Drawing it out

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Getting back into sketching has been interesting as my skills are a bit rusty, but it is coming back…slowly. It has done me good to try to do a daily sketch of something, making me step out from the comfort I find behind my camera. The hardest thing is trying to relax my style and make freer drawings. I am used to the more exact nature of graphic design (which I don’t want to follow), than the fine art approach. Plus, I am finding it hard to find “my style”. I am working at a character style that just seems to be ending up wooden or too cartoon like, which is so frustrating. But it is all good, all progress in a new direction. My logic behind this is to help prepare me for the painting class I am taking this fall. I am hoping if I stretch myself now the class will not be such a shock as I stepped out of my comfort zone ahead of time. I am, by turns, both excited for the class and questioning my wisdom in signing up for it. It will be quite a change from my solitary rambles with my camera. I have wanted to try a painting class for years, but have always put it off for the usual reasons (time, confidence, money, location etc). This year I finally took the step and signed up, only to immediately second guess myself. Which is silly as this isn’t part of a degree program, it is for fun. Somehow the ‘fun’ part gets overshadowed when trying something new, but I hope I will be able to recapture the feeling I had when I decided to sign up. Maybe if there had been less of a lead time I wouldn’t be so unsure, the waiting gives ample time for the inner critic to chime in, and we all know how hard they can be to silence. All in all I am excited about trying something new and gaining new skills. It will all be fine, I just need to chill and enjoy it. (Right, easy to say hard to do!)

New week, old month

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Here it is the final few days of July, the start of a new week that wraps up this month. It doesn’t seem possible that August is just days away. I need a week or two of it being no month. It was that way when I was a kid, There was June (end of school), July and August, but also a stretch of summer that seemed timeless. It was probably when friends were all away or at swimming lessons and was just a regular July or August week, but it felt as if time was suspended, awaiting the resumption of regular days. Each day was like the previous one, the cicadas singing in the trees, the sprinkler spraying ice cold water and the lightning bugs dancing in the bushes at the edge of the yard at dusk. Now I feel as if each month can’t possibly be leading  so quickly into the next, as if there has been a snipping away at the days. This sleight of hand is at work right in front of me and I cannot seem to figure out how it is done.  And so it goes, each week rolling by and on into the following month, this time bringing August to the doorstep. So I will savor these last few days of July as they seep away, and then will embrace the days of August.

Moving along

4-5-2013_004Much against my natural tendency against buying things, I did get a new computer. It came down to the dollar value of putting money into what was a refurbished unit a few years old, or applying that same money to a new unit. Though I did walk around and around the store second guessing my expenditure. I was mired in buyer’s remorse even before deciding to get it; the natural resources used to make it and the packing, the waste of the old unit, etc. In the end I did walk out with the box o’computer stuff. However, I can now take apart the old unit and see if I can figure it out and maybe get it running, or at least enjoy rummaging around. The removable hard drive still awaits rescue. I am now working on familiarizing myself with the new computer and all the little things that have changed. Funny how clunky all my movements seem to be in spite of that fact that the keyboard is exactly the same. In the overall scheme of things this definitely falls under nuisance, though an especially annoying one. Life moves on from here, and this computer will feel right once I get used to it.

It is all good.

On vacation

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Apparently this week is part of the annual vacation period for IT people. I am still without my computer or external hard drive, which is seriously slowing my daily work. Using a spare computer is helpful, but having no access to my newest images or editing software is a bother. I am wondering where exactly IT people go for vacation, a pilgrimage to DELL or Apple? A computer convention? Or do they truly leave work behind and do nothing electronic? I do not know, all I know is I wish I had the skills to fix the darn thing myself. That would be great, then I’d be back up and running; (or sitting amongst a pile of parts!) And I know there is geek squad, but gulp, the cost! Which would be for repair and recovery! Darn near the cost of  whole new computer and hard drive. So, since photo editing is a no go, I have been sketching everyday. Not my strong suit, but it is helping to keep me sane. And sanity is in short supply. Hopefully next week I will be back up and running, instead of limping along as I have been this past week.

Time will tell.

POTM

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I am at a loss today to gather my scattered thoughts into a cohesive one. My mind is on everything and nothing at the same time.  Not a very productive way to start my week. It is that anxious sort of feeling you get when you are sure you have forgotten something and can’t remember what, or are waiting for an important phone call. There is a pent up nervous  energy that refuses to be channeled into anything productive. Well, maybe into cleaning. That will be what I put my hands to, it will keep my busy while my mind can filter through whatever is cluttering it up. Every month my friend and I choose a “project of the month” (POTM), anything from clearing out a jam packed bookshelf to taming a corner of the basement. My project is to empty and wipe down the dish cupboard, and as we are due to meet up on Thursday I really should get after it. It is just a matter of doing it, and I am not sure why I let it slide, I’ll blame the lethargy brought on by the heat. POTM is not glamorous, but the feeling of accomplishing an ignored task is rewarding. over the past year we have cleared out shelves, boxes and closets; either donating, recycling or consolidating the contents. We may not be able to fix the world, but can keep our corner of it moving along in an orderly fashion.

Want to join in and do a POTM?  Here are some easy guidelines.

1. Do it with a friend or two that you see regularly.Being accountable to each other makes sure you don’t push it further down the to do list.

2. Keep it manageable this is a must, too big a project will grind to a stop given that life intervenes unexpectedly.

3. Look at your space with kind but clear eyes. You know what needs attention, and what will be your nemesis. The cellar is still nagging at my friend, but she is tackling it in small segments.

4. Go to your library and check out Take the U out of Clutter by Mark Brunetz or It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for  by Peter Walsh. They are probably 2 of the best books. No “10 minutes to perfection” sales pitch, and both are interesting to read.

12 months: 12 POTM. It can be done.

Winter’s icy touch

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For those of us caught in the heat this summer is giving us, here is a refreshingly cool picture.

Plunk your feet in here and you’d sure feel cooler. Even looking at it seems to do the trick.

Of course the hand like piece of wood is a bit creepy, or maybe the heat is making you see a mirage.

If the bugs weren’t so bad I would head down to the stream to see how high the water is,

and possibly kick off my shoes and dunk my feet in.

I’ll see how the days unfolds.