Needing sunshine and less stuff

Hi Everyone,

Happy 2019! 

Hopefully this won’t read as delirious as I feel right now. My day started at 2:30 am today. Why? Because my son had to be at the airport (two hours away) by 5:30 am. Once again he is off to places tropical to spend the winter. At least this year he will only be one time zone difference instead of four!


Did you have exciting New Year celebrations or like us, stayed home? D. brought in the new year with a nasty cold and we have had, what feels like, endless cold rain. New Year’s Day was a rare, dry, warm day that allowed us to get outside and get some cleaning up of muddy horses, stinky chicken coop and the leftover ruins of the garden. The next day…the rain came back and is still going. Yuck. The mud.

So how are those goals and resolutions going three days into 2019? If you need some motivation, I’m going to put in a shameless plug for my daughter’s podcast, Find Reality. I just finished listening to her New Year’s Day episode and she has some good realistic tips for sticking to your goals. Tell her that her Momma sent you. 

Normally I am a resolution setter every year and I often don’t follow through on my goals either because they are just too much. This year I have one big one that I REALLY need/ have to achieve and one that isn’t too crazy. The easy one is to join one or two artist groups. Ideally one regional one and one national one. I have a national one in mind, but am open to suggestions if any of you know of some good ones. I want to up my game and start entering competitions/shows. 


I finished this drawing over the holidays and am finally pleased with the outcome of some experimentation that was depressing me for awhile. Also this week I took on another commission. I had planned to NOT do any commissions at all this year, but this one will be a good challenge. Since I have to get it finished by the end of February due to the impending arrival of my first grandbaby in March, I can’t let myself get bogged down in the overthinking that plagues me sometimes. 

The biggie goal is to clean out one of the THREE (long story and most of the stuff came to us when D.’s sister died) storage units. If you have been keeping up on here you know we are planning a new house and a move in the near future. Six years ago I sold the four bedroom house that I raised my kids in. The buyers only gave me a month to move and at that time rentals were scarce and I knew I wasn’t going to buy anything yet. Things got down to the wire and I wound up stuffing the majority of the “stuff” in storage. I AM NOT moving all that “stuff” again! 

Here’s my plan, and you get to help keep me on track…the 30 day minimalist challenge. Whatever the date is, I have to part with that many things. For example, today is January 3 so I have to find three things to donate, trash or sell. They have to leave my life! Now I know that there are days that I am not going to have time to clean out stuff. Mine is going to be more of a weekly plan. This week I am supposed to declutter 21 items. On New Year’s Eve I went to the storage unit and filled up my car with boxes. Ok, I cheated a little because I already had one box labeled Yard Sale that contained 12 items. Now I gave up yard sales when my friend Wendy moved away. A yard sale just wouldn’t be any fun without her or her husband’s boat she sold at one of our yard sales…without completely clearing it with him!

As of today, January 3, I have a box of 34 items ready to donate, three items to sell and a box of trash cleaned out. Some of the “trash” is actually a large bag of my son’s artwork from preschool to high school. No I’m not heartless. I have hung on to it for 20 YEARS. But now he was here with me and we sat down and looked through it together. We laughed about his abstract phase and I kept his little hand prints as well as took a few pictures of some pieces. The rest just had to go. 


So, what is overage from this week (37-21=16) will carry over to next week for the days I might not get anything cleaned out. By January 31 I should have cleaned out 496 items! Sounds like a lot, but trust me, there is a long, long way to go. You can get an amazing amount of stuff in a 10 x 16 storage unit. Since I write this blog each week I will report my progress here and possibly on Instagram. Before December 31, 2019 I WILL HAVE one, if not a second, storage unit cleaned out. We will be keeping one of the three to store boxes that we plan to move. In this process I am already boxing items we don’t HAVE to have right now such as decorative items, canning jars or art supplies I can’t use until I have a studio. 

Friends, this girl is pooped and it’s not even noon yet. I need to accomplish a few more things before I work in a nap. Have a great first week of 2019!

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2016 here we come!

2016 plannerI hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. Sorry, but the fun and games are over now and it’s time to get back to the routines of life. I have my new 2016 Chihuly planner ready to go and suspect this is going to be an intense sort of year.

Do you make New Year resolutions?  I do and have for as long as I can remember.  I like the feeling of a fresh start.  I am one of those weird people who like change. Boredom sets in easily with me so I like to shake things up. I usually start in November looking at what has worked and what has not in the year then adjust accordingly.

This year includes my wedding and a move so the first half of the year is going to be hectic.  The wedding is very simple, but the house remodeling before the move is not.  Bear with me. The plan is to keep getting my posts done each week, but we all know how those best laid plans go.

Work/art (They are one in the same by now.) is getting simplified in 2016.  I was all over the place in 2015 and felt very scattered. It was fun to experiment with many different things, but I couldn’t get focused.  It also hurt the bottom line of my business a little.  So this year the artwork gets back to the basics of drawing and painting.  The drawing also feeds back into my design work as I focus more on the illustration/design again where there is more profit than just the printed products.  I have recently started to have more sales of my clipart in my Etsy shop and would like to add to those items.

Here are a few quick pieces I have worked on since mid-December.  Over the past, uh, couple of decades (where does the time go?) I have had very limited time/space for painting and my skills have suffered.  I am feeling the need to paint again and am happy to report that some of my past skill level is returning.  It just took a few hours of concentrated focus to get back in the swing of wielding a paintbrush.

I am working small right now.  That cuts down on the intimidation factor of a big white canvas and gives me a sense of accomplishment to finish a painting instead of having a large one lurking in the corner mocking me when I am piled high with work or life events dominating my time.  Hopefully some of these paintings will land in my Etsy shop or in my extremely neglected Fine Art America shop.

The usual “need to get more exercise” and “keep up with all the filing” are still on the resolution list.  I REALLY need help with the filing.  It’s not in the budget yet for help so if anyone has any suggestion on how to stay on top of filing I would love to hear it.  Since I am in the printing business I have a paper heavy filing pile all the time.  I do as much digital filing as I can though I could do better with that as well.  My email runneth over!

I will continue to post projects and let you see what is going on around here.  Maybe I should post a weekly photo of my desk to force myself to FILE.  Desperate times require desperate measures!

Best of luck with your resolutions.  Let’s see if we can make it into February with them!

Have a great week!