Thoughts

Playing with Watercolor

Monday, July 20th, 2015

I was feeling extra irritable this weekend, restless too, and for no apparent reason at all. Usually a trip to the gym gets that out of my system but after that I still felt out of sorts, so I turned to another source of distraction: painting. Out came my brushes, paints, and tray, I had some ideas and I wanted to play around with them.

brushes paints and tray

I’m drawn to the beauty of an authentic brushstroke, whether the source is a child, an amateur like me, or a professional. I’ve taken a few art classes in my life but don’t consider myself an artistic painter by any means, I do like to dabble in it for therapeutic reasons, also it’s a sensory thing.

I like swirling around paint and combining colors, it relaxes me. Sometimes my efforts work, sometimes not so much, but whatev. I find the process more important than the result.

plaid brush strokes

 

ferns sample

 

watercolor sploches

“Pinterest Perfect.” It’s a phrase now, one we are keenly aware of, from the bloggers who make their living being creative to the moms just trying to do their best. I know, I’m both. It’s a tired conversation for me “Everything is so perfect on Pinterest” and we hate that yet as DIY bloggers that’s always nagging in the back of our minds. Is my backdrop textured and inventive? Did I style the photo well enough so that visitors Pin it for future reference? Because my income/clout/future opportunities may depend on that. It sounds stupid when you say it out loud, but it’s real.

I do a lot of thinking whenever I’m involved in the creative process. Will this idea work? Will it succeed or fail? Am I doing it for a good reason? Who defines failure or success? Social media or me?

watercolor paints and brushes

    

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Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Monday, January 26th, 2015

I used to keep a written journal when the children were babies, mostly about their little milestones since they were changing from week to week, but I stopped when I started blogging in 2009, mostly because blogging was taking up most of my free time. I picked up that old journal earlier this year and read a few entries and thought I really should get back to journaling about more personal thoughts…

I read Oprah’s What I Know for Sure over the holiday break and in it she mentioned she keeps a gratitude journal with a daily list of five things to be grateful for and I thought to myself, what a great habit and one that isn’t too time consuming. I bought a journal at Barnes & Noble two weeks ago and started keeping notes of gratitude for myself, jotting down random things that happened to me that day that made me smile.

journal and tulips

Everything we record these days is in digital or electronic form, sadly the beauty of the handwritten note is losing out to the convenience of "there’s an app for that" so this my little way of rebelling against the movement to let technology do everything for us. 

jounal and tulips

I think the daily habit of recording the happiness that comes from simple pleasures is a healthy one. The older I get the more I realize that the simplest things are the truest sources of happiness, time with your child, a conversation shared with a friend, a sweet treat enjoyed in stolen moments of relaxation, tulips in January, flannel sheets and a warm fire on a chilly winter day…

tulips on nightstand

Now that I keep this journal, I’m find myself actively looking for things to be grateful for (gotta have something to write down.) There are always difficulties, stressful moments, and frustrations that come with each day, but staying focused on things that are good is a mindset that keeps me content, like a ray of sunshine peeking through the clouds.