Good Morning!

Happy December 13th, and even though it’s M for Mistletoe Day, how about making it a “why not?” in general sort of day? Why not eat the last cookie? Why not take an extra 5 minutes at lunch time? Why not give your honey a smooch when they least expect it? Why not say Yes to your friend inviting you over this evening? Or why not stay in and cozy if that’s what you want to do! Enjoy the day!

Something nice and something to consider...

Dear Person, I could read your last name on the envelope, and I looked to see if there was anyone who had placed an order I had missed… I didn’t see anything, so I can only thank you for your kind support...

This was timely, as I had been considering a support button, or something along those lines, if people were enjoying my third Advent calendar and wanted to send a little something to me. I have mixed feelings about it, because I do enjoy making these drawings and simply sharing them… but I also have given to artists whose blogs I follow, because I know how much time and thought goes into their creations… and I know how much they appreciate it…

So… if you’ve read this far… you’ll see in the right sidebar a button that says “support” (edited: or depending on the device you are using it could also be at the bottom of the page, or even in the left sidebar… I give up…) This link will take you to PayPal, if you should feel like contributing to the art that will always be available here on the blog :-) You can also find my mailing address in the “Contact” section of my website.

As always, I’m wishing you all a wonderful day, and take good care…

Happy December 10th!

On Sunday I drove 35 minutes to my storage unit to dig out my Big Box of Christmas Stuff. I actually did hear something jingling in the box when I put it in my car, I am going to assume that it’s bells and not broken ornaments…

My cold seems to be be easing up, I also went for a good woodswalk with the porcupine, helped load some firewood, and found the perfect little Christmas tree for my apartment… on the furthest corner of his property. He says there are similar trees closer to his house but I have my doubts.

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…”

toadily_2017-small.jpg

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…