the Christian life I want to live regardless of the obstacles. The mirror simply shows me the way I look now, not who I am. Took me a long time to train my mind to see myself that way and now, I feel happy from it. I needed me to accept myself for what I was made to do. Though I am still discovering this life long path, I do feel that now, more than ever, I am on the right one. And if I am totally wrong, then I hope for God’s grace to lead me down the right path in my life.

 

About the illustration:

I wanted to make sure that I (the one looking in the mirror) stood out with color and making sure everything around me was dull and a bit washed out. When I would get in a bad place in my life, I would often see the world this way. Not literally of course but its the feeling that I would get from everything around me. I drew myself as how I look now (with slightly longer hair) because it was recently that I did my reflecting on my life and realized what I had gone through. I couldn’t come up with a way to make the mirror look like a time warp of some sorts without adding color, so I decided to just make it odd looking and a bit out of place. The shadow reflection has to no place in my life anymore and the mirror, showing me the wrong image of myself, doesn’t either.

 

Don’t forget to check out both of my coloring books that are now available on Amazon!

Fun for Hours for those who enjoy a good coloring challenge!

Stressed Out!! for those who need to let out some steam without the profanity!

To ink or not to ink….

So I am planning to post every Saturday for Sketchbook Saturdays. I’m sure a rogue post during the week will arise once in a while, but for but not I will post on Saturdays! So put that in your phone calendar and set an alarm!

Currently I am working on a character series not just for a new print book but for videos on Youtube. My channel is currently under construction because the channel didn’t portray me an illustrator like I want. It was more of a portrait artist. While I do enjoy drawing portraits in different mediums, I want to be an illustrator. And the only way to be seen and get better at illustrating is to ……practice illustrations. This may seem like common sense, and it is, but I am going to blame it on ‘mommy brain’ and say I really was just wanting to draw anything I could think of.

So I am practicing some techniques for illustrations. As you can see, the image on the far right is the original sketch. I used a red color pencil instead of a pencil because graphite can mess with the watercolors and ink.

The middle image is watercolor outlined in color pencils. Each area is outlined with a colored pencil a shade or two darker than the paint. This gives the illustration a more vibrant look without the hard lines of ink.

The left image is watercolor with ink. There is more of a comic book look to using this technique but this is the technique I am more used too and have more practice with.

So my question is this, which one is your favorite? If I had to choose, I couldn’t. To be totally honest. I just like the benefits and the feeling of both.

 

The oils

A few years ago I was introduced to essential oils and aromatherapy. I instantly loved it. I not only appreciated the scent of them, but the health benefits really are amazing.

At first I used lavender and tea tree for everything, basically because I had no other knowledge of anything else at the time. But lo and behold, as time went on, I learned more and more about oils and it was all through using them and not just reading about them.

Before you say that I am just another ‘hippie’ that got a hold of a blog, just give me a minute. I am not against western medicine. In fact, thanks to that, my youngest child is alive today. When she was two months old she contracted RSV and pneumonia and on Halloween she coughed so hard that she went blue in the face. After her being hooked up to wires and tubes and desat within 24 hours of admission, the literal last thing on my mind was my knowledge of essential oil benefits (which, at that time she was in the hospital, was quite a lot. Not to brag or anything 🙂 ).  I have read articles where people did use natural remedies to and essential oils to take care of illnesses, but all of that was outside of my comfort zone.

I mainly use oils in the diffuser and sometimes to make some DIY projects. I have made bath bombs, chap stick, lotion, soap and laundry detergent. These were all learning projects for me and I really enjoyed using them. I also enjoyed the fact that they were free from the harmful chemicals that are in a lot of commercial products and they are cost effective to make. An added bonus is that most batches are rather large to make, so unless you have a large family at home like I do, then you can store the extra or give out as gifts. And personally, I love homemade gifts.  I do think that the quality of the oils matter also. What’s the point in using oils to the replace harmful chemicals if you are going to just have oils that aren’t pure?

The reason I even touched base on the subject was that I realized I am out of lavender oil and need to order some. I thought up a small sketch to add as the feature image and thought it was cute. Hopefully you do also. So I am off to place my order from the comfort of my flower printed comforter and Star Wars pajama pants!

I woud like to tell you that I am a genius and figured out all of my recipes with essential oils all by myself, but I did not. So I am providing the links below to some of the recipes I have used.

  • For fizzy bath bombs ( I added about twice the amount of oils it recommends to one batch)
  • Lip Balm (made by some awesome ladies!)
  • Laundry detergent (Yet another blog run by a fabulous woman!)
  • Young Living Oils (This is the brand of oils that I use. Using the link allows you sign up for a kit from YL. If you do, then I send you bath bombs in addition to the big kit that you get from your order!)

 

Want to see behind the scenes pictures to my YouTube videos? Check out my Patreon site and become a patron with a monthly donation and have exclusive looks to my drawings, drawing that are not published on my blog and more!

 

 

 

Saturday Sketchbook

I would like to say that Saturday Sketchbook is going to be a regular addition to my schedule now. But I would hate to promise something and then take it back. So for now, let’s just say that I will strive to make Saturdays a day of show and tell in my sketchbook.

This drawing has no reference or real meaning. It’s a way for me to practice my watercolor and ink. I would like to really establish a certain style for my illustrations. I have a tendency to mix a lot of styles up which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But I would like to have a solid foundation for my illustrations.

So that’s really it for today. Nothing too much, just felt like sharing. Now I must go to sleep so I am not late for church in the morning.

 

Want to see behind the scenes pictures to my YouTube videos? Check out my Patreon site and become a patron with a monthly donation and have exclusive looks to my drawings, drawing that are not published on my blog and more!

 

Cloud watching

The other day I was visiting a friend at her house. It was a surprisingly beautiful considering where I live.  Here the word hot is equivalent to humid. They are one in the same. And it’s usually like that up until November and then it gets cold, but the fact that our bodies have been adjusting most of the year to living in a sauna, the drop in temperature seems to send us all into shock and we all of a sudden have to wear parkas and crank the heat. But that’s not why I wanted to talk to you today.

After our kids were done eating and started playing outside, we decided to follow them. We were going to go for a walk before my son reminded me that none of my children had shoes. Five sets of feet and zero shoes. That’s when I remembered my famous words to my kids right before we left, ‘don’t worry about shoes, we are only staying for a little bit after dinner’. Well, two hours and a half hours later, we’re not back home and still no shoes. So we opt to stay and hang out in the yard chatting and watching the kids play.

A gentle breeze started picking up. It held the sent of grass and flowers in it.  Tickling our skin and hair, I couldn’t help but soak it in. The noise around me started dying out and I stared at the clouds. They moved across the sky with ease. I laid down in the yard and starting saying a prayer of thanks.  There is so much more in life than no shoes for a walk. There is so much more than stressing over all the little things in life. Though it’s not always easy to remember that.

God has given us an entire planet. Filled with beautiful colors and soft clouds. I got lost in that for a moment. I let God take my worries and cares and in return he gave me peace. I looked around me and others had followed my lead. It was, in a word, serene.