Monday, January 23, 2012

Trying to get Back in the Saddle

So, the only way to get back into the habit of things is to start doing them, right? I've come to the conclusion that nothing is going to get easier until I get back into the habit of doing what I used to do. Lately, when I sit down to do minis, paint, draw--or even do a blog post it feels so forced. I don't think there is going to be a magical point where I am past that unless I just get back to doing it. I decided that I was going to start the habit of 30 minutes for some exercise after work and then 30 minutes of time spent creating something. Time carved out just for me- to help me start to feel like myself again. First thing- I had to clean up the craft room. Here's the before and after:

Whew- at least I have a cleaner desk to work on now.  What did I do after the desk was clean?  Well, I signed up this year for 2 different year long art groups.  The first was Lifebook held by Tam from Willowing- I'm still working on my second page for that course- and the second was Book of Days with Effy Wild-what I sat down to work on.  Click either link to find out more about these classes.  Book of Days is like a journal- I'm following along with Effy as she remembers and expresses her days through art.  I used an old encylopedia book as my base-here is the front and back covers after I altered them:
On the inside cover we included a space for a goodbye letter to 2011 and a looking forward letter to 2012.  I choose to put envelopes down for my letters.
The next page is about what I am looking forward to in the year to come.  The large heart is actually a flap that opens and I have written some personal things I am looking forward to and hoping to accomplish.  I drew a picture of a woman hugging herself because I am struggling with the feeling right now that I take care of everything else in my life more than I take care of myself.  If I am not the best I can be- how can I continue to do a good job with all other parts of my life?
This is my first spread of journaling.  I drew the owl because I have been working on one lately and since doing artwork has been a struggle for me lately, I didn't want to overthink this page and then not do anything.  When I first started working in this book I hated it.  I'm used to working on watercolor paper that I don't prep in any way.  With a book you are altering you need to either collage or add gesso to the pages to achieve a work area.  I've never tried writing with a pen over acrylic paint before and it was a bit of a learning experience to figure out what would work without clogging the pen.  However.....after I completed just these few pages- I am loving this book.  When you add gesso and the paint to the pages they almost feel like thin soft leather when you are finished.  I love to turn the pages just so I can feel them-it makes me smile every time. 
After I worked on my Book of Days for awhile I decided I needed to get back into working on my minis too- so I got the sunroom out.  I made a little potting bench for the corner of the room, finished painting the interior walls and started working on some plants.  I need to make some more plants for this room and it is finished.  It's so hard to photograph because of the glass- but I think this will end up being one of my favorite mini roomboxes ever. 

Remember this project?  The owl that I kept seeing in my head?  I've been working on him too.  Here is where he started:

Here is where I am at right now.  I know his legs are twice as long as his body- especially because my hubby keeps pointing that fact out to me--but I have a vision.  Can you tell where he is sitting?  I was having trouble taking a photo and remarked that I needed to get a light box built when dh had this idea- and I think it might work!  He is inside the cabinet that holds my sewing machine.  We thought if we painted this inside white and I bought a piece of foam core to put in the back that it might make a halfway decent light box for taking pictures for the blog.  I could even pin a piece of fabric to the foamcore to change the background.  I think I might try it and see how it works.

Before I end this post I wanted to say thank you to all who replied to my plea for crochet help.  I do have a very generous person working with me and I am keeping at it.  I have crocheted and ripped out the silly little phone cozy about 100 times- I wish I was exaggerating there.  I know I am having some kind of problem with the ends and where I am crocheting in the last chains before I turn.  I do the first inch or so perfect- but somehow as I go along I mess up somewhere and start getting crooked edges again.  I'm not giving up though- I will be posting a finished phone cozy here on this blog even if I have no hair left by the time I finish it!  One good thing- if I can't seem to figure it out I received my community education classes pamphlet this weekend and there is a basic crochet class offered in February.  It's only $15.00 and I'm thinking in my case it may be money well spent-lol :)  Have a great week.  My goal is at least one blog post a week from here on out- so see you soon!!


Laura said...

Wow! That was a big post! :)

I LOVE everything! Especially your journals. They are so incredibly special. :)

Your craft room looks much better. ;D
Good work! :)


Ascension said...

La sala de trabajo es un rincon perfecto lleno de ideas, me encanta.
Los diarios son preciosos.
Y esa escena queda genial.....estas muy trabajadora jejeje
besitos ascension

Maria Ireland said...

So glad to see you back. The journal sounds like a wonderful idea. I love your sunroom. Your owl is cute.
Hugs Maria

Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

I wish my crafting space looked as clean as your before picture :)

The journals are beautiful, sounds like a meaningful project.

I think you are on the right track making time for you, something I need to do.


Piikko said...

Hi Kim!
Your craft room looks so great now.
Congratulations, well done girl!
I see that tiding up your crafts helped you immediately.:)You have created so many wonderful things already. Your room box is very pretty and I love the owl too.
Hugs, piikko

Unusual Girl Studios said...

Kim, I love your looking forward page- it is so expressive- open and honest. This will be a great project for you!

Eileen Bergen said...

It's so nice to have you back blogging actively. I really enjoy your posts. I guess I'm on a similar journey.

I love the journal page of you hugging yourself. You are absolutely right; and you've created the perfect image to remind yourself - and us as well.

Thank you, Kim!

The sun room mini is adorable!!

Lirael said...

LOVE the owl drawing! I'd hang him on my wall any day :)

WeeLittleWest / Kathy Olaf-Obrenski said...

Your persistence is inspirational! Keep up the good work, I'm counting on you.

Cia of Briarwood Studio said...

I'm in awe of your crafting space. Much more organized than mine! Don't you think that winter has a lot to do with our doldrums? I think it does. I always get a bit down in winter and I think that definitely affects my creativity and production. If I didn't push myself, I think I'd stay in bed all day and read. (Which, in itself, would be quite wonderful...but not helpful. *grin*) Don't be too hard on yourself. The muse is only sleeping. A good dose of Spring will cheer her up. (I think I'm going to have to give up on Book of Days, I just don't have the time to do both. But at least I can follow along through your posts! Staying in Tam's class, tho. Loving that one!) Hugs!

Lucille said...

I wish I had a craft room like yours. You're so lucky! Your journal looks beautiful. I always love your choice of colours in your art. The room box is so sweet. I don't know about you or your other followers, Kim, but personally I can't always be the best I can be. Sometimes I'm tired or ill or just not inspired and everything feels forced. Sometimes I just need to rest. And, that's what I do. There are times when we all need to take a break.

Jean Day said...

I love seeing your studio,so wonderfully creative, with inspiration everywhere. Love your owl and the work you have been doing on your miniature scene. The art work in your journals is so beautiful, what a colourful mind you must have. Hugs, Jean

miniature dollhouse said...

These are beautiful, thanks for sharing.