Check-In: March 1

Oh! I’m the worst! I can’t keep up with this blog and I can’t force myself to schedule enough posts ahead of time to make up for my laziness. My goal this year was to get ahead of the game with both the shop and the blog. I’m batting whatever the worst that you can bat is. I don’t know enough about baseball to use it for analogies.

What I’ve been working on: I finally got some St. Patrick’s Day done!

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I’m thinking I need to work on some new preview images for patterns like these. They aren’t repeats, so the little preview slivers I use now really don’t give you a real idea of what each paper looks like.

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What I’ve been reading: I’ve gotten a lot of reading done. I finished Dietland by Sarai Walker and really enjoyed it. There were a few tiny things I took issue with, but over all it was really good. I also finished Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, so I’ve only got one more of the Neopolitan Novels left.

And just last night I finished up the March trilogy. I really, really want more people to read those books. In reading them, I realize I knew the basic history of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s, but it was never really brought home for me. And I’ve lived in Mississippi my whole life. The story is home. It’s a really powerful story and it didn’t happen all that long ago.

What I’ve been watching: I’ve mentioned before my love of all things McElroy… but now they have a television show on Seeso and it’s the best thing to ever happen to streaming internet comedy. There’s a whole episode up on YouTube and you have no reason not to watch it. Do yourself a favor.

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Check-In: August 4

Well, I thought it’d been a couple of weeks since I last posted. Turns out it’s been nearly a month. July’s always a  little crazy for me. One of my day job’s biggest projects of the year hits its crescendo in mid-July, which means I spend a little over a week stressing and working overtime.

This year, I followed that up with a week of being sick. Nothing serious — but stress, extreme comfort eating and probably too much naproxen sodium aren’t great for the guts. One prescription for Nexium later and I’m doing just fine. I’m eating better, meditating again and just doing a better job of keeping on track. I even bought a new notebook to restart my bullet journal. Let’s do this!

What I’m working on: I jumped back in with something simple for the shop — some rustic ticking-style stripes.

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I’m working on a new “product line.” I’m hoping to be able to launch a whole group of new printable products before the end of the month. It’s a little bit of an experiment, so we’ll see what happens. (I’m not telling what it is yet.)

What I’m reading: I’ve gotten just as behind on my reading as everything else, but I have started both Valley of the Dolls and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. Both really good books that are just a tooooooouch depressing. I might have to throw something fun in the mix.

What I’m playing: C’mon. You know what I’m playing.

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I caught a Ponyta in the Walgreens.

Check-In: June 2

What I’m working on: I just finished a logo design for my cousin’s church. It’s been a while since I did a logo design, but I’m happy with how it turned out. (They’re happy too, so it all works out.)

I’m starting up some more patterns. I’ve got a couple ideas in mind that are variations on a theme. Right now I’m in the “looking for the right image” phase.

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What I’m watching: I finally ran out of Drag Race on Hulu, so I’ve switched back over to Netflix to work on the new season of Kimmy Schmidt. I’m about halfway through. Tituss Burgess is going to get his own show after this, right?

What I’m reading: I picked up our next book club book from the library yesterday, but I haven’t started it yet. I’m still trying to finish up an arc in X-Men and one in New Mutants. It’s my first time reading New Mutants. I started comics back when Gen X was the “trainee team.” I’m fairly familiar with Cannonball and Dani Moonstar, but this is probably the first time I’ve gotten into Karma, Wolfsbane and Sunspot. So far, so good. It feels very early 80’s, but I really enjoy when a comic book feels “of its time.” (We’ll see if I still feel that way when I get into the Cable-heavy 90’s.)

Check-In: May 1

This is what.. two days late? I really don’t have an excuse. I’m kind of pulling myself in too many directions at once right now. Here’s hoping for a little focus next week.

What I’m working on: I had a little fun with some old vintage floral engravings earlier in the week.

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And right now I’m working on some more vintage, turn-of-the-last-century flowers:

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I’m hoping these will turn into something a little more complex. I’ve been cranking out a lot of basics lately, which is good for building inventory in my shop, but I do need to flex a little more creative muscle.

I’ve been having a whole lot of ideas lately, but I’ve put very little into action. I’ll start something, then go work on something else at the same time… and then drop them both for something completely unnecessary. And in the end I’ve got very little to show for myself.

I’ve got a few ideas for regular features on this blog, so I think I’ll focus on getting at least one of those put into the design phase next week at the very least.

What I’m reading: I’m currently reading Spark Joy, Essential X-Men, Vol. 4, and I’m still working on The Bees. So, you can kind of see where I’m stretching myself a little thin.

What I’m watching: Still watching so much Drag Race. Two more seasons and I’ll be all caught up and then maybe I can catch up on all the OTHER TV I’ve been missing. The husband person, a friend of ours and I went to see Keanu on Friday. It was a fun time. There were kittens.

Check-In: April 21

What I’m working on – I’ve been trying to make myself sketch more. I’m getting stuck WAY in a rut and need to loosen up a little (a lot).

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Look closely for insightful notes.

I also did another pack of solid colors. I discovered it’s kind of hard to come up with a palette of 24 colors without relying on just a rainbow spread. But I like how it came out.

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What I’m watching – Y’all, I’m so far down the Drag Race rabbit hole, I haven’t even started the second season of Kimmy Schmidt. I’m on Season 6 of Drag Race, though. (Favorites? Darienne Lake, Courtney Act and Bianca Del Rio. Obvs.)

What I’m listening to – My husband is playing some Slick Rick on the other side of the office.

Practice makes something or other.

So, I did my first pattern exercise. I managed to not get hung up on the details and just did a thing. The exercise was to take inspiration from a floral arrangement for motifs and palettes, and make a pattern with two colorways.

I don’t think I hate them. My colors need a lot of help. The pattern could flow better… but I kinda like the loud 60s chitz of it all. Here’s my practice bits as some free phone wallpapers if you can stand the busy-ness.

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Check-In: April 14

Let’s get right to it!

What I’m working on: Stella’s getting her groove back, y’all. I’m feeling better and I’m getting stuff done.

Another listing up on the shop…

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I’ve done a whole slew of these basic color combos, but I think I’ve gotten a couple of techniques improved. I’m just trying to keep my shop’s momentum going while I work on other things.

I’m doing some of the exercises in my new book to jump start the creativity engine. I’m working on one as we speak.

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I’m really, really fighting the urge to be a perfectionist about this. I’ve got to give myself permission to just do something as practice and maybe just throw it away in the end. Not everything has to be the start of something that gets finished. It’s okay to make ugly things. It’s the stopping that’s the problem. *deep breath*

Other things I’m working on: New blog features, shop listing categories and a couple personal projects.

How I’m feeling: Better. I’m trying to keep up with my exercise habit. And thank goodness. If not, my back would be a wreck right now. I haven’t been so good at the posture when I’m at work.

I’m also giving meditation another shot. I downloaded the Headspace app and I’m doing the free ten day trial. I have to say, a ten minute meditation session in my car on my lunch break really helps with the afternoon brain fog I get. We’ll see if I think it’s helpful enough to pay the subscription fee after these ten days…

What I’m reading: The Bees! It’s surprisingly intense for a story told from a bee’s point of view.

What I’m playing: So much Minecraft. I’m building a tower.

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