Outstanding blogger award

The wonderful Helen at CrawCrafts Beasties nominated this blog for an award. Thank you, kindly, Helen, for the nomination! Readers, if you haven’t yet, run (don’t walk) to see her lovable handmade monsters — the Beasties — in action. They are incredible!

So. Part 1 of the award is to answer some quite fun questions, posed by Helen. Part 2 is to nominate outstanding bloggers and ask them some questions of my own. So without further ado, here are some questions and some answers. And then some questions again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Helen’s questions

Coffee or tea? (or no hot beverages at all? ) Ooh, that’s going to be tea for me, and non-caffeinated herbals 96% of the time. I never quite got into regular coffee. When I tell folks that I made it through school without caffeine, I get the disbelief-look. Caffeine tends to have too many side effects for me, so tea always wins.

Where in the world would you most like to visit, and why? When I was a kid, I used to love reading the world atlas. For some reason, the islands in the Pacific always fascinated me the most — just the idea of being surrounded by all of that water and the distance from the land masses of the world. I imagine generations of ocean navigators, long before GPS, building dugout canoes, braving the unknown, watching the stars, and peopling the islands. So, I’d love to tour Polynesia and Hawai’i. In my dreams, I’d travel mainly by water.

What is the most delicious meal youโ€™ve ever eaten, and where did you have it? Speaking of islands, I’ll never forget the first time I had fresh lapu lapu (grouper). I was in the Philippines, in a coastal town named Agoo by the South China Sea. As a hospitality, our host went to the beach, caught us a bright red grouper, and prepared it for us over coals and fire. I have lived in the memory of that meal ever since.

What have you made that youโ€™re most proud of, and why? It would have to be my little doe dolls. I made them in 2018 and hadn’t sewn a thing in over a decade. But, one day, I found myself making a paper pattern and hand-sewing little deer — one a bit sad and under the weather, and another one to comfort it. I made them during a challenging period in my life; sewing them put me back in touch with a sense of joy, love, and strength. I learned that creating things was a powerful form of self-care. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can read about my thoughts on that here.

Whatโ€™s your plan for today? It’s been a busy week. Rest!


More Outstanding Bloggers

Ok. I hope those answers didn’t put you to sleep. Time for nominees. The authors of the following blogs get an Outstanding Blogger Award because they not only produce beautiful content and images in their chosen media, but these bloggers also pair their beautiful work with thoughtful and uplifting writing that makes me reflect on the creative life. Creative blogs at their finest and very much to be read and enjoyed.

Cognition and Crochet

D’Nali

fabrications

Placid Painting

the quiet photographer

Woolly Wednesday

Yochet Crochet

My Questions for You

If you’d like to accept the nomination, here’s the drill (no pressure bloggers, this is only if you happen on this post and are up for it!):

In a post, answer the questions below, linking this nomination page. Nominate up to 10 Outstanding bloggers of your own, and create up to 10 new questions for them. Here are my Q’s.

  1. What are 3 creative tools or supplies that you can’t live without these days?
  2. When did you first start working with your art or craft medium? Why did you choose it?
  3. If you had all the resources you needed, what would your dream project be?
  4. What is your favourite season, and why?
  5. Name a place that inspires you to create.

Ok. I’ll plan to be back next week with some new artwork! Until then.

Bujo + a Budding Moon

Happy Friday. I hope you’ve enjoyed a good week. We are coming out of our nth blizzard here in the Midwest. Just 10 days ago, some of the sights in our neck of the woods included…

frosty rooftops and cars buried in snow

…an ice cascade stuck to a drain pipe, three stories high

… and an icy new look for our local park’s field house.

This week, in contrast, has seen us enter into a slow thaw. The thaw has its own qualities which I’ve been trying to observe. It’s a transitional time of drippy icicles (caution above!), slick sidewalks, muddied snow, and sock-soaking pavement pools of dark grey meltwater — a time both quiet and swishy, full of subtle movement. The windows come open to let in new light and new air, and in the mornings, prattles of birds (yes, inventing my own plural noun) commingle with the sound of shovel-scrapes. A few afternoons ago, that fearsome three story ice column came crashing down (we heard and felt it from a distance away). The sky is softening and blue-ening (verb?) again. Out of the ice comes a brightness.

Funnily, I think that the bullet journal spread that I drew a few weeks ago for this week captures the feeling above — not the usual confetti-throw of florals that I’ve enjoyed drawing all winter, but a slow bloom out of the greys and ice. I hope that you, too, are enjoying a bloom, in whatever form yours is taking.

And while we’re on this theme: As I’ve noted in the Saturday 27th slot above, we’re expecting a Full Moon tomorrow. It’s the first full moon of the lunar calendar — February’s Snow Moon (aptly named) or, in Chinese, the “Budding Moon.” It signals that a new cycle of inception and renewal is quietly brewing, and is on its way. I hope you can catch a glimpse of it! ๐ŸŒ•

Wishing you possibility and new energies!

The cats are alright

Just a sketchbook comic today. I speak for myself when I say that, after a near year of lots of bad (TV) news, hints of good news have come to feel strange and unfamiliar. While the news has started reporting some promising developments, it’s been murky trying to envision a horizon out of the current collective moment. I find myself still processing the last year, gingerly trying to move forward in a sort of tenuous way…

I’m coming to terms with the shakiness. I take comfort in art, friends, fiber, books, blogging, imagination, and… these cats!

Wishing you a good week, and much good news. Until next time.

Happy Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year is upon us! This is the year of the Ox — a symbol in the lunar calendar associated with strength, diligence, hard work, and reliability (no plow skills needed). Oxen energies are expressed each time we plan a course of action; apply consistent effort, whatever our pace; and evince a little bit of “stubbornness” (let us say, perseverance) in adhering to a vision or idea. This is, in other words, the year for planting our feet on long-harbored dreams and making them come into fruition — the year that expended elbow grease will be likely to pay off (one hopes!). As per the lunar zodiac, this year also appears to favour restoration, replenishment, and recovery in their various senses, but will also be a time to carry the responsibilities that accompany the rewards. I like to treat the zodiac not as a firm set of predictions, but as an open-ended starting point for orienting action and energy (I read the I Ching in a similar way).

So. In that spirit, I wish you Oxen energies as you continue, this year, to bring into being the things in your heart!

Ok. Art-wise, my heart has been a flowery place. I recently did a simple still life drawing. More imagined flowers, in pencils, drawn in January. I see them as clowny and happy and pretty.

I treated myself to a new set of pencils in January, and I enjoy them: the scratchy texture isn’t 100% coverage on the page, but penciled space holds movement and line in a way that makes me feel like I show up in the picture. And in comparison to the fluidity and flow of paint, pencils require a little bit of elbow grease — a little push, from the inside out, to make things happen. I recently finished another picture that involved penciling the surface of an 11 x 14″ page — and I did feel like a little ox, bearing the colours across the paper, slowly over several days, until the whole thing was covered. Pencils, simply, are good for my soul.

Ok. Wishing you the creative mirth of flowers, and auspicious beginnings! ๐Ÿ‚ ๐ŸŒธ

Welcome, February

After the blink of January, February is upon us. Chicago received its second blizzard in a single week, and we are now under even bigger snow drifts and slushy puddles. Remember the 6 foot snowperson from the previous post? Well, an even bigger sibling has presented itself in the very same park. This one stands a little over 7 feet tall and is staying fashionable in a green scarf. At that height, this must have been a group effort.

We are also in the thick of a February deep freeze, starting today. Today the low is -14C, and the weekend will see us at a low of -19C at some point with the temps sticking around all of next week, if the forecast is correct. Well. Let’s see how our daily conditioning stroll goes. It is the period for soups, space heaters, wool, and chai. When I get alarmed at cold weather, I remind myself that, growing up in Canada, these temperatures were normal! I was a kid whose commute to high school took over an hour, with a lot of waiting in bus stops and open-air train stations in -15C weather… Here in Chicago, some train stations and bus stops are equipped with overhead heat lamps. Heat lamps. Torontonians knew no such luxury).

On the art front, I have been keeping busy, and bullet journaling my way through the week, finding myself strangely productive. I owe this, in part, to the start of February — new energies abound and the Lunar New Year is approaching. I also like to think that the colours in this week’s theme helped things along a bit. For this first week of February, I went with something festive and ferny-flowery (again).

Against the strong inclination to hibernate, the colours are keeping me awake and focused. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you are staying safe, well, and warm. Giant Snowman and Snow Flamingo send their greetings. Until next time. ๐Ÿฆฉโ›„