Art Releases the Mind

I have been sitting in silence this morning. Yet my mind races with an obscene amount of questions and ideas of many random things that from what I can tell, have no connection.

What-so-ever.

There has to be a connection somehow.

I received a magazine in the mail the other day and it was addressed to both my husband and I. We looked it over and we made the loop of our nightly walk together after dinner.

“I didn’t order this” I said to him, “I’ve never even seen this magazine before”.

He thumbs through it while juggling the mail and puffing ona cigar, before finally handing it all over to me so he can get a closer look at this magazine. It was from our realtor, from 8 years ago when she sold us our home.

She published a friggin’ magazine.

I was jealous.

No, I was beyond, without a doubt, envious. So unbelievably envious.

And of course, there went my mind spinning out of control over the next couple of days trying to figure out ways to accomplish this.

My mind won’t stop. I hope this is not another one of my crazy ideas that I get overly obsessed with and lose sleep over.

My painting on the weekends is the cause of my mind opening up to all these ideas. I just may be getting my artistic expression back after all of these years.

10 to be exact. 10 years. I thought I would never be creative again. And it just happened. Over one day of picking up a paint brush.

What a blessing in disguise, I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am. I seriously thought I had lost it.

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Living La Vida Fugal

I have been looking for a challenge these past few months, and on the weekends I have been dabbling in watercolor painting. Drawing and painting is one of those hobbies I did frequently, then lost and now I am slowly bringing it back. However, painting is not so much a challenge but a stress reliever.

I really need a challenge. I challenged myself to earn a Masters degree. Done. I challenged myself this past year to an Executive job offered to me, while taking care of my ill, dying father. Done, yet not a challenge I recommend.

Now what?

In the mornings while drinking coffee, I scroll through Pinterest. I usually don’t pay much attention to what I’m looking at, but it helps get me out of my morning grogginess. I came across a pin about how to live frugal.

Ha! Yeah right. I was suckered into clicking it. I still laughed at what I was reading. Make your own laundry detergent it read. THAT’S not going to happen. But some things were interesting. Budgeting for a waste free menu plan, cutting back on certain expenses like lattes. We make our own coffee and have been for years. Cut cable. Already did this over 8 years ago. No T.V. for us. Little did I realize, most of what was recommended, my husband and I were already doing.

So what could I do to cut more? New challenge!

I looked at all of my expenses and thought most of my expense was food and beauty products. Oh Lordy this is going to be a tough challenge.

Step 1, biggest challenge heartbreak, no more wine. I haven’t bought a bottle in almost a month and literally have saved over $60. Ok, it was a tough start but so far so good and that extra $60 is now sitting in investmests.

Step 2, cheaper shampoo. Well, it just so happened I was out of shampoo last week and headed to the store to buy more. Then I stopped myself and thought, well more like pep-talked myself, now Robin, do you really need that $30 shampoo? Thinking of my new self-frugal challenge I stopped off at the Dollar Tree. Go ahead, laugh it up, but as I walked the shampoo aisle, reading ingredients, in fear of my hair falling out, I came across a shampoo my Granny used. So I thought, well, if it was good for her, then so be it. I bought both shampoo and conditioner, $2. Not only was it Paraben free, but it was anti-frizz to help save these crazy locks of mine.

Well guess what? I LOVE this shampoo and conditioner AND it smells good! $28 I saved for the month goes right into my savings.

Now I’m almost obsessed. I haven’t bought make-up foundation. I’m using just powder for now. Savings of $30 but we’ll see how long this one lasts.

I bought a more inexpensive face cream, I felt like crying, and my husband laughed. He said, “You don’t need to spend $300 on face cream”. Sigh. I really don’t. So, I bought a 2 pack of Olay at Costco for $40. A savings of $260. Surprisingly, my face didn’t break out or fall off.

I am onto now the shop from our pantry for food ideas. This is really difficult but I am up for the challenge. Menu planning is not my gig but I will keep you posted!

Until next time…

Guilt No More

Why does the guilt eat me alive when the weekend is almost over and I was not productive? I did paint, but anything else? Nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

I have been truly exhausted. So exhausted I feel ill. Last night I laid down at 7 pm. I woke up at 4:30 am. So strange for me to sleep that long.

I guess I needed it.

And here I am facing Monday thinking of all the things I could have accomplished.

Pull weeds.

Clean the garage.

Clean out drawers.

My house was already clean because I cleaned it Thursday and finished all of the laundry as well, just so I wouldn’t be stuck doing it over the weekend. So why the guilt?

I have to remind myself to listen to my body.

But it is so, dang hard.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I know it has been awhile since I’ve written anything. Busy at work with the end of year and entering the new budget, I am trying to get caught up on new policies, contracts, and updates. Before I know it, the Adult Learning Program will have their fall classes ready to publish and the phones will be non-stop. I ordered new phones for the staff as we head into this new fiscal year of changes. And I admit, am WAY to excited to receive them in the mail!

I haven’t been sleeping as I am consumed with work and family concerns. Diving into both my art and the backyard, I have found my connection again.

Once lost, I realize my art completely relaxes me. Also, on the note of relaxation, we have a new volunteer in the office, a masseuse, who comes a couple times a month with her equipment to provide the staff with massages. Oh…..my……gosh. Much needed after 50 hour work weeks.

Anyway, I am taking all of my free time AND what little energy I have and thrusting it into my art. Since my preference is chalk pastels, it is too difficult to clean up a dusty mess in our home and my hubby says, “nope, not in the house” so I have been dappling in watercolor as you all may have seen.

Image by Robin Moreau

We have so many fawns around our work and this is the first attempt of watercolor, I have painted of any animal. Poor thing.

Loving baby animals, I have been painting all sorts of creatures. Some turn out okay, while others? Well….

Image by Robin Moreau
Image by Robin Moreau

Like I said, some are “eh” but I am not complaining because they are what they are.

Image by Robin Moreau

What I can say, is I am not sure how much longer I will keep this blog. It is not that I don’t enjoy writing, but honestly, I don’t enjoy writing as much as I thought I would. I love, love, LOVE painting and my newest, gardening. I think I will stick with that. My subscription is up here at the end of August. I started my blog for a couple different reasons.

The first was to grieve my father. He will be gone one full year August 8th, 2019. And I just cannot believe it has been a year. The second reason was my bucket list. I wanted a blog, to try it. And I did. So now what? My father is gone and I have tried the blog. Moving on? I simply do…not…know.

However, I do have a few weeks to write and this will give me the opportunity to re-hash my thoughts.

Until then…..

Art and Tears

I’ve been doing it a lot, you know. Thinking about my dad. I am burying myself in my art, practicing in watercolor rather than pastel.

My dad would have enjoyed my mini paintings. He loved to sketch, to build, to paint. Oh how I miss him.

August 8th will be the one year anniversary of his death. I can feel it. I haven’t felt well for a couple of weeks now. I have been nauseated, anxious. Could it be this? Or something else?

I had a panic attack early the other morning at work. My folder for Tuesday morning of things to do was thick and I cried. What the heck is going in? Stupidity. This is not me, I love the busy work.

Lately I feel as though I am being swallowed whole. I can’t explain it, nor can I figure it out. I’ve given up trying. I have dove into my art, exploring new possibilities, new media.

I miss working in pastels but my gosh, talk about messy. My husband would have a fit. So I am resorting to watercolor. It is easy to clean up and there is no dust for the dogs to walk through and track throughout the house.

But the truth? I love this! Look at these beautiful colors.

Image by Robin Moreau

I have started my Christmas cards.

Here is a sneak peek:

Image by Robin Moreau

They are all different. Sigh. I hope to get through the next month.

I know dad would not want me to worry. I can see him shaking his head.

Miss you dad, love you ❤

Little Bit of Heaven

We finally finished our patio. Now I move on to other parts of the yard and continue creating our haven. My next focus is the frog pond. I have not given up on the goth garden, I just simply have taken a pause.

Image by Robin Moreau

If I could get away with providing steroids to my conifers, to assist them is growth spurts, I would do it. I love the idea of having a lush backyard, a sanctuary. Another five years and it will be fairly close.

This is a work in progress and we are pleased with the results. I am glad we didn’t opt for just lawn as I would find it a typical, boring yard without depth or character. Plus it is high maintenance when considering having to mow weekly.

I don’t have much of a green thumb, but lately, I find myself meticulously tending to my plants, including the occasional compliment in telling them how beautiful they are. I find the heavier landscaping, moving rock, pruning and pulling weeds is a methodical way of relaxing and relieving stress.

Who would have thought?