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Showing posts from February, 2020

Paralyzed From the Brain Down - April 3, 2020

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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…

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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…

Carpe Diem! - February 17, 2020

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An embarrassingly long time ago I ordered this tabletop photo studio. 

Tonight I broke it out of its package and put it together.


The pictures are stunning! 

I made three of these today from pieces I'd partially folded while listening to YouTube videos about this week's Come Follow Me lesson.

At study group last night I was in admiration with Martin's enthusiasm for the scriptures. (Nearly) every time he teaches Sunday School, I learn something that shakes me. For too long I've believed I'm incapable of deep gospel learning. I'm going to importune God to help me learn.

For too long I've thought a lot of things. Won't it be so sad to go back to God after this life and realize all the lost opportunities we had? Carpe diem! 

Not So Ennui! - February 16, 2020

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I feel alive again today! Scripture study has been having that effect on me recently and I'm so glad. My mind is being enlightened and it feels glorious. 
Also, I started this tonight during an unexpected hour of solitude when Brian and Kiff went to his dad's.  When B got back, he sat in the living room reading so I had another couple of hours to almost finish it. 

Tomorrow I'll put the accent beads on it and get the hot glue strands taken care of. Then my mom in law is going to take it. 🙂

Ennui - February 15, 2020

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Say hello to the world's worst picture of a pretty kusudama flower ball.
All of a sudden this afternoon I was hit by a wave of ennui. Hopefully it passes, but if it doesn't,  I'm going to art even harder.

Somewhere Out There - February 12, 2020

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somewhere in the world, there’s a gap shaped just like you.  Once you find it, you’ll slide right in*
I read this quote today in an article and it was very striking. This is what I've been looking for - my place in the world. I feel like it is on the tip of my tongue, but just not there quite yet.
* Druckerman, Pamela. “How to Find Your Place in the World After Graduation,” New York Times, May 29, 2015.



Hearts -February 11, 2020

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I found these while scrolling through my Google photos. Happy hearts!

Resting - February 10, 2020

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I read once that after a time of intense creativity, you go into a little hibernation mode where your mind/body/whatever slows down and spends a little time recouping its strength.

I've hit that wall and might need to be quiet for a little while.

Stay tuned!


Perspective - February 8, 2020

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Brian had to work today which meant I could have the TV alllllll to myself, a rare treat. Mostly, I don't watch much television, but I make up for it when I find a new show and swallow it whole. It was delightful to watch all TEN episodes of Locke & Key on the couch by myself. Between each episode I  did a chore - make dough, wash clothes, fold clothes,  change sheets, bake pizza. I love good stories - they make me feel so alive. 
The same goes for learning something I've never thought of before.  It doesn't happen often. If it did, it wouldn't be as special  - a thought I'm not sure I agree with now that I think about it. I wish I could learn something new all the time. Maybe it's the degree or depth of the learning.  Today I heard about something new, something  I've not thought of before. For a few hours (even during the binge-fest), I felt aware of something bigger than me. I hope these thoughts stay with me. Perspective shifts are earth-shaking.

In the Details - February 7, 2020

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There are a lot of things about watercolor that I love. Tonight I love those moments when the paint is still branching out and mixing and pooling and starring and veining. I wish I could freeze my paintings at those points.

Until Tomorrow- February 6, 2020

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My desk is really romantic tonight.  My workspace has shrunk down to this little bit of desktop.  Goal: double the workspace area tomorrow!

One Thing After Another - February 5, 2020

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I woke up at 530am to an acrid smell. My husband was in the hallway and I asked what the smell was. Yesterday I got the new dishwasher arm I'd ordered and I installed before going to bed (I'd taken the arm out on other occasions to clean it with no problems). The arm had come off during the wash cycle last night and melted on the heating element,  breaking it in two.  I called in to work that I'd be a couple hours late and texted my new ROC volunteer not to come in. When I got to work at 10am, I found the volunteer had been sent to the library anyway by his teacher and there has been a ton of confusion what to do with him since I wasn't there. Then I unintentionally offended a coworker who could not be comforted (healing and forgiveness take time). It was one thing after another today...
But this watercolor heart was a beautiful surprise. And the sunset as I was leaving work was breathtaking.  
Tomorrow's another day, one that hopefully won't involve accidents or h…

Grown Uppish - February 4, 2020

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I bought a domain name today and feel very grown up about it. It's marvelous to feel simultaneously old and young at the same time. Perhaps that's the eternal nature of our spirit reminding me that I'm not just for this life. 

I am forever

Invisible- February 3, 2020

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Today I had someone tell me that my inability to speak in front of people without breaking down into sobs "just had to be gotten over" and that I had to "push through the fear." If I had no feet, this person wouldn't tell me I just had to try harder to run. It's tough having an invisible "inability" because others don't think it's real. And then you doubt yourself, too.




Quiet, I'm Thinking - February 2, 2020

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So much thinking and very little satisfying painting.
Still, I "showed up".

This one is actually a lot lighter and aqua-ier. 

Yeah, different. Again, lighter in real life & cotton-candier pink. 

Bloooooooooooood!

Josie Lewis' TEDx Talk - February 1, 2020

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[Enjoy my transcription of Josie Lewis' TEDx talk]
I am an artist. I make process videos of my work on the Internet. My videos have had more than a billion views.  My work looks rainbow-y and bright and colorful and joyful but I made it out of the darkest time of my life. I made this work to process my grief when my baby died.
 It took a massive personal tragedy for me to totally change the way I made art and, as an accidental byproduct, I uncovered a phenomenon that resonated with millions of people. It became clear that, for me, the process of making art is far more important than the results. 
A few years ago I was in a magical but also difficult stage of transition. I was newly married and a new mom. I was adjusting to family life while simultaneously trying to push forward an art career that was feeling increasingly lackluster. 
I had been an artist my whole life. I did all the things you are supposed to do to have a successful art career. I went to grad school and got an MFA. I…