It’s Fall y’all

Hi Everyone!

I may have to call this “The Three Week Post” to cover last week, this week and next week. Soccer, never ending yard work, regular work, appointments and the fast approaching annual family gathering are keeping me very busy. This week alone involves three days of appointments. That may not sound too bad for those of you who live in civilization, but from here everything is an hour drive to the destination, the time taken by the appointment, then the hour back. Most of the time I have to work in necessary errands as well because, well, everything is an hour away! Pretty much one appointment shoots the whole day. By the time I get home it’s time to cook dinner and feed the humans and the critters. 

Today looks like it may finally be the beginning of actual Fall weather here. Impending cold and dark brings on a flurry of activity to A) get everything cleaned up and ready for our chicken stew gathering and B) get all the dwellings ready for cold weather, including wood cut for our wood stove. We really don’t live in the Arctic like it sounds, but when the weather gets bad here, there is not a Lowe’s Home Improvement right down the road. Gotta be prepared. 

For a couple of months I have been working on some knitting during my copious down time and finished a small triangular scarf just in time for cooler weather. I will show the finished product when I get it washed and blocked into shape (hopefully that won’t be NEXT winter). 

I also dug out a colored pencil drawing that I started ages ago and never finished. No judging the photo. It’s still in the early stages.  I can’t paint right now because I just don’t have room and it’s asking for a disaster to even try. Drawing is safer and takes less room. It takes much more time though. I have yet to be able to do a simple drawing. I get sucked into the detail vortex and can’t get out. But the disaster factor is lower. As long as I remember to keep the pencils out of the reach of the dogs I’m good.


If you all will bear with me for a few weeks, I’m going to be taking a blog vacation until the beginning of November. I have a great deal on my plate right now including some behind the scenes stuff that I will eventually write about, but it adds to my  To Do list. We have a trip planned the weekend after the family get together so I barely recover from that and then have to pack. I live and breathe by deadlines even if they are self imposed so right now it is stressing me out trying to find the hour + that it often takes me to write this.  Yes, I agree that is crazy of me but I don’t think I’m going to change at this point. I am getting better at accepting my brand of crazy finally…after half a century. 

So, when I get back I should have all sorts of things to write about INSTEAD of why I’m so busy. Have a great few weeks, I hope the weather is good (my thoughts and prayers are with those of you in hurricane Michael’s path) and Happy Halloween! 

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Happy New Year!

I am writing this in the wee hours of December 30 and hope to finish it before the end of the day.  My whole week has been this way. Yesterday almost the entire day was spent on the road making deliveries to clients and running errands though I did get lunch in with my son before he left town to finish his Senior year and some visiting with long time friends who are going through a rough patch.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and holiday season. Ours was good. Lots of cooking, visiting and dogs. Lots of dogs.

This is the week I usually do my new year planning. Luckily, I started early this year because there has not been much time this week for reflection and planning. Here is the list I’m starting out with as 2017 rolls in.

1) Review business expenses. The past two years my business expenses have increased rather drastically and I now need to see where changes need to be made. There is going to have to be a price increase for my clients unfortunately, but to limit that, I think some expenses can be cut or reduced. Not a fun project but necessary if I am going to stay in business.

2) Regular exercise. Ha, this one is on my list every year. I stop and start all year long.

3) Way(s) to improve income. Somewhat related to #1. As D. is about to retire we are looking at EVERYTHING and know that 2017 is going to be an adjustment, but until the the first retirement check comes in we won’t know exactly how much of one. We need flexibility at this point in life. I’m working on some ideas that I will share as they take shape.

4) Focus. This year has been all about adjusting to my new life. Included in that adjustment has been lots of artistic experimenting. Things are finally beginning to gel (I hope) and a path is appearing.  Keep checking in this coming year to see if I’m making progress.

I left you hanging on my last post about a book I was reading. Sorry, but I am going to leave you hanging for one or possibly two more weeks. It is going to take more time and thought than I have right now and I am considering an out of the box New Year’s day event for me and will want to let you know about it if I pull it off.

We are winding down at D.’s shop as deer season comes to an end. We are both very tired from all the extra hours of work and the brain just isn’t firing as well as I would like. A few much needed naps are required I think to get more quality thoughts out of my head.

new-year-ian-schneider

I wish you a wonderful New Year. Thank you for visiting and reading the wanderings in my head. This year has been a bad case of “winging it” and now I hope to improve what I put here for you in 2017.  I would love to hear your plans and goals for this new year.  Let’s see how we do and what fun we have for the next 365 days!

Photo credit

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!