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March 2019

Important Lessons

I've been taking watercolor classes for a few years now.   Watercolor is very challenging for me.  (Watercolor is challenging for most people, so that helps a little.)  I'm much more comfortable drawing.  (Because slower.  More controlled.)  (Also erasers.)  But watercolor?  It happens fast!  And beginners have very little control.  (And, well.  No erasers.)  

The only way I'm going to get better . . . is with practice.  Lots of practice.  I'm trying to paint or sketch at least a little bit every day.  And sometimes I combine my drawing with my painting.  (This is ink plus watercolor, for example.)


I'm getting better.  I'm getting more confident.  But . . . it's going to take a lot more classes and a lot more practice before I'll be able to sit and paint the landscape around me!

Here are a few things (three, in fact!) I've learned that help me keep going with my watercolor painting:

1 - Materials make a big difference.  High quality paints, brushes, and paper really help to make painting more comfortable -- with better results.  (Just like knitting.  And sewing.  And gardening.)  It's also helpful to remember that . . . it's just paper, y'know?  (They make more every day.)


2 - Look for improvement in each attempt.  I paint a lot of real clunkers, y'know?  Stuff I'd never post here -- and likely wouldn't even bring to show my (very supportive) classmates and instructor.  But I've learned to look for the good parts in any failed attempt.  At this stage, I have a tough time putting all the elements of a landscape (for example) together in one painting.  Usually, I'll like the clouds in one attempt, the reflections in another, the water in yet another.  Someday, if I keep working at it, maybe I'll like everything.  But for now . . . I look for something positive about each piece.  (In this one, I really liked the grasses. Even though the rest of it just . . . well . . . sucked.)

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3 - Maintain your sense of humor.  Last week, we were working on cows.  My quick watercolor sketch was going okay . . . until I (repeatedly) wrecked one of the eyes.  The poor thing looked blinded; totally dead in one eye.  So I took it to class like this . . . 

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We all had a good laugh.  But I'm ready to try again.  On better paper.  With a better drawing to begin with.  

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If it works out better this time, great!  And if not?  Well.  I'm sure I'll learn something from the process!


Be sure to visit Carole today, for more Three on Thursday posts.




Old Dog New Tricks

(For a soundtrack to accompany today's blog post, click here.)

Last month, I wrote about finding the sweet spot in my knitting.  That place . . . where knitting meets intention.  My attempt at trying to make things that I (or someone I love) will wear.  
And keep.  
And love.

And I'm here to report that I did it.  
(In the words of Alanis Morissette, sometimes . . . you learn.)


A perfect little layering piece.  It's exactly my style.  In exactly my colors.  And since finishing it last week, I've already worn it 5 times. (In fact, I'm already plotting making another one.) (It's that perfect.)

Definitely in my sweet spot!


(All the Ravelry details here.)


About That . . .

Back in January, I wrote a post about how I came to choose my word for the year (intention), and in that post, I made the rather bold statement that I wanted to . . . live my best life every day.

And ever since then, I've been asking myself . . . what does that even mean???
And ever since then, I've been thinking about it.


Because I don't mean that living my best life is sitting in my garden with a glass of wine and a book, sighing with contentment and thinking about poetry and travel and my next spa treatment.  (Although that does sound pretty good.)  

Rather, living my best life is more holistic for me.
Longer term.  
I want to live my best life not just today -- but every day.  Now and into the future.

For me, living my best life = feeling good.  
Being healthy, grounded, balanced, challenged, connected, engaged.  
Living with a fullness that comes from . . . a holistic sense of being well.  

"Wellness is the complete integration of body, mind, and spirit -- the realization that everything we do, think, feel, and believe has an effect on our state of well-being."    ---Greg Anderson

Eureka!  That's it!

I've discovered that a focus on wellness (in an overall sense) will help me live my best life . . . today and every day.

So.  Strap yourselves in.  We're going on an adventure. 
(I hope you won't mind.)


And We're Back . . .

"The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause."
                                    ---Mark Twain


Beginning the week . . . 


(but not entirely thrilled with the time change).  

How about you?


The stained glass windows in my bathroom are glorious when the sun shines!  That's rare in the wintertime, but oh-so-fabulous when it happens.


There are times when the days are full, and there's just not much to say.
Like now.


So I'm taking a little self-imposed blog-break.  

Not sure how long I'll be gone -- but I'll be back for sure by next Monday.
Enjoy the rest of your week.

Say It . . . On Friday

A thoughtful quote to get you through your weekend . . .

"Life is an echo.  What you send out, comes back.  What you give, you get.  What you see in others, exists in you.  Remember, life is an echo.  It always gets back to you.  So, give goodness."
                                    ---Zig Ziglar


See you Monday!