Yes, it is June, and yes, I did participate in Mermay – if only a little 🙂
I have a few things brewing, including some crafting for the babe, gardening and reviving habit plans. But the main focus is still my art, if we are talking creative activities. Of course spending time with my family and caring for my little one always comes first – at least for me.
It is almost summer now, and sure feels like it with many warm days and even some water fun for the babe already.
This weather puts me in the mood to paint summer and travel related things. I have couple topics I want to explore:
I love travel. I have done a lot of travel and will do more in the future. But I also know that I cannot go everywhere I want to. At least not right now, and maybe never. But I always love to dream and look at pictures of other people’s travels. So I want to paint all this under the Fernweh topic. Fernweh is a German word and means the longing for a far away place.
Today I was reminded of a wonderful summer childhood memory of mine by an Instagram post of a friend. This gave me the idea to paint my own childhood memories. Little stories. I may make them as paintings or as little comic strips. I kind of envision them like illustrations to a children’s book. This topic is not strictly summer related, although I have a lot of nice summer memories that I could start with and work my way through the season.
But I know, I know, I need to find some sort of routine to make time for the art. I have been struggling with that. One of my biggest weaknesses is that I am interested in too many things, and have not been able to say no to myself. I want to simplify my life and that means I need to let go of some things I want to do, at least for the time being. And this is a big reason I am trying to get back to habit plans.
But more about that in a future post. As a closer, here my Mermay pieces:
In a recent post, I mentioned my new project to create a fan art comic about a wolf from the video game The Long Dark. To practice drawing wolves, I have started drawing a wolf a day.
I have been able to do this most days and posting them to Patreon, Instagram and Twitter, but sometimes there is just not enough time. This leads me into another post I am working on, regarding habits. I have posted about this before, but it has all gotten unorganized again due to having a baby, which changed everything 🙂
Below is my update for the first week of wolf sketches. I am thinking I will add future weeks to show progress.
I was able to get a sketch in the majority of the days. I believe I am getting the hang of it, finding a consistent way of drawing these. You can see this in number 5 and 6, I think. However, I also feel that one wolf per day is not really enough practice. I may end up doing them on a bigger sketchbook, and doing multiple a day. Then I can pick the one I like most each day for my “A wolf a day” hashtag.
I started drawing my sketches on a bigger sketch book but only managed to do 4 new sketches this week.
This week was just really crazy at work, which left me less time after.
But here they are. Next week I’m back to full body sketches, I think.
This week I have been slacking on the sketching, because I got into some sewing and crocheting. I made a dress and some crocheted Mary Janes for my baby. I did get a few sketches done though. The next step is to get a water color intro page for the comic, but it is yet a little intimidating. Here the 3 new sketches:
It has been a while and a blog away since I wrote a real post. Since then, I have switched my blog and website over to WordPress, and am now starting with a new plan for posts. I already have some great ideas including a new project.Writing this, I feel like a broken record. So what is different this time?
Routine! Yes, such a simple but effective thing: a set time slot every day for me to write.
However, to make this happen, a few other pieces had to fall in place first.
Believe it or not, after having my baby last February, it took me just over a year to find a good rhythm for my day. There has been some letting go of schedules and plans. That was the hardest part. Nobody likes to part with their expectations.
But suddenly it hit me: I need to find routines. They say children need routines to be balanced and happy, but as much as I love the idea of spontaneity, if I am really honest with myself, I also need routines to be balanced and more productive. OK, I probably knew this one a while. Have I not read and wrote about a book to form habits? Silly me!
And finally I have implemented a writing routine. Of course it all has to change again soon with kindergarten and other activities. But now I know I need to find a routine quickly to make things go smoothly.
I am very lucky to have a baby that likes to sleep in, which she has definitely learned from her father, who is a stay at home dad. And instead of trying to force an early breakfast onto the two, I have decided to use this time for some alone time, and to write posts for this blog. I am actually really excited and look forward to this time.
My New Project: Wolves
Last but certainly not least, I want to talk about my new project. It is a fan art side project I am doing to
Express my love for a great video game, and
To exercise my drawing and painting skills.
The project is a comic about a famous NPC in the game The Long Dark. The character has been nicknamed Fluffy, and is a wolf.
The game, The Long Dark, is a survival game against the harsh coldness of Canadian winter after apocalyptic events, and wolves are one of the main living enemies in the game (although the wildlife is certainly not THE main enemy of the game).
Fluffy is a wolf that seemed to be a glitch in an earlier sandbox release, and would re-spawn in an indoor location previously thought safe, making it a particularly big nuisance. It turned out, this was no glitch, but intention. The strong reactions in the user community were where she got her unique name. Despite the annoyance people expressed, it was still an endearing name: Fluffy. This seems to speak a lot for what a great fan base this game has.
Liz, one of my Twitter friends (@wabbitstewed), and also lover of the game, is collaborating with me for this fan art project. It was actually her idea. She wants to do the writing and story board, and I will do the artwork. Likely we both will end up contributing to each other’s side of the piece. The story is a fictional back story for Fluffy the wolf as imagined by Liz.
If you want to find out more about the Long Dark, and I can highly recommend this game, check out their site: http://www.thelongdark.com/
And for a little more info on Fluffy, here is her page in the wiki: https://thelongdark.gamepedia.com/Fluffy
As a preparation for this project, and while waiting for more story details, I have started to draw wolves in different poses. Today, I had the idea to start a little sketch series for myself called “A Wolf A Day”. This shall be my personal challenge to keep drawing every day and be ready for this project. I have already sketched a few wolves, but as you can see there is still much to practice.
I am starting today. Isn’t Valentine’s day a perfect day to start my series? I will post my sketches on my Patreon every day, and then release them on Instagram and other social media the day after.
I hope you will enjoy. And please, let me know your thoughts and questions.
This truly is an un-thread. I am trying to make sense of this tangled mess of thoughts about blogging and other social media. So what happened?
The progression of thoughts – to whom it may concern:
I had a baby. Yep. If you have kids that may say everything right there. Now, it has been 9 months, so it’s old news. But it is getting more and more time intensive. Do I miss the days I could just feed and lay her back in the crib, ha!
She now is crawling, pulling herself up and teething which makes her sleep worse. Overall that means she needs more of our time and attention.
I tried doing something while she is playing in the living room. Nope! I got like 1 minute, then she will be across the room trying to eat dog toys or cords.
Her room is safer but of course she does not want to be in there if I am not, and I am limited in the resources I can use.
I am trying to interest her in being in the high chair for a while and play while I draw at the kitchen table.
Though, I really cannot complain. My husband, who is taking care of her during the day when I work, is also spending time with her at night and making dinner so I can get some art done.
Speaking of art: this leads to the news. I have done about half of Inktober and that really got me excited about doing art again.
As usual I have grand plans, which are likely too grand for the amount of time I really have for art in a day. I have to use the weekends in the morning.
But I am determined! I have even set up a Patreon page for my art.
All good and well, but this is really where my dilemma starts: what to write where and how often? Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now Patreon besides this blog, I am at a loss. At the moment, my plan kinda looks like this:
Patreon: I will post my WIP art, sketches, behind the scenes thoughts, which I won’t put anywhere else. Any finished pieces a few days before elsewhere and offer special prices 🙂
Instagram: Any of my finished art pieces a few days later than Patreon. But I also use this for other pictures like my crafting, photos of nature walks, etc.
Twitter: Same as Instagram, but some random funny thoughts and retweets, of course.
Facebook Page: I really don’t know about this one. It feels awkward to post there. Maybe just finished pieces and shop links.
So this leaves me with figuring out this blog. I know I am kidding myself if I think I can post something multiple times a week, but maybe I can at least get 3 to 4 posts into a month. Topic-wise I am thinking of these:
1 Craft post about any sewing, crochet or other crafty things. This means Thread Thursday is gone for now, because I just don’t have enough time.
1 Nature photo post
1 Summary post of all the art I did that month. I may make this 2 posts depending on how it going.
I am known for lofty goals, so we will see. Please bear with me 😉 Oh yeah, and I am also working on a webpage. It’s gonna be pretty simple, and really just a hub to connect all the links.
So that’s my plan. I hope you come back next week for a new post, and below all of the Inktober drawings I made. Let me know which one you like best.
The late afternoon, before sunset, is really the best time for a walk. The sun makes everything look so pretty. I guess that is why they call it golden hour. You can see I love flowers and playing with my new(ish) Canon.
We walk the dogs and baby. It is very relaxing and we get some fresh air. It seems the dogs and we need this, or you can tell the onset of cabin fever 🙂 Everyone gets grumpy.
I am half looking forward to the change of the season and half the time it makes me sad.
I will miss the sun and long days the most, that wonderful bright summer energy. When the days get shorter, everything seems so gloomy. Makes me want to just curl up in a blanket. And I regret not using the pool as much as I should have. Maybe we need to jump in one more time to say goodbye.
However I love all of the seasons, and Fall especially. The beautiful colors of the leaves, teas and pumpkin spice, sweaters, scarves and boots, the fresh breeze, Thanksgiving and Halloween. What is not to love? Makes me always so reminiscent of my childhood. But then even in winter’s gloom we can make it so cozy and nostalgic with Christmas decoration. The wonderful lights brightening the dark season, fun in the snow and peppermint hot chocolates. Ahh, I am so happy I can now re-live all the fun by making the seasons special for my child. And in spring we will go on cabin adventures. I have a plan, and will tell more in a future post.
In other news, we tried a week of Blue Apron. It is a service that sends you all the ingredients for a certain amount of meals, based on which subscription plan you chose. We did the 3 meals for 2 people version. I think it’s a neat idea, especially if you are not very versed in cooking and have little time to get the ingredients. It is however a little pricey for us at the moment at around $60, which makes it $10 a meal a person. Maybe we will come back it in the future.
I hope you enjoyed my Sunday Impressions, this time actually posted on a Sunday lol.
In the last weeks of July and beginning of August, my mom came to visit. It was very nice, but also stressful because she was staying at our house for two and a half weeks. I wish she could just come over for an afternoon, but she lives in Germany. That is awfully far away to just pop in 🙂. Of course, she wanted to see her granddaughter – For the first time! Despite some of the tension – especially around cleaning as it is norm for a good mother, I guess – we still had a great time. She made a billion videos and pictures of the baby. But during her visit, another thing happened. I remembered some of the routines we had in Germany in my childhood. We used to eat at the table, and had everything sitting out so you can make your plate right there. My husband and I had fallen into watching a show during dinner. Which is fun and sometimes the only way to find time to watch a show, but it loses some of the family time feeling, the togetherness. I feel like I want to cultivate that again, especially now with the little one. My mom’s visit also brought back the motivation to make art, craft and work in the garden. And one big take away: to slow down and enjoy the moment. It was not possible as much with my mom, and I regret that. As often, one looks back to how a day was spend and sees how it could have been used better. But I can only look forward and try and be more mindful. We have a nice back yard that I want to spend more time in, and there are so many craft projects I want to finish. I have them now all in bags in my sewing room, ready to be tackled 🙂. For my blog, the mini trips we took with my mom on the weekends gave me the idea of Sunday Impressions. A section, where I can just share some nice pictures and moments of the week. I want to convey some of the calmness and motivation that nature gives me, and the meditative feeling of crafts and art. Like now, sitting in my sun room and hearing the birds tweet fills my heart with joy. I am also taking inspiration for these posts from a blog I love: Posie Gets Cozy Alicia Paulson writes such great posts and starts them off with wonderful warm pictures of her idyllic home and family as well as great nature in the best golden light. I admire this and want to send the same vibes to my readers. The pictures above are from a few trips my mom and I did as well as other moments I enjoyed recently.