#Mermay Recap and Summer Dreams

MerMay 2018

Yes, it is June, and yes, I did participate in Mermay – if only a littleย  ๐Ÿ™‚

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:

  1. Fernweh:
    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.
  2. Childhood Memories:
    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:

MerMay 1 - My cup of tea
MerMay 1 – My cup of tea
MerMay 2 - Sea Cuties
MerMay 2 – Sea Cuties
MerMay 3 - The fox and the siren
MerMay 3 – The fox and the siren
MerMay 4 - Rebel Mermaid
MerMay 4 – Rebel Mermaid
MerMay 5 - Frida de Mayo
MerMay 5 – Frida de Mayo
Mermay 6 - Gala of the Ocean
Mermay 6 – Gala of the Ocean

Post Migration Done!

It has been done: I have migrated my old posts from Blogger over to WordPress.

I used this tutorial to do so, and it has worked smoothly:


And that’s all I had to say todayย  ๐Ÿ˜€

My Blog Moved

Hello all, I have moved my site and blog to WordPress. I am still playing around and setting everything up.

I am already planning and writing new posts for you <3

Some of my old posts I may move to here once I have figured out how to do that.


Finally: My New Website

I have finally done it and created my website. Now I have a hub to link all of my shops and social media accounts.
In the interest of time, I used a template from W3School, an online tutorial page for web development. It’s a lovely recourse and their templates are free to use.
At some point I will make it all my own design, but with a little babe time is sparse ๐Ÿ˜€
So, without further ado, check out my page:ย http://www.livelovemaria.com/

Un-Thread – TGIF

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.
Check it out:

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 ๐Ÿ™‚
  • 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰
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.

My New Habit Plan: Review #1

Last week I started a new habit to de-clutter. You can read all about it here:
In that post I had set my review date for the 28th, but then I had posted my Sunday Impressions post on Monday. I don’t want to do 2 posts a day.
Anyways, here is the recap of last week and some adjustments to the habit plan:

I did the habit every day except Saturday. I noticed that having the trigger be after dinner, did not really work. It is way to late. I usually would do it earlier and would be too tired after dinner anyways. So, my new trigger will be after work. I may slide in some other habits into there at some point like walking. But that is too sporadic yet to use as a trigger.
Also, I will need a new trigger for weekends. It seems a better trigger is right after breakfast to do a little de-cluttering.
Above are a few pictures of before and after de-cluttering.

My New Habit Plan: Daily De-clutter

The  plan – short story

  1. I read a book called “Zen Habits” by Leo Babauta about how to effectively change your live and gain new habits. 
  2. There is a lot of clutter in my house and for my first habit I want to learn to de-clutter.
And here it is (read the details below in “the plan – long story”)

Start date: 8/22/2017
Specific habit: Declutter / Clean for 2 min every day (or more)
Trigger: when I see it (clean-as-you-go), dedicate time after dinner
Reminder(s): board in kitchen, post-it on bathroom mirror
Review dates: 8/28 and then weekly
Accountability: hopefully some twitter folks will yell at me lol, will ask my husband to hold me accountable
Commitment: doing this for at least one month without missing more than one day.
Asking for support: my husband
Potential obstacles: tired, busy schedule, things I need to ask my husband where they should go
Log: posting on twitter #dailydeclutter & weekly blog review

Mindful reward: clean surfaces and areas give a nicer atmosphere for any activity
Who will you share the plan with?
Twitter & blog followers, my husband

I will include cleaning in the de-clutter areas, because what good is it if there is no clutter but still dust ๐Ÿ˜‰
There are a few more points that I may have to add later to the plan if I am not doing well.

The plan – long story

As mentioned above I had read the “Zen Habits” book and started a habit of push-ups last year. However, as I was told not to do I did not share this plan much and didn’t really have all of the measures that Leo mentioned in his book in place to help if things get rough. So my habit fell apart as soon as the baby arrived.
A year later, I am re-reading the book and want to do this the right way this time. Differently than last year, I have picked another habit to go first though. With the help of a poll online I picked the de-clutter habit. I believe that this is the best one to start with because it will help with future habits.
It should give me space to do crafting, art and work out. Make the house more comfortable and inviting. And just give me a better atmosphere over all.

I have read a few more articles that I have considered also in the process. This article by Joshua Becker talks about more tricks to help with accountability:
Accountability is very important to stick to your habit, which is something Leo also re-iterates a lot. I like the bit in the text about before and after pictures. I want to try and do this as much as possible.

But I don’t think I will always be able to do this because I also love the concepts of this article by Leo (same author as “Zen Habits”), where he talks about the clean-as-you-go technique. That sounds very effective also because it is quick, happens right where ever you are and you won’t feel much resistance by your inner child: https://zenhabits.net/clean/

I am starting this habit this week and have already done the surface pictured above.
Last but not least, I want to invite your guys to join my journey of de-cluttering. Please share your story and link with me if you do. I would love to see your accomplishments and feedback.