Some New Approaches to Life

I’m far from perfect – perhaps that’s why I don’t have New Year’s resolutions. I haven’t bothered thinking I’d follow through with them since I was about ten and I realized I couldn’t even keep a diary for 3 days, much less “be nicer” all year.

However, as I read so many entries, posts, updates, and whatever-elses about resolutions, I have been thinking about some of what MIGHT be called resolutions…if I could keep them. I’m fairly certain ‘good things’ is copyrighted by Martha Stewart, so I guess I’ll call them …

Things I’m trying (but don’t need to feel guilty about when I forget to try from time to time). Wait, that’s a horrible acronym.

Well, I guess the best way to put it would be to call them ‘approaches.’  Here are some of the recent approaches to life I’ve adopted.

Approach #1:

It’s OK that my house is messy. I’m still trying to organize it and keep it cleaner, but I have lots of other stuff going on, too. So cut the guilt and/or stress about it.

One of the approaches I’ve adopted is to be sure that I always put away at least one more thing than I took out. This is the sort of sustainable small change I can implement and remember. I’ve been trying this out for a few months now, and I’ll admit it would be going better if I remembered more frequently than ‘most of the time.’  Overall, though, it’s a low-key approach that keeps me tidier than doing nothing for long bouts followed by hours of tedious cleaning.

Approach #2:

Do the stuff I keep wanting to do and have no reason not to do. This means: trying for my crafty biz (seriously, if I had just one hour a week back from what I was spending online, loving other people’s shops, I’d have a decent little biz going right now), posting to the blog, doing things like going to the zoo or trying some of those DIY things on Pinterest.

Again, so far – going swimmingly. I’m posting to this blog fairly regularly, even though I never quite seem to have the pics I want ready or the little tutorials I have started are never quite finished… Because I got sick of waiting for that RIGHT TIME and the PERFECT POST.  I hopped online and in less than a week, I have a registered LLC, a federal tax ID, a state tax ID, and I’m scheduled to be in a craft fair on February 2nd.

One of the cutest ‘exhibits’ at the Minnesota Zoo yesterday. (There was a bit more snow yesterday…) (Photo boosted from MN Zoo website and not my work!)

Walked around the Minnesota Zoo yesterday with the kiddos and the boyfriend, and we all had a great time looking at the critters…including the tiger cubs and leopard cubs. SO. CUTE.

I hung the paper snowflakes on the mural of birch trees on my kitchen wall. I like them more than the beautiful matched-set glass ornaments I bought last year. Not bad for a few sheets of copy paper.

I hung the paper snowflakes on the mural of birch trees on my kitchen wall. I like them more than the beautiful matched-set glass ornaments I bought last year. Not bad for a few sheets of copy paper.

I cut out a bunch of paper snowflakes since I’d been wandering through Pinterest and came across some tuts for it and remembered how fun it was in elementary school…  It’s still fun. Lots of fun. 🙂  Wonderfully inexpensive Christmas / winter holiday decorations, and I get to keep them up at least through March if I don’t get sick of them first.

If only geometry class had been this pretty...

If only geometry class had been this pretty…

I also made a craft stick snowflake since I’d seen those around the ‘net as well, and then at my local art supply store. I meant to put glitter on it, but got busy with life and wound up hanging it as it was. I still think it’s pretty, as plain as it is. I plan to make more, though perhaps not ’til next year at this point. Putting this together brought me to appreciate geometric fabric designs much more, and makes me think I may need to play with some hexagon patterns soon.

Approach #3:

Eat the way I want to be eating more frequently.

I made a commitment to eating non-GMO, and while my store/co-op purchases are reflecting that, my lifestyle isn’t. I order pizza at least once a week from the local franchise…so tasty…and not a single ingredient I’d look at twice in the store. I find that I eat foods I crossed off of my list a long time ago much too often, and I get ill from them more easily lately.

I made beans and rice for dinner this evening. As we all know, it’s cheap, relatively healthy, and totally unglamorous. It tasted so good! And it honestly was easier than getting in my car, hopping on the freeway, and driving to and from the nearest drive-thru tex-mex place. I added a can of refried beans and a can of diced tomatoes to some still-hot rice (two cups dry), some chili powder, cumin, and salt, and that was it. We all added a dab of sour cream and a few dashes of hot sauce, and we all loved it.  Hurray for healthy(ish) cheap food!

And, this means breakfast tomorrow is cheap and easy. Leftover beans and rice + scrambled eggs = awesome!


What High School Art Class Taught Me about Blogging

An Owl in the Sun

My first day in high school Drawing class, our teacher put an image of an art piece on the projector and invited us to write down everything we knew about it. I made a really long list on my paper. Then we came back together as a class and shared our knowledge.

I was baffled and frustrated when someone else received the teacher’s praise for calling out that the artist had used cross-hatch shading. I hadn’t bothered listing it because my 6th grade art teacher had taught that technique, leading me to believe that everybody knew about it.  Turns out they didn’t.

Lesson 1: Don’t assume the obvious is actually obvious.

I had always wanted to be good at art. I wanted to learn what it was that would take the figures in my drawings from looking stiff and frozen to looking like the totally awesome fantasy characters I envisioned in my head. I wanted to know what all those different brush types were and why and when to use them. I wanted to be a master (or mistress!) of oil paints and know how to use gesso and stretch my own canvases.

Although Drawing did entail specific lessons about perspective and shading, Painting was, to me, pretty frustrating. My teacher was fabulous and encouraging, but I didn’t understand why she didn’t TEACH us stuff about art. It was as if we had to figure out how to do things by actually working at them. (please hear dry tone of voice.)

Lesson 2: There is no substitute for practice. It’s the only way to get better.


I was thinking about how those ideas tie into the world of blogging and social media… That what for me and so many others who’ve grown up with computers is so obvious is not obvious in the slightest to a whole lot of other people.  And that my pics and my posts aren’t going to get better by not posting. (:

With my semester and my internship both wrapping up – and speaking of wrapping up, a whole bunch of Christmas gifts and decorating projects to pull together in the next few weeks – I’ll have more time to focus on creative endeavors. I went to the thrift store yesterday and stocked up on some crazy cheap goodness to get my kiddos and I well down the road to a merry term break. My blogging plans usually fall apart when I don’t take any pics of my projects, so I’ll try to be sure to take plenty.

Here’s to practicing more!

And because a blog post without enough pics just isn’t as fun:

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