Coming Up Roses

The beautiful roses of Colorado inspired me so. I kept returning to my photos again and again to see the vibrant colors and near perfect shapes. And then they inspired to play with their colors, lighting, shading, highlights - all the little things you can do with photo editing. I was lost for hours in the intricacies of those flowers - time splendidly spent.

Line Drawing as Soothing Meditation

I am pretty into trying new ways to be creative, no matter how good or bad I am at it. Awhile back I shared my adventures with calligraphy, and I have gotten really into making my own greeting cards to send to my favorite people. One of my favorite methods I've tried are Peggy Dean's line drawing illustration classes on Brit + Co. She really emphasizes "embracing imperfections" - wonderful for a recovering perfectionist like myself.

I took her floral illustration class last year - inspiration for my greeting card exploits and I just tried her home illustration line drawing course. How she teaches drawing and illustration makes so much sense to me and I find it so satisfying making the shapes and watching it come together. She also incorporates watercolors into this one and its got me learning a whole new skill. Above is a bit of practice using an old snap I took at Grand Pacific Junction in Olmsted Falls, Ohio (one of my favorite places at home). Also included the project from floral illustration and a little card sample I made for my grandmother.

Already plotting out new illustrations using my photos of florals and buildings. Now to get a bit better at the watercolor part...

Daydreaming...

On Saturday we drove around what felt like the entire Florida Space Coast. You see, we are trying to decide where we might want to buy a house - on the main land, on one of the islands, near the beach, near the park, and so on and so forth. No conclusions drawn, we headed to Rockledge Gardens to pretend that we already owned said house and were just picking out the right garden array to compliment our non-existent yard. If there is one thing I am truly good at, it's daydreaming. I thought I'd share a small sampling of my future landscape artistry.

Stepping Outside the Ol' Comfort Zone

PROOF!!

PROOF!!

I did something I never do, have never done. I actually signed up to go to a meet up in my new town and then actually went to said meet up and even interacted with other people. I am not a joiner typically. In fact, I dread such things. But I told myself I would put myself out there, give this place a chance, try to meet people, experiment, and, yes, maybe even  join things.

So when an instagram message popped up for a local meet up of like-minded, empowered women I knew that was my cue. I sat and talked with women I never met before, learned about them, and all the amazing things women are doing in my area. It reminded me of women's studies classes in college where we gathered in "consciousness-raising groups" reminiscent of the second wave of feminism. That, and the amazing work on vulnerability from author and social work professor Brenee Brown.

The meet up was "Unwrap the Best You", started by a local woman, who wanted to not only survive but enjoy life after receiving a chronic illness diagnosis. She sought to and succeeded in bringing together a community of women with the same goals. Last night's meet up centered on an exploration and discussion of core values and how they push us forward to achieve richer, fuller lives. I must say, it was pretty great and I loved hearing all the new insights and perspectives these women had to share. 

Side note, I wasn't nearly as nervous and shy as I'd thought I'd be and actually learned something and enjoyed myself! I may even go back for the next one later this summer!

Dorothy Parker is Delightful

IMG_7611.jpg

I found out about, "The Portable Dorothy Parker," from some such list that every woman should read by some such age, I think. Anyway, it was one of those lists, either from Buzzfeed or Book Riot - obviously I cannot recall. It has been sitting on my Amazon Wish List for some time because it's one of those I couldn't get on Kindle and wasn't quite ready to make the leap and purchase the paperback because I was moving, and Lord knows, I already had enough books to pack and move.

So, when I got to Florida, one of the first things I did was get my library card because I like to borrow Overdrive books for my Kindle (if you don't know about Overdrive, look it up, it's amazing). And then, stupidly, I thought, "Hey, all those real books you have on your Wish List at Amazon may actually exist in physical form at the library." I was tickled to find so many books I have been putting off for later. There is nothing quite like walking out of a public library with a stack of thick, musty books...brings back so many memories.

I just started digging into, "The Portable Dorothy Parker", a collection of her short stories, essays, etc. and I am loving it. She is freaking hilarious. From what I gathered from the Introduction, she was quite the independent spirit in her day and, well, I think I love her.

Back to reading...

The Sun Feels So Damn Good

I am no sun worshipper. But. Today was the perfect temperature - 85 degrees, full sun, nice breeze. I had finished my work for the day, and I could do more of course, or...or...I could finally test out that fancy pool at my new apartment. The conditions were right, the stars and sun aligned if you will, and my goodness...it felt fantastic. It has been far too long since I have enjoyed the full warmth of the sun. Did I feel lazy? A little. Indulgent? Yeah. But now that it's done and my pores have soaked up that sweet, sweet Vitamin D...I have no regrets.

At-Home Tourist

The Florida Space Coast is proving surprisingly beautiful and fascinating to me. Before agreeing to give this place a chance, I had a few misconceptions about Florida and I am thrilled each time I am proven wrong. And so I keep exploring and learning more about this new place I am working to call home.