Time to start getting serious about staying warm....let's chat about hats

I have a hard time with hats. My hair turns into either a ball of static electricity, or flattens to the point of no return. I usually opt for a hat with a big pom-pom that my Gramma had made for my Mom… unless it’s really cold and then I have a black hat that makes me look like a mugger. Cute, huh? The porcupine has been sighted wearing one of those bomber hat sort of things with the front flap that actually doesn’t seem to do much, and also a bright-colored knitted hat with ear flaps that was scored at a clothing swap. However you do it, winter temps are here, so Happy December 8th and H is for Hats :-)

Sketchbook thoughts

Some days I really feel like I am struggling with Being Me. A lot of the time Being Me seems to be more like Being the Person Who Reacts to Everyone Else.

I have a vision of who I want to be, a mythical person who is confident, knows what she wants, is able to communicate effectively, and, of course, has perfect skin. Some days I think I fake it pretty well (except the perfect skin part), but other days I am presented with a challenge and the little bunny in me shuts down.

Yesterday I had a challenge, and I am still dwelling on it. Picking it apart. Trying to decide how I want to react. Trying to decide if I am making too much of it (pretty sure I am), and trying to decide what reaction will make my anxiousness rise or fall. It’s borderline crazy how much brain space I will allocate to trying to figure out if the way I’m feeling is “right” or not.

All this added up to not sleeping a lot last night, and this morning was a little rough. As was the afternoon. I worked, I walked, I chatted with a few folks. This was one of my morning sketches. Just keeping it honest here.

Making lemonade and all that...

This morning I recieved an email from a nice woman asking if I was going to be selling any of the holiday grumpy toad with antlers card… and yesterday I received a few emails from folks who were disappointed, but encouraging me to keep up my drawing…

So… I’ve decided to go through the last few years card designs and offer six “historical” (archived? previously out-of-print? old?) cards for sale in my shop. Phew. That takes the pressure off, and maybe some of you will enjoy them? I’m taking a look tonight at some of the characters from last years Advent calendar… they might make an appearance on a card as well…

In the meantime… as Grumpy Toad would say… “yay… holidays…”

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Being Honest with Myself

I had to have a serious discussion with the muses about the creative energy I have available these days. Which is not a lot. I’ve mentioned it fairly often all summer… and fall… and now into winter… it just feels that whenever I get back on my feet emotionally and energetically, something else happens and I find myself staring at my sketchbook and, well, drawing a blank.

This means I am having to make a hard decision regarding holiday cards… I just don’t see me finishing the art, printing and packaging, and fulfilling orders in a reasonable amount of time. If something shifts in the next week or two, I will definitely update here… but for now, it’s looking like there will be no In My Nature holiday cards for sale.

However, I am working on my online Advent calendar, counting down to Christmas, and I hope you all follow along! I’ve enjoyed these “calendars” over the last few years, I’m looking forward to blogging everyday again.. and am working on making art an important part of my day-to-day to life once more.

I hope you all enjoyed some food and family and friends this past week! Take care out there!

Things to do in Denver when you're... whaaaaat?

Denver! Yes, the porcupine and I took a whirlwind trip to Denver last week, returning to Vermont yesterday… with snow on the ground and a chill in the air, and feeling pretty blessed to be back in this little town. I’m definitely feeling more clear-headed than I have in a while, and had no altitude sickness or jet-lag despite reading all about that before getting on the plane last Wednesday.

We had our usual odd interactions around food and service in restaurants… having to get water pitchers for ourselves, giving up on waiting for a bill and just guessing at what we owed and leaving cash and walking out (telling the hostess what we did and her saying “okay”)… and a myriad of other things leaving us wondering if we just suck the competency out of everyone around us.

By far one of the oddest things we decided to do was a book some time in a sensory deprivation tank. I chose the one that was more like a large bathtub with high ceilings, leaving the porcupine with the “pod” (I was afraid of becoming claustrophobic)… you basically lay in briny water, which supports you, floating, at body temperature — while the room is completely dark. The kind of dark that makes it difficult to tell if your eyes are opened or closed. There are times when you have no sense of where you are, no sense of up or down. Then I discovered that if you gently pushed off of one the walls you could slowly ping-pong yourself around the tank. I think I had more fun in it than you are supposed to, because instead of walking into the waiting room looking completely zen’d out, I proceeded to babble to the friend who was picking us up about how silly it was and how it revved me up — the front desk person didn’t look amused.

It was a fantastic get-away, and I met some great folks (as the porcupine says, I seem to make best friends everywhere I go…) the Denver native who is a political activist who, by the end of the plane ride, welcomed us to visit them, the Chicago woman who was also returning from Denver that I swapped hotel tales with, the cashier at Macy’s who I giggled and swapped thrift store stories with, and the nice men who both offered to swap seats so that the porcupine and I could sit together. Good people, they are out there.

And now I’m back to my cozy little place, the woodstove throwing out some good heat, the car needing to be shoveled out, snow tires go on tomorrow… catching up on work, and catching up with friends and family… I hope you are all well out there, and manage to reboot your system at some point, however that looks…

Hey... it's my Birthday!

As usual, it feels like life is charging ahead, whether I want it to or not! Usually I take some quiet time to reflect on the past year, and put together a reckoning, see if I am in the red or not with my expectations…. but… no quiet time these days! I’ll just accept where I am at, and that everything is fine, and take a deep breath and jump into being 47 with all the gusto I can! Go out and have fun everyone, it’s my birthday :-)

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Priorities and Checklists

I feel like I lost momentum with this blog… every day it seems like I fly off in a different direction, and end up with several half-finished projects. Today I spent a little more time making a thoughtful To-Do List, and happily, I seem to have most of it done!

My car is having body work done, so I’ve been carless since last Wednesday. I managed to drag my laundry to the laundromat this morning, muttering the whole way. Something along the lines of “Yay! So grateful to live with walking distance!” with a little bit of self-pity thrown in, since it would have been ridiculous to ask someone to drive me to it.

I also tackled inventorying my cards, and adding a few more to the Shop AND dropping some off at Whistle Emporium here in Hardwick (I’ve been in town since May and hadn’t bothered to check to see how my stock was holding up… she was down to 3 cards. Whoops.)

What else? Winter is on the way. I’ve had a fire in the stove a few times now (90 degrees in the living room, 50 degrees in the rest of the place)… and the kayak is safely stashed in the wood shed. When I paid my electric bill this week the woman at the counter was so excited about snow since she loves to ski. I tried to act excited with her but think I failed.