Well it's August. Can you believe it's August? I feel like summer is just crawling by but I know in the blink of an eye my daughter McKenzie will be back at college and the house will be quiet again. My pre-pandemic routine, my daily morning ritual seems to have completely disappeared and I'm kind of...unmoored these days. Working from home I've always been pretty disciplined and kept to a set schedule but nowdays, sigh.......
So this morning I decided to get up early again. It's cool and quiet and the rabbits are hanging out on the yard, frustrating the dogs. Instead of heeding the call of the news headlines, I just sit on the porch with my coffee and my journal. If you've visited me on Instagram you know I'm trying to cut ties with my phone and just sitting here in the early morning stillness, I feel the pull of my phone to just...scroll. I want to be distracted instead of being alone with my thoughts. As someone who tries to be mindful, the pandemic has caused the reverse- I don't want to be mindful. I want to be distracted. I want the days to go by as fast as they can until this is OVER. But I know my phone is an easy fix which does nothing to ease my gently percolating anxiety, my worries, my stress. I thought about titling this post Why I Journal, because journaling in tandem with keeping a sketchbook is the best way I've found to, well, LIVE as a complex human being. (Developing a gratitude practice and creating The Unfolding, journal pages to explore midlife, absolutely changed my life.)
An extension of my journaling is blogging I think. Blogging for me is a way of being mindful. Just taking photos of the house and the garden causes me to pause and notice. Sharing what I'm cooking and reading is a way of celebrating the ordinariness and the extraordinariness of this particular time. I don't know what I have planned for this blog, I guess I envision a way to connect with you in a deeper way than on social media. I plan on writing more about my background and how I got started, the history of my business, sketchbook practices, creative gardening ideas. If there are any other topics you'd like me to write about please let me know in the comments.
After weeks of being stuck in cobwebs I'm painting again. I'm wrapping up 20 new card designs which will be available soon. I was really trying to think of cards that are attuned to the current climate- pandemic and just the state of the world right now- the need for hope, persistence, endurance and strength. I know the general rule for card making is to have a distinct occasion for why someone would send the card (birthday, thank you, wedding) but most of these new cards are designed to be sent to someone who just needs an injection of hope, a reminder that good things are on the horizon, that even though we're struggling, WE CAN DO THIS. I'm also sketching out some new print ideas that I'm super excited about, like another alphabet print as a companion to my first ABCs of Life print and also maybe a zodiac series. I also have been tossing around the idea of doing an oracle card set, maybe something nature related? I'm super excited about all of this and will be sharing more soon.
Let's see, what have I been doing in the kitchen. I made these pickled carrots, ones we've been making for over a decade. And I made zucchini bread. And I even made pizza. This pizza is amazing. If you have cherry tomatoes in your garden, you MUST make this. My friend Marcy is giving me baking lessons and I will be chronicling my adventures here. I feel like I'm a pretty good cook but baking is a struggle for me. I am so excited to overcome for fear of yeast!
What are you reading? I just finished The Grave's a Fine and Private Place and am about to start the latest installment. I love this series and the endearing relationship between the protagonist, 12 year old Flavia de Luce and Dogger, the family caretaker/driver/gardener. Do you have a favorite murder mystery series? I'm looking for something that will completely engulf me and keep me distracted until election season is over!
Lastly I just want to say THANK YOU so much for your orders these days. Every single one is appreciated. Bert and I read your comments and the reviews/feedback you leave on my etsy shop and my website and they just make us so happy. Thank you so much.