I have no pictures to post today…I didn’t get a chance to draw yet…and doubt I will before I am exhausted enough to crawl into bed.
We woke up late this morning…it’s so nice when we can all sleep in. I have enjoyed that during our little vacation. Sam goes back to work tomorrow, though. And we have tons to do. Our Christmas stuff is all still in need of being taken down and packed up.
My sister brought her 1 year old over today so that they could get some work done in their dining room. They are hoping to get it repainted. They spent most of the afternoon stripping down the wallpaper. I hate wallpaper, by the way. So with Ava here and my four kids, we really got little accomplished. I was hoping for some time to take decorations down, but it seemed like it took all day just to clean the kitchen. I did kind of vacuum (kind-of because I just vacuumed around everything that is sitting on the floor). And I did a couple of loads of laundry and put away all the boys clothes and sent out the rest of my Christmas newsletters (late because we ran out of stamps). But it doesn’t seem like all that much has been accomplished when you look around.
Anyway, tomorrow is another day…hopefully I will make good use of it…or should I say, hopefully I will be able to…
We discovered today with our additional 4or 5 inches of snow, that we no longer have a shovel. After our big snowfall on New Years Eve, our friend was out the next day in town with his snowplow and came by and plowed out our driveway. And someone snowblowed our walks too – we think it was him, but he doesn’t normally do that. We…or at least I…was so thankful. I didn’t feel all that great yesterday, and although I was planning to go shovel while the kids played outside, I really didn’t feel up to it. So it was nice to not have to. Living in the city, we get fined if we don’t keep the sidewalks clear. Oh, back to the shovel. So this morning me and the kids ran up to Walmart to pick up a few groceries and I noticed the shovel was not in its usual spot. I searched the garage and around the house and couldn’t find it anywhere. I questioned the kids…because they like to use it sometimes when they are playing in the snow…and their answers were wishy-washy. They thought they might of had it but didn’t know for sure, Max said he thought he stepped on it in the snow yesterday when they were playing, but when they went to find it, they had no luck. So I am thinking it either got stolen (and this wouldn’t be the first time) or it is buried in the 10+ inches of snow on the ground…and the rate the snow is piling up, it may be a while until we see it again – if that is where it is. And I am thinking there is a good chance it is buried, so I am not going to go out and buy another one. Anyway, I have a wonderful neighbor who doesn’t mind if I borrow hers…so that’s what I did today.
On to another subject…I have been thinking about setting some goals for this year…yes, personal ones are always good…but I am thinking of art-related goals right now. I have signed up on the Everyday Matters group to be paired with a goal buddy to help keep me accountable, so my next step is to get my goals actually written down and share them with my buddy. I plan to post them on my blog when I decide what they are going to be. I think it will be good for me to have someone to encourage me and remind me of my ambitions in art. With the busyness of life -somehow the creative stuff seems to be last priority. It probably shouldn’t be, since having time to be creative, do creative things, is what keeps me feeling sane. I don’t know why that is, really…but I have a lot more anxiety in my life when I don’t have the opportunity to “play”. Do you every feel like that? I kind of have been thinking a lot about this. Because it was actually when I had my last baby (in the fall of 2003) that I started looking for something to do to find an outlet for my creativity. Maybe there is just something about that time…when you have a newborn, and you feel kind of trapped, like you can’t get away, and you feel guilty for spending time doing anything for yourself. I remember thinking, maybe I’ll take a class…and I looked up the classes at our local art museum and found one being offered on Illustrated Journaling. Not having a clue what this was, I decided to do some searches and found an amazing world of artists who create art in their personal journals about their every day lives. This really changed my whole view of art. I had always thought that everything I made should have a purpose…whether it was functional or specifically made for someone or maybe a work that was commissioned. I did not allow myself freedom to just make art for he sake of making it – even though this is something I believe. That whole period of time I spent looking at blogs and published sketchbooks and journals really changed me. I took the class and LOVED it! It was so inspiring. Writing/drawing in my journal was something I wanted to do…I had to do. Not only that, but as time went on…I looked back through the pages I had filled in my journals and thought…”this is me. This is my life. No one else has these thoughts & experiences…no one else sees life like I do.” It brought back memories of laughter, frustration, sadness, joy and many other emotions as I read through and looked at the drawings I had made. Those drawings told so much about me. My journals are very precious to me because of that reason…but then I started sharing them on my blog and found that others enjoyed reading about my life. Maybe they just like my drawings (of which I don’t do enough of recently – sorry) or maybe they like to read my take on the adventures of my life. I don’t really know. I know my blog posts have changed a lot since I first started. I really want to capture some of what I had a few years ago when Illustrated Journaling was so exciting to me. It’s not that I don’t still love it. It’s just not fresh and new, you know. So I am thinking about what I can do to get a little spark going, to make it fun again. One think I would like to do is get back to doing the drawing challenges from the Everyday Matters group. While the challenges themselves are not anything special…it is a way to keep drawing, and I have found that some of those challenges have led into some of my favorite journal entries and drawings, like this one of my bed. The challenge was to draw our bed…but instead of making it all nice and neat…I drew it the way it usually is. I hardly ever make our bed. There are just so many more important things to do in the morning, you know? So, like it or not…this drawing really tells just a little bit of who I am. I think that is what attracted me to the whole idea of illustrated journaling. If you look through my journals, you would find that I draw a whole bunch of things…that probably most people would wonder why I would take the time to draw. Things like rubber stamps and empty envelopes, a spoon or a half eaten cookie. One time I even drew all the things I found under the couch cushions while I was cleaning. Even though they seem so unimportant, they all tell just a little more about who I am and what my crazy life is like…so maybe someday, when I am gone, my kids or whoever will know a little more about who I am because of the journals I kept. I only wish I could have kept them all my life…like this. What a treasure that would be, huh? If you would like to know a little more of what Illustrated Journaling is all about, I would recommend you take a little stroll through Danny Gregory’s (dannygregory.com)archives…especially those in ‘o3, ‘o4. He was huge inspiration to me and his blog and the class I took were what got me started on this whole thing in the first place.
Oh, and by the way…my kids have recently started a blog to publish their creations…of which the most recent are their snow people they made the other day.