2015 Goals

Happy Friday!

Let's go over my 2015 goals, shall we?  This might be a post that evolves over the course of the day, but for now, let's recap what I said back in April 2014.

-In the next 3 months (Now-June)

  1. Begin packing (April)

  2. Extend lease to end of June (April)

  3. Locate storage space (June)

  4. Take the family cruise to Alaska and RELAX (May)

  5. Move back to my parents’ house (June)

  6. Continue working on felted animals and knitting projects

-In the next 6 months (Now-September)

  1. Continue working temp/contract jobs

  2. Continue searching for job in San Diego

  3. Search for housing in San Diego

  4. Take a trip to San Diego to physically be there while I search (July or August?)

  5. Move………………..?

-In the next 2 years (Now-2016)

  1. Living and working in San Diego

  2. Continue with felted animals and begin selling them

  3. Teach knitting classes

  4. Design knitting patterns to sell

  5. Go to the beach at least once a week (Sunday mornings?)

  6. Visit home 4-5 times a year (especially for Easter and Christmas)

  7. Travel (because the boyfriend probably wouldn’t let me get away with not traveling, but also because I’d like to see a little more of the world)

And now?

-In the next 3 months (Now-March)

  1. Find an apartment/house
  2. Move
  3. Continue working day job
  4. Sample knitting (more on that later)
  5. Design knitting patterns
  6. (Hopefully) Get started on art
  7. Make Sunday ME Days (Going to the beach, relaxing)

-In the next 6 months (Now-June)

  1. Continue working day job
  2. Continue working on art
  3. Continue sample knitting (?)
  4. Continue designing knitting patterns
  5. Family trip (June)

-In the next 2 years (Now-2017)

  1. Quit my day job
  2. Become a full time artist (maybe with a part time job)
  3. Travel?

It's a rough outline for now.  Hopefully as I continue living and working in San Diego (AHH! I can't believe I did it!) things will become more clear.

What kind of goals have you made for 2015?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  See you on Monday!

Knitting to Relieve My Stress and Worries

When I sat down to write this post, I wasn't sure what to blog about.  There's only so many times I can rant about wanting my studio, wanting a job in San Diego, and wanting to make art.  I have the ability to make art, just not the art that I want to.  I guess I better take what I can, though. So, while I'm here feeling stressed and struggling, I thought that I better knit.  There have been so many articles this past year about the benefits of knitting.  This one here is one of my favorite articles regarding the subject.  After a few rows, I'm feeling much more calm...though hungry.  I've been craving muffins this week.  No clue why.  IMG_6373

I'd like to start bringing a sketch book to work so I can think of designs I can print when I do have a space to screen print again.  I feel like that, or making any kind of art, would also be beneficial to one's health in a similar way that knitting is.

Anyway, I hope you all have a Happy Friday and a good weekend.  Until Monday...

Word of Mouth

This idea came to me this evening as I was thinking about this past week.  As you know, I do a fair amount of social media-ing, just talking about stuff I'm making and trying to promote myself.  However, in the past week I've had two instances of actually being able to TALK to people about what I do and what I'm working on.  It's an interesting concept to me because a majority of my time is spent alone working on things.  I do post regularly about what I'm working on, but I don't know how much of this is seen.  Obviously, if you're reading this, you know about me, and you've seen some of the pieces I've made and am working on (or I hope you have).  But when I was able to talk directly to someone about it, I became a little more excited, and I wanted to work more on things.  I want to be able to show the world that I have these talents, and I want to be able to give that beauty or awe or whathaveyou to someone.  I wish I could produce something to sell for people to take home with them, but also a story to take with them. I'd probably never sell the things I made during undergrad.  But the things I'm working on now?  I'd love to be able to sell the felted taxidermy.  I'd love to design some knitted thing and sell the pattern to people.  I think I just get so caught up and lost in the process of trying to put myself out there, that I forget that I actually need to be working on my own designs, not just making the things people have already designed.  I have a few books lying around regarding this, and I really do need to pick them up and use them.  Obviously I'm good at MAKING things.  I just need to learn how to DESIGN things for other people to make and enjoy.

I think this just adds to my list of goals of things to do and learn and create.  Hopefully in the coming week I can do something with that.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday weekend, no matter what you celebrate.

Roller Coaster

It's been a roller coaster of a day.  I woke up this morning hoping for new opportunities, and I got them, but it wasn't of the nature I was hoping.  But, it's a stepping stone, and that's what I must keep telling myself.  Even though I wanted my end goal yesterday, I have to keep working through the roadblocks and blessings in disguise before I can get there. I did briefly go to the Tempe Art Festival to visit David Lozeau's booth today.  The boyfriend did some modeling for him for one of his paintings, and last weekend in Tucson and this weekend in Tempe were the first times it was being displayed (from my understanding).  It looks fantastic.  I spoke with David and Erica for a while about art and San Diego and reenactments and jobs and whatnot.  They really brightened my day after feeling disappointed this morning.

Tonight is for goal writing.  I might make a special post this weekend, or it might show up during the next week.  The goal for my goals (ha!) is Wednesday.  Until then...

Converting the Roommate to Knitting

Happy Friday everyone! The knitting addiction is back.  Over the past couple of months, I've felt rather uninspired with my knitting and yarn in general.  A scandal for me, if I might say.  However, last spring I taught my roommate, Damian, how to knit.  He was gone all summer, and since coming back to school, he's been busy.  But the other night, he picked up the piece he was learning to knit on and took off with it.  He has caught the knitting bug!  He took his little sample piece to class with him all day yesterday and made such progress.

Last night I was able to discuss with him the differences of garter and stockinette stitches, yarn gauge and needle sizes, and all those other knitting knowledge essentials.  And then I put him on Ravelry so that he might see all the things that he could possibly make with two sticks and some string.  Damian's eyes were opened to all the new possibilities.  So exciting!

I got called in to work today, so I'm off to go do that for three hours, and then Den and I are going to Canal Convergence in Scottsdale.  I believe it goes on until 4pm on Sunday, November 10, so if you're in the area, come check it out!  Lots of art stuffs.  I'm sure I'll write something on it next week.  Until then, have a good weekend!

What are you proud of this week? And other news.

Hey!  I made it to Friday!  And you did, too!  What did you accomplish this week?  I kept on schedule with the blog this week, so that's something to be proud of.  Other things that happened this week that I feel proud of are that I joined a gym and had my first workout last night.  While I was expecting to feel super sore today, because, let's face it, Megan doesn't work out...she just sits there and knits, I don't feel that sore.  I feel little twinges in certain muscles, but nothing that is confining me to one spot.  So yeah!  That happened!  On my way to being in better shape! I also started a baby hat I promised someone months ago (way before the baby was born).  As soon as I finish it, it'll be ready to wear.

This cold (or whatever it is) I've been battling has still not gone away.  I feel like I'm getting better, and then my nose gets stuffy all over again.  I'm wondering if it's more allergy based because they have been doing a lot of reseeding around my apartment complex.  I also had three teeth fixed on Wednesday morning.  Stupid cavities....two more to go in a few weeks.  Meh.

The boyfriend has been sending me lots of job postings.  He even found one in San Diego for me last night and urged for me to apply.  And I really want to...but I think part of me is scared, due to the fact that everything in my life is here now, and not so much over there anymore.  That isn't to say that I don't still want to end up in San Diego.  I think what is mostly holding me back is that my lease here at my apartment doesn't end until April (then where I'm going to live after that, I have no clue).  That, I'm a horrible packer when it comes to moving and I just have TOO MUCH STUFF.  Step one would be for me to start getting rid of a lot of stuff...but I have no clue where to begin at the moment.  I'm not sure I can afford San Diego right now either.  It's all very scary to me and I need to talk to people about it, mostly my parents.  I still feel like I'm tied down to them when it comes to anything job or living situation related.  I take their opinion very seriously, but I know I need to really branch out on my own and make my own decisions.  Sometimes it's just difficult because I know if I don't have their support, I'll feel even more lost.

Anyway, hopefully I can get something done today in regard to cleaning my room and organizing stuff...and possibly making a pile of things to get rid of.  I know I'll feel so much better and uncluttered if I do that.  And then maybe I can start thinking about more job opportunities.

Have a good weekend!

Northern Arizona Adventures

Trying to stay on schedule when I've become so active in doing things has been somewhat difficult, if you haven't been able to tell.  Don't get me wrong, I love going out and doing things now, but at the same time, I want to be making art and have my time for that.  Maybe it's time for a new schedule?  We'll see. Tuesday was spent running errands with the boyfriend.  We stopped at Home Depot so I could get some ideas for a possible future studio situation.  The most I'm worried about at this point is having a space to wash screens out.  At ASU the studio sink was this large sink with a shower curtain and a hose with a pressure nozzle.  I need something I'm not worried about staining.  Obviously in an apartment or even a rental home that's kind of impossible.  We spotted a couple of laundry sink setups that might work for a future space.  It's odd to think about because I never thought I'd be anywhere near close to be thinking about a possible space.  I don't want to jinx it, so that's all I'll say.

We also went to Hobby Lobby because I needed some yarn for a gift project.  We ended up staying for over an hour looking around at stuff.  There's a couple of sewing patterns that caught my eye.  I need to organize my patterns before I get any more though.  Just like my fabric and my yarn.  All that stuff needs to be organized and put into boxes instead of having it all over the place.  That might be my project for today while I'm waiting for tonight's events.

Wednesday we planned to go to Sedona.  What I thought was a day trip, turned into a two day trip with a visit to Flagstaff as well.  Lots of looking at stuff and walking around on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as visiting friends.

And now I'm back home, thinking about organizing things so my art stuff isn't ALL over the place...but of course it will always be all over the place.  Fridays are always a little hard for me because I have work all weekend...and then it's Monday again.  ...oh well.

Until then...have a good weekend!

Progress and Updates Week of September 1

I'm off a couple days again with two reasons.  Wednesday was my uncle's birthday, so I was distracted from posting due to celebrations.  But, also, I got a phone call from my boyfriend's mom wondering if I had heard from him recently because there had been a workplace accident on the ship.  The ship's Facebook page named no names, so we were both in the dark about what happened and who was involved.  All we knew was that two of the three people involved were now in a hospital ashore. Lo' and behold, Dylan was involved.  That was no surprise to me.  His mom called me back a couple hours later saying that she had talked to him and he was in the hospital with a concussion, broken hand and bruised ribs.  While I was worried, I knew he was alright, and that's all that mattered to me.  I was able to talk to him a little early yesterday morning and he gave me a brief rundown of what happened before he went to rest more.

SO!  What have I been working on?  I did start the embroidery finally...but my thumb split this past weekend, so it was difficult to continue on that.  I'm almost done with Amanda's cowl (I hate kitchener stitch on laceweight yarn, let me just say).  I gave my sister her shawl and she loves it.  I took pictures of her in it Wednesday to post on Ravelry.

I've also started sewing my Halloween costume.  I'm going to be Chell from Portal and Portal 2.  I'm super excited to be making my Halloween costume again.  I used to do it every year as a teenager, but since college, I haven't had the time to put anything together.  I already have one of the tank tops, and socks that resemble long-fall boots.  I need a blue tank top, ballet flats (so I can walk around outside) and I need to get fabric paint for the back logo, as well as some white fabric for accents.  I got the fabric on Tuesday, and cut it out and started sewing it yesterday.  I have the pants portion done, though I think I need to add knee patches and another pocket to make it more screen accurate.  Which leads me to my next thought.

I'm working First Friday tonight at the museum.  It really puts a damper on my weekend creativity, because all I want to do is sew this weekend, but I can't today because I have to leave the house early enough so that I don't run into traffic on my way to work.  There's just lull in my creative process that is my job.  This is why I miss The Grove so much.  There, I was able to sit down and knit while I was working (of course I wasn't being paid) if it was slow.  And even if someone needed help, I was able to jump up, help and then go back to my knitting.  Those were better times.

I think today, I'll finish up Amanda's cowl, and start on her next project.  It's something easy I can put down when it's time for me to go to work tonight.

Again, I apologize I've missed posting on Wednesday and Thursday this week.  Next week should be better.  I'll try to post pictures of my costume progress, too!  Have a good weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

Dragonflies

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(via Milind Shah)

I consider dragonflies to be some sort of personal spirit animal.  They're extremely symbolic to me.  My day can be going downhill in the worst way, I'll spot a dragonfly, and things get better almost instantly.  Or it's a personal reminder that everything is going to be okay.  I'm not sure why that is exactly, but it happens.  This week alone I've seen at least two or three dragonflies each day.  Sure, maybe it's because of all the humid weather Arizona has had this week.  But I always like to believe that someone somewhere knows I've been needing them as a sign that no matter how down I get, everything will be okay.

I think the first time I noticed this phenomenon happen was on a day my ex was leaving to go back home.  We maintained a long distance relationship and he had been visiting for a few days.  I was crying as he left and driving back to my apartment.  And then a dragonfly flew by and I felt better.  I felt that everything was going to be okay.

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The first time I incorporated a dragonfly into my art was during a watercolor class.  We were supposed to be doing a sort of self portrait with objects.  I had a dragonfly finger puppet that I've had since I was little and used that as one of the objects.  That was the first critique I ever cried in (come on, admit you've cried during a critique or a class at one point or another at least once) because I realized the absolute significance of dragonflies to me personally.

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I've since used dragonflies in other projects and all my friends and peers know what they mean.  Everything is going to be okay.

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Saturday Morning Ramblings

Alright, I was bad again.  I missed Friday, but I still consider it okay, because I'm posting now as I have some time before I go to work this morning. It doesn't help that I have a cat sitting on my chest while I try to write.

I had a thought as I was sitting outside enjoying my cup of coffee.  Alright, it wasn't really enjoying because I've ran out of both milk and creamer.  I spent one Lent giving up creamer, but I still need it in my coffee in the morning.  So it was more like swallowing the bitter caffeine that fuels me each day, both then and now.  But I love coffee nonetheless, and it is always part of my morning routine.

Anyway, back to my thought.  It was cooler this morning.  Arizona summers don't seem to cool off until September or October...but this morning, it was overcast with the threat of rain and a cool breeze was blowing through.  At 82 degrees fahrenheit, it was lovely (as compared to the normal 100+ degrees that it usually is all summer).  It made me think about if I'd someday soon get to enjoy my coffee in California every morning, feeling that same breeze coming off the ocean and cooling down my coffee so that it was just the right temperature to drink.  It made me think about the future there versus a future here.  Will I be a Art Studio Assistant at the Children's Museum next year around this time?  Will I have a normal job?  Will I have my dream job?  Who will I be with?  Will I finally be in California for good?

This week was a little odd for me.  I'm trying to adjust my routine, but accommodate the changes.  For one, my roommate is back and school has started for him and my other friends still at ASU.  I said goodbye to my roommate Thursday morning as he went off to his classes, standing in the kitchen with my cup of coffee, and wished him luck.  I made this comment to my boyfriend, "You're off meeting Swedish royalty, everyone else is at classes this morning, and I'm sitting here with my cup of coffee, watching my cat chase her tail."

Stella

Granted, I can't complain.  I'm rather glad I've graduated and I don't have to think about classes or school or homework or assignments.  But at the same time, it gave me some normalcy in my life; a schedule.  But I hope now that my friends still in school are thinking about projects, that maybe it'll motivate me to work on my own.

Anyway, I'm off to work in a little while.  I like the days I get to come in at 9:30 instead of 8:30...but today is the last day in a while I'll get to be scheduled at 9:30.  I guess I should be thankful that they trusted me so quickly to become a Lead Art Studio Assistant, but I still feel like I don't know enough to qualify.  Oh well.  I learn as I go, and I ask questions, so I think I manage.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  See you Monday!

Casual Friday: What I'm Reading

Happy Friday! So, for this first Casual Friday (I won't be announcing what day it is that I'm writing for after this week...this is just to get this all kickstarted), I wanted to tell you about a couple of books I've been reading lately.  The first one is called Creative Thursday by Marisa Anne.

Creative Thursday

Marisa has written this book to artists seeking a little inspiration in their daily lives and a little push to get started creating every day.  One thing that I absolutely love is that she encourages you, the reader and/or artist, to just pick one day to be creative.  In her case, it was Thursdays and then evolved into every day.  She adds in a lot of tips and questions for you to ask yourself and to encourage you to discover your creativity and make it a habit.  I'm not quite finished with the book, but it's such an enjoyable read, even if it's just a chapter or two a day.

My favorite part of the book so far is Chapter Three: Finding Inspiration.  Marisa gives examples of different ways to find inspiration in your daily life or your favorite things to do on a daily basis.  Another part that I've obviously taken to heart is creating habits.  For instance, I've taken this week to try and form the habit of blogging once a day Monday through Friday, even if it's just a little blurb on the days that I do get to write to you all.  So far, so good! (Wish me luck I can continue this!)

This book is filled with Marisa's lovely and adorable paintings as well as her photography.  Honestly, the book is almost more of a picture book because of the use of large images on the pages.  But that also makes it go faster when reading and doesn't discourage the reader with too much information on one page.

I really recommend that you check this book out because it's such a neat and quick read.

You can find more about Marisa and her book at her website!

The other book that I've been reading is called The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee.

Right Brain Business Plan

In this book, Jennifer has very successfully written about how creatives can create a fun and inspiring business plan without getting too bogged down with all the confusing and frustrating left brain stuff.  I'm not too far into this book, but I can already tell that it's going to help me a lot.  Jennifer has added lots of exercises for you, the reader, to do as you're reading the book.  Some require more time than others, such as making Big-Vision Collages (p. 38), but some can be done as you're reading along, such as visualizing your creative space or business (p. 37).  That exercise really took me back to when I was in my Marketing for Artists class at ASU when we were asked to visualize our studio workspace and what would be included in it.  My vision of my studio after doing Jennifer's Big-Vision Visualization was very similar in my mind to the one I had thought of about a year ago, but with some changes here and there.  I plan to continue working through the book with the goal in mind to hopefully get my small art business kickstarted at the end of it!

I also recommend this book because it's such a friendly, easy, and creative way to think about business plans without getting too wrapped up in all the confusing stuff.

You can find more about Jennifer and The Right-Brain Business Plan here!

That's all I have for you today.  I hope that you have a wonderful Friday and weekend and I'll see you all next week!

What have you been reading this week?