First Month Check-in

We’ve come to the end of the first month of this new year. The year still feels new-ish, despite some lingering difficulties from 2020. And it’s a good time to check in with our goals and expectations for 2021. (Notice I didn’t use the word resolutions. Goals sound more hopeful, don’t you think?)

Did you set some goals — general or specific, long or short-term, written down or mentally noted — at the beginning of this year? How’re you doing with them? I’m not here to judge, believe me. Instead, I encourage you to ask yourself that question. And if you didn’t set any goals, it’s not too late, you know. Never is. Like I’ve said before, just make them realistic and achievable.

One of my goals is to create new garden beds before this year’s planting season, complete with rodent-proofing. After several design attempts and pricing quotes, I’ve settled on building them myself (with some much appreciated help). The wood has been purchased, other supplies will be purchased soon, and construction will begin in my daughter’s garage (since that’s where the saw is. 🙂 ) It feels good to take steps toward the final goal. Each step is an accomplishment in itself.

I’ve also made progress on some of my writing goals already (although a few have been put off until after the garden beds are built). Today also marks the end of Storystorm, hosted by Tara Lazar, a realized goal of mine in which I had to come up with a picture book idea every day for the month of January. Challenging! And another goal is to create a collage using a new (to me) painting technique. Again, I’ve taken steps in the direction of this goal. (See the photo above.) It’s been fun, stretching my creative muscles! And it’s been a great distraction on cold, snowy days.

Setting goals and reaching for them is worth the effort. However, life is a process, and sometimes goals need to be revisited, adjusted, and refined. That’s ok.  But I encourage you to care for yourself, and those around you, by living with purpose, setting goals and taking daily or weekly steps toward them. Every small accomplishment can be satisfying. And if you’ve taken steps toward one of your 2021 goals, give yourself credit. Celebrate your success. And have a happy new year!

Gratitude Spiral: Day 345

Today, I’m grateful for a delivery of white illustration boards and special glue.

I’ve been wanting to create a collage using Eric Carle’s painted tissue paper techniques and now I have everything I need. It’ll take some experimenting, but playing around with these will be fun. Can’t wait!

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 286

Today, I’m grateful for a new pad of acid-free translucent paper.

In my desire to experiment with Eric Carle’s painting and collage techniques, I’ve bought myself a pad of thin tissue-like paper. I’ve tried painting a few already. The pad has fifty pages and promises lots of trial-and-error learning and lots of fun. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 262

Today, I’m grateful for Eric Carle’s art.

We visited The Eric Carle Picture Book Museum in Amherst, MA, the other day and learned a lot about Carle’s illustration techniques. His work is fascinating. And it inspires me to want to try new creative projects. (The picture here is of a car painted in honor of the 50th birthday of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It was parked outside the museum.)

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 231

Today, I’m grateful for gold paint.

Painting a whole rock with it makes the rock look like a fabled golden egg! New (to me) paint colors put a little excitement in a plain day. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 141

Today, I’m grateful for paint sealer and shellac.

I’ve been painting rocks lately and without the extra layer of sealer I wouldn’t be able to gift them to others or put them in my garden and ensure that the colors will last.  It’s been a fun new hobby!

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 139

Today, I’m grateful for the art that a friend paints and posts on Facebook everyday as part of her shelter-in-place activities.

Her paintings are beautiful and inspiring. This time of social distancing has brought out a lot of creativity in people. I love the way so many share and enrich others’ lives with their art. It makes me want to do the same.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 38

Today, I’m grateful for my standing magnifier.

I bought it in order to see details as I’m painting small rocks. But just yesterday, it served me well when I needed to remove a splinter from my finger. Such a simple tool. But so appreciated.

What are you grateful for today?