Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Making the time and a sneak peak....

Wow it's a couple of weeks into January! I realized with going back to work in December, Christmas and life in general I haven't blogged in forever!  It's been an adjustment going back to work, I was only off for 5 months with shoulder surgery but it was just enough time to get out of the swing of things.   Being back at work forces me to be more organized with my time and energy and now that the holidays are over I am ready to fit being creative back into my life.  To tell the truth I MUST fit being creative into my life!  If I go for more than a few days not drawing, painting or just being crafty I start to get restless.  Last Saturday I spent 7 hours in my studio creating, I loved it.  I can't always find that much studio time and balancing everything in life (work, family, chores, creative time) can often be tough going.

As the boys get older they are in less need of my full time attention. Matthew is a teenager now so it's more like forcing him to spend time with us instead of him wanting too.  Jackson loves watching soccer and playing FIFA on the Xbox and fortunately so does my husband.  So when things wind-down for the evening and the boys go off to play their games a little before bed I sneak into my studio for a little creative time.  Now this isn't always how it goes, sometimes there's taking or picking up a kid from a event or watching Jackson's soccer games etc. but the days that all the running around and getting stuff done can be finished before dinner is when I take advantage of some creative time.  Mike and I have become quite the team as far as taking on the chores and the kids activities. Sometimes it feel like he picks up the slack a little more often than I do so that I can be creative but I try to give him his time to relax go get a beer with a friend etc. Team work is what works in our house.  I know a few of my friends have told me they envy the time I have to create and that they wish they could do the same. When I tell them to just do it, they tell me it's not so easy because they don't get the help like I do or the kids never give them free time etc. Just taking 20 minutes to write, draw or doodle most nights is better than nothing.  I guess what I am saying is that if you really want that time then you need to make it for yourself. Lock that bedroom door and tell your husband he's got kid duty for the next 30 minutes or get up an extra 20 minutes early a few days a week to create. If you have little one's give them some paper and have them create with you.  You would be amazed what you can get done in those short times and how relaxing it can be.   As women I think we just get so used to doing everything for everyone that we forget how to take care of our own needs and wants. Then at some point we start feeling like we have lost our selves and can become resentful. Taking the time to create, write or do whatever activity it is that you enjoy is such an important part of being a good mother, wife and person. We need it! It's what's makes us be the best we can be!  We might not get to do these things as often or as much as we like right now in our lives but a little is better than nothing don't you think?  I challenge everyone who reads this blog post today to take the time and be creative or just have "ME TIME"  at least 1 time a week for this year. I would love to hear of your success and strategies in making this happen. Here is are a few of my strategies I will be using to put creative time into my busy life.

  1. Get out the door by 7 a.m.  for work for most days.( Mike and I trade off going to work early and taking Jackson to school)  I can get home early get things done around the house freeing up a little evening time for creating.
  2. Make list's of what needs to get done and set deadlines.  ( This is my most challenging and the newest for me) I will use these lists for household chores and making sure I am getting my creative work done on time or in a timely manner.  Also making sure I have time to just play in my studio too. 
  3. Going with the flow.  Life doesn't always like to go with my plans so knowing that I might have to re-write my schedule or switch it up is important for me to remember. 
  4. Keeping family time as number one. With Matthew a teen now and him wanting to spend less time with us, Mike and I want to make sure that we are spending time together as a family.  Space Needle visit is next on our list for a day outing.  Last night the Mike, the boys and I spent time working on this weeks Life Book Lesson with Carla Sonheim. It was so much fun creating our silly characters! We laughed a lot. I really appreciated them doing drawing with me. I think we spent about 30 minutes right after dinner doing this and then everyone went their separate ways. 
  5. Patience.  Patience and I haven't been very good friends for most of my life.  I have always found it very hard to be patient and the Verruca Salt attitude of, " I want it now" has been a challenge for me to overcome.  Patience and I are becoming friends, slowly but surely. 
  6. Set limits on my volunteering.  I have been getting better with this one.  Right now, after school art club one time a month, art docent for my sons class one time a month and Sunday school at church once every month is all the volunteering I can do. This is still a lot considering I work full time and I want to make sure I have my creative time.  I think giving back is so important for our community and ourselves but sometimes we just can't say no and while it's for a worthy cause we end up losing our time for ourselves and become burnt out.  That little free time that I am talking about is just as important for our sanity even if we have to get over our guilt.  Balance is the key!  I am always telling my kids that too much of a good thing can become a bad thing, so I am taking my own advice.   
One of my artistic goals this year is to submit my artwork to some of my favorite mixed media magazines. If you are into mixed media then I'm sure my favorite magazines Somerset Studio and Cloth Paper Scissors are your favorites too.  Here is one of the girls I will be mailing off for one of their calls.  The theme is Masquerade.
  She was created on watercolor paper using acrylics, pens, inks, markers and molding paste. The diamond background was a stencil I used with molding paste. I let the paste dry and then put Inka Gold in metal finish on the diamonds. I Zentangled her mask and the lace around her shirt. Doesn't she look like she  is on her way to the Masquerade!

The last thing I wanted to talk about is Life Book 2014. It has started and I am loving it as always.  This is my 3rd year, as I have been there from the beginning.   My goal for this year is to do every exercise and create a big book at the end of the year! Last year while I did watch every video I didn't do every lesson.  Here is my first two that I have completed.
Week 1 with Tam.  This is my guardian and my word for the year is, "Believe"  Tam had us do a meditation where our guardian came to visit us and my girl came to me at the beach. I choose ocean blue, lime green and lavender colors to represent the beach.  I choose, "Believe" to remind me to believe in myself and my abilities.  Boy, I was challenged with this the first week, looking at all the amazing guardians that the other Life Bookers created had me second guessing my abilities.  Lucky I am over it (for now) and I re-focused on creating not comparing.

 Week 2 with Micki Wilde.  I decided to create this piece on craft paper. I thought the brown bag color and texture would go great with the grey craft paint.  I love how the paper has little wrinkles in it too.  The colors pop against the grey/brown background.  I really had fun with this one. While the lesson was to create this circle and words that say, " In 2014 I will be a " I couldn't resist creating my girl!  So in 2014 I will be a Confident Creator.

If you are not part of Life Book 2014 and are interested in it go to http://willowing.ning.com. I highly recommend it. What you get and how many amazing artist are teaching lessons for the price is an amazing deal!

I am looking forward to finishing up this weeks lessons with Carla Sonheim and will post my results next week.   
Happy Creating!

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Thank you for reading my blog. Please feel free to comment on any of my posts. If you try a project and you have pictures please post them I would love to see them!

I hope you enjoy reading about my journey in the world of art and crafts.

Happy Creating!
Lesa B.