Showing posts from 2020

September 27, 2020

Experiments in watercolor and pastel!

Paralyzed From the Brain Down - April 3, 2020

To say the past weeks have been weird is an understatement. I have been trying to work from home, but it's difficult. What's worse is that I'm home more, but am completely unable to paint! I'm paralyzed and I can't figure out what's wrong. My husband says all psychological problems are inherently fixable if you can articulate what the problem is. So when I can't articulate it, I feel worse, like it's only ME standing in the way of feeling better. If only I were smarter.
One fun thing is that my siblings and I are all talking more online. Yesterday we had the best conversation because one never-available-when-we-group-call sibling actually took part! Unfortunately, they also got mad when I took a (lot) screenshots. I touched up one of the screenshots to show how they should really feel about me. 

I'm thinking of downloading some filters for my next meeting at work and looking like the potato lady I can't stop laughing at this picture. 

And laugh…

It's Friday! It's Friday! - March 27, 2020

I've now been working from home for an entire week.

By noon today I was feeling really antsy - after checking in with coworkers, we found that we were ALL feeling antsy. It's strange working from home - it's like being in a candy shop while on a diet. You are surrounded by wonderfulness that you can't enjoy! I'm home, but not allowed to do homey things.

On the other hand, I am very grateful to be employed and getting a paycheck right now. :(

At 4:30pm sharp, I closed out my email, X-ed out Microsoft teams and got off of every website that had to do with work. I turned on my glue gun and worked a bit more on my flower ball.

This sucker is HUGE. I found some typing paper from decades ago - it's a beautiful texture, kinda scratchy and thick. It's a beautiful, creamy white color. I cut it into squares forever ago and had a huge stack that I thought would make a beautiful piece.

It's bigger than my head, bigger than a basketball, bigger than .... ?


It's a Start- March 26, 2020

Put one foot in front of the other...

Alive and Barely Breathing - March 25, 2020

I've learned that I don't art in times of uncertainty.  Does that make me less of an artist? I don't think so.

I've finished five of the twelve pieces for this kusudama flower ball. It might take a little while to get it done, but when I  do, it's going to be magnificent! 

Confusion- March 20, 2020

Today I packed up my workplace and brought it home. Even though my library system was shut down on Tuesday, I expected to be able to come in and work at my computer since I'm usually all alone down there. No such luck. The governor's shelter-in-place edict last night changed everything. My boss gave me permission to go in & get supplies for other staff to empty book drops during the shutdown. I gathered up my things and took out 4 bags of stuff. (Yikes - imagine when I actually retire and really leave!). It's still in my living room.

I set the alarm & dead-bolted the door. I've dreamed of having time to get things done & this is that dream come true. Well, actually, it's a tiny bit nightmarish...
I've not understood nor entertained the idea that this situation was as serious as it's being made out to be. Will we be gone a week? A month? Can it possibly be longer? How can that be real?

Sometimes I'm a little dramatic - that's the eldest …

A Poem for Today - March 19, 2020

Keeping Quiet
Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still for once on the face of the earth, let's not speak in any language; let's stop for a second, and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines; we would all be together in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales and the man gathering salt would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victories with no survivors, would put on clean clothes and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about...
If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death.
Now I'll count up to twelve and you keep quiet and I will go.
- Pablo Neruda

I am poet…

Prep Work - March 15, 2020

Some days all I want to do is prep work for all the work I want to do!

The goal: 100+ each of 6x6, 5x5 and 4x4's.
I'm about 40% of the way there...

It's 9:15pm and All is Well - March 13, 2020

Tonight, instead of working on art, I placed orders for the ebooks so our library borrowers will have things to read when they are stuck at home. We're not on lockdown here in Kern County, but things have progressed kinda fast since this morning's announcement from the County -"business as usual except for big gatherings" to this afternoon's "hey, we need to cancel all library programs starting tomorrow" to emails and texts from my boss tonight to do some other preparations.

The sunset was beautiful. My lawn is green for the first time since I moved in here 10 years ago. My bulbs are coming up! There's rain forecast for the next several days and hopefully that will do something about the drought that's been developing (again!). One of the days is forecast as "heavy storms", something I've never seen for Bakersfield.

We have enough food. We are healthy. We have a support system. We have peace.

Nothing bad lasts forever. There's …

Comforting the Crazy - March 12, 2020

I don't want to remember today as the day the world went crazy, so I'm just going to talk about what I did today.

I had beautiful conversations with friends.

I had terrific message sessions with my siblings where we shared funny quotes & comics. It was fun.

I picked up my prescription with no problem. I avoided grocery stores because they were crowded and I have everything I need (even though I really am worried 21 eggs isn't enough).

Tonight I worked on paintings. I listened to an uplifting lesson on this week's Come Follow Me section. I reveled in the fact that I don't have to play organ this Sunday! (hee hee)

I indexed tonight - it's not going to the temple, but it is connecting people with families, so it's what I can do now.

I played with my cats and marveled at my blooming jasmine (I think it's called pink jasmine - it's pink and viney & smells weird at first and now I love it). The sky was gorgeous & didn't care that the worl…

Crushed By the @#$% Wheel - March 11, 2020

I can actually feel my blood pressure thumping in my temples at work. It will be so nice when some of these projects are finished!
In the meantime,  here's an oldie that I finished up tonight.
Oh, in weird news, I found out today that Danielle Donaldson and I went to high school together (ish). She noticed it on my fb profile (total fangirl moment) and I checked my yearbooks tonight. Yup. Same school, same interests. It's a small world with social media... (she was a year ahead so we didn't hobnob)

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel - March 10, 2020

The other day it hit me like a ton of bricks that I don't take certain things seriously enough - important things. It kind of freaked me out - I thought I was doing "ok" with life & spirituality.

I listened and found some suggestions on how to focus better and prepare my heart to pay attention to important things - to not be casual.

The past three nights I have set myself tasks - I wanted to work on family history, do art and set up my shop on Society6. I figure those three things will have good consequences - art & family history will center me. Uploading artwork to S6 will ... do something. Don't know what yet.

I'm proudest of that folded book photo. I only wish it was bigger (file-size-wise). I'd have a poster of it if I could.

I sure do love my little houses. They make me proud of my art.

Preparation- March 8, 2020

I hope this country gives this time change thing every six months the boot because it makes me sleepy!
Scribble hearts are deeply satisfying to make and I can do them in the few moments I have left at the end of the day. 
THIS is what my crowning achievement was today: 

128 pieces of watercolor paper,  torn into 1/16th sheets, all ready for neighborhoods,  villages, towns, cities and metropolises of little houses!

Back in the Saddle- March 7, 2020

I have opened up my shop on Society6 again! Search by my name or click here to find my paintings available in prints or a ton of other things (barstools anyone?). Everything's on sale right now! It's a bah-gain...
Several years ago I had a successful Etsy shop. At the same time, I was working fulltime at the library which was undergoing fiscal challenges, working part time as an online adjunct instructor for a local college, dealing with stepchildren and the drama that sometimes happens in that situation and the regular day to day of life.  I'm embarrassed to say that I became mentally and emotionally fragile to the point that every interaction with Etsy customers gave me horrible anxiety - and nearly all interactions were good, but I reached a tipping point. I gave notice at the college and closed the shop, both endings coinciding with changes that would have made life more difficult. 
For the first time in years, I could enjoy the holiday season without worrying about grade…

Want - March 5, 2020

I want to get back to painting houses (that sounds like a book I saw about mobsters(?) called  "I Hear You Paint Houses") but have to cut more paper. I don't have time for that until Saturday so I'm working on a huge stack of partially finished paintings just so I feel like in doing something! 

There are 28 of them ranging from "you call that started?" to "hey, you already signed that, cheater face".

Frankenstein or the Monster? - March 4, 2020

I cut apart my scribble hearts and mixed and matched them like Fashion Plates! I fizz with happy when I look at them. There's something there & I love it.

Today started out ominously with my particular personality quirks causing a problem with a coworker.  Luckily I was able to fix it and - BONUS - figure a possible way of overcoming that particular quirk. 😶
In other news, someone reached out to me via social media asking to buy my painting from last night. I keep hearing that my little houses speak to people. I think I've learned enough from the experiments with the hearts to bring something new to the little houses... stay tuned.

Helping Hand - March 3, 2029

I'd paint except my cat drank all my water before I could even dip a brush. 
Instead, I reworked a painting from 2018. More outlining took it up a notch!

A Study in Scribbles - March 2, 2020

Yesterday I posted a pic of a bunch of hearts that I'd scribbled on. The response I got from people on IG was really positive and made me want to try some more scribbling. I love the delicate lines and the curves & loops. Tonight I practiced on a few paintings that were misfits because there would be no loss if it all went bottoms up - and they turned out very interesting - I like how they look.

For work today I was with a group of library staff and we started going through a 40-foot container full to the brim with boxes of books. The library had a problem and it got closed very suddenly. It's been shut down for remodeling since last May & we weren't sure if the books had survived. They did! We planned on spending 5 Mondays going through the books & weeding out the damaged ones. We are going to need a million Mondays... oh. my. gosh.
If I sit too long, my whole body stiffens up. I'm going to sleep like a rock tonight.

Divine Meaning in Art & Me- March 1, 2020

Josie Lewis posted about artist types (cliches) today and I had a great learning experience. Here it is, told in screenshots: 
That's it! My art doesn't (intentionally) have deep or divine meaning.  All this time I've thought I was a failure,  but maybe beauty for it's own sake is ok. 
I am going to go make something pretty.

The Best Laid Plan(ner)s - February 28, 2020

In November 2013, I started working at a new place in the library. My new boss was a formidable woman who scared the living daylights out of me. I had heard she was always watching for you to be goofing off and I dreaded being called out for that.

My sister Meagan (may she rest in peace) gave me a pretty little blank book some time before this. It was red leather-ish with an embossed heart on it. Starting my first day of work, I determined to keep track of all the stuff I accomplished so I could never be accused of not working (great job environment, right?).

In high school a friend and I invented a secret alphabet code what I have actually continued using whenever I want to write something just for myself. The letter combinations or shapes change and morph over the years, but I'm usually able to suss out what I wrote after enough puzzling. That first day, I wrote out all my fears and worries and concerns about the new job. I wrote about hopes & dreams and complaints and wishe…

Pregnant With Possibility - February 27, 2020

There are people who have the gift of writing well. I am not one of them. I promise that the inside of my mind is much prettier than what comes out here on the digital page.

Art - as I understand it - is a form of communication, a way of expressing the thoughts or feelings of the artist through their medium. It seems true because so many artists I follow on social media say they are expressing themselves when they post about what they have made. I, on the other hand, seem to be an artistic neanderthal. Me no express good.

When I think about it too much, I have to ask myself, "Is it because I've got nothing in my noggin?" That's obviously not true. So, is it that I have nothing to say? Meh - maybe.

Perhaps it's that I don't want to tell people what I think. That's like the pearl inside my shell and I don't want to share that with just everyone. I'm not an art floozy.

Yet I notice in my day to day interactions, I'm desperate to connect with peo…

Diametric - February 26, 2020

Life's ups and downs.

I got yelled at at work for something completely unfair.
I was wrong about sending someone an important document. It's now weeks late.
Tears got the best of me in front of the person whom I most dislike being vulnerable in front of.
My husband went home sick from work and we couldn't go out tonight like I'd hoped.
My sister texted me on the way home from work that one of my favorite people in the world died.

My new roses are leafing out.
My new lilac is more than just a tiny Groot-stick and has little leaves at the base.
I got to eat cheese tostadas for dinner with Costco salsa. Heaven.
I watched an art video by Laura Horn and it was wonderful.
My son was kind to me tonight.
The world has Cadbury mini eggs in it again.

Em-Bee-lishments - February 25, 2020

The other week a woman at church whom I admire very much gave me an unexpected gift: one of those make-it-yourself planner notebooks (I think they're called midoris?). It had a travel-sized Book of Mormon, a floral notebook with matching pen, bookmark, binder clips and elastic ribbon closure. 
When I got it home to look at, I thought it looked like it needed bees, so I painted some on it. 
At BYU, some of my biggest takeaways involved making my surroundings beautiful. I had this dream of a completely handmade home with embellished everything - doorframes, hardware, lamps, rugs, dishes, quilts, etc. 
I haven't forgotten that dream.  Today I put some bees on a beautiful gift. Who knows what I'll do tomorrow...

Tired, but Working! - February 24, 2020

I knew right after dinner it was going to be an early night for me. It's been a few days since I've posted, but I've been working on portable art. Yesterday was family visit day at Brian's dad's house followed by Come Follow Me study. Tonight was Plant Bulbs and Water the Lawn night followed by Family Home Evening.  I folded paper during it so I felt like I was creating something. 
I have big plans and just need to be awake enough to work on them!

Refreshment - February 22, 2020

This week at work has been exhausting so I was really looking forward to our trip to the Getty today. There's something about this place which allows me to reset. 

It poured off and on during the drive. Brian's a very confident driver.  I am the worst passenger because I gasp everytime the smallest thing happens.  I guess I'm deathly afraid of dying in a wreck.

I've been here so often I don't really look around much at the art unless there are special exhibitions. It seemed like there were several exhibits being prepped in closed-off galleries so I just went and looked at Irises by Van Gogh. I was the first visitor to the gallery and HAD THE ENTIRE PLACE TO MYSELF (except for Kenneth's friend who was hanging out with me)(Kenneth was off being cranky) ). I got up close and looked at it for a good long while. I love thinking about the strokes of paint and how he was making something unlike anyone else.  What a blessing to be able to make what YOU LIKE in spite of w…

11.6% Success Rate - February 20, 2020

When my boss retired suddenly and I got to be in charge, I allowed myself to ship online purchases directly to my work address. It makes so much more sense in terms of security, but - more importantly - I GET MY STUFF FASTER!!! (the old boss didn't like people sending personal things to the library - it was unprofessional) (pbbbbbt) (I now encourage my coworkers to send their purchases to the library, too)

I'm a librarian for the Kern County Library system in Bakersfield, California. I do what's called collection development - it's a fancy name for buying stuff (just call me Hook'em Up Heather!). There used to be several people who ordered materials for the library but now I'm the only one buying both the print & digital books. Another person orders the AV materials (DVDs, CDs & BOCDs). It feels important to point that out.

I love my job - honestly, I'm the luckiest person in the library. When I first became a librarian in 2000, I worked for the Sta…