NaBloPoMo: Water

Nov 03

While I prioritize my health (physical and mental) when making decisions and strive to cultivate habits that support my health, there has been one area that eluded me: I never drink enough water. Neal guzzles it down, but I’ve never managed to get my daily dose in me.

Here’s how that has (mostly) changed. First, I joined the Whole Life Challenge, and one of the ways to earn points is through hydration. I like earning points, so I put in some effort. The other change was to purchase a cuppow lid and metal straws. Now I take my festively dressed mason jar with me everywhere and sip all those OZs my body needs.

Am I perfect about this every day? Not at all, but considering how little water I drank about eight weeks ago, I’m pleased with my progress. What little changes with a big impact have you made lately?

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NaBloPoMo: Yoga

Nov 02

Earlier today I did my 676th consecutive yoga practice. Way back at the end of 2015, I decided to get back into having a home practice as I had in the late 90s, early 2000s. At first, when I didn’t want to get on the mat, I’d say to myself, “today’s not the day I’m going to break my streak.” It worked, I guess. Now it’s pretty rare for me to drag myself to the mat; it’s usually a part of my daily routine I anticipate.

Not every practice is a long one. On days when I’m really crunched, I may do a 20 minute practice and remind myself that it is the habit of getting on the mat that matters to me. If I can get on the mat, no matter the amount of time, I will feel better.

I can’t imagine anyone interested in yoga hasn’t heard of Yoga with Adriene or the Find What Feels Good kula…but just in case you haven’t, go on and take a look. Adriene does an excellent job guiding with her voice so you don’t feel glued to the videos, and her explanations of poses are super.

Let me know what long-time practices you have going on!

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NaBloPoMo: Slow Stitching

Nov 01

I don’t know where I first saw Katrina Rodabaugh’s work, but I knew I wanted to take a workshop with her as soon as I saw her beautiful visible mending.

Last Sunday I woke early and wended my way to one of my favorite river towns, Hudson, to one of my favorite maker spaces, Drop Forge and Tool, where, at long last, I was able to stitch under Katrina’s tutelage.

The workshop began with an overview of resources, basic stitching lessons, and the loose instructions to stitch a tea quilt. Didn’t the class make some cool ones? Mine is the lower left corner one.

After a lunch break, we got into the nitty gritty of mending, and discussions about the slow fashion movement. I left the workshop feeling so inspired and excited, and super pleased with the mending I did and the new skills I acquired. If you have a chance to take a workshop with Katrina, don’t even hesitate!

P.S. I’m sure you can imagine all the things a person might say after neglecting her website since late January, so I’ll spare you my actually saying them.

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100 Day Project: Postcards for All (or at least 100)!

Jan 22

Last Friday I avoided most social media, spending the day on self care and allowing myself to indulge in my sorrow at the end of the Obama Administration.

I did, though, manage to read about the 100 Day Project that started on January 21: Where Dreams and Darkness Meet. I knew in an instant that I wanted to participate, and I knew just as fast what I wanted to do:

Postcard Project Redux! My plan: every day for 100 days I will make a postcard and send it out into the world. Would you like one? Sign up here. I promise not to share your info! (And if you really love getting postcards, be sure to check out my friend Cara aka January One’s upcoming postcard project!)

With news of the new president’s desire to defund the arts and humanities (which Snopes reports as making up .006 of 2016’s federal spending–way to “make America great”), I want to send my own bits of art into the world. I’m pretty sure my focus will be on creating images to marry with facts (regular ol’ facts, not alternative facts) related to the many ways in which this administration has promised to isolate, ravage, and dumb down my country while at the same time taking away basic rights from so many groups.

Am I angry? You bet. But I’m using my anger to enact what Ghandi advised:

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

I attended the Sister Rally of the Women’s March on Washington in Hartford, CT, and I left it feeling even more motivated to continue the work I’ve been doing since the election (phone calls, letters, and emails to elected officials, sharing action information, teaching students how to write phone scripts and emails to their elected officials, etc.) and to aim to do even more. This project is one little doing even more.

I hope you’ll sign up and let me share a little bit of where dreams and darkness meet for me!

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Year of Creative Habits 2017: The Curious Cartographer

Jan 06

topographical-iceIt took a while for me to settle on this year’s creative habit. I first leaned towards a doll project. As a pushback against post-election ugliness, I wanted to do something that reminded me of childhood, something with an element of pretty, of sweet.

But, in the way of creative projects, signs revealed to me what I would do instead. Signs like ice at the edge of the beaver pond that Oskar and I cross almost daily. Ice that looks a bit like a topographical map.

If maps are on your mind. And guess what? They’ve been on my mind. Maps as a way of telling stories, maps as a way to remember, maps as family history and myth.

And so I am excited to embark on my 2017 Year of Creative Habits project: The Curious Cartographer*.

Here’s the goal: each week I’ll research and produce a map that tells a story from my life, my family history, world events, my imagination. To ensure my success, I’ve set up a weekly system, starting on Saturdays:

Day 1: Decide what story to map and decide on a map style.

Day 2: Determine any landmarks to be included and gather reference pictures. Make reference map if mapping actual places.

Day 3: Sketch landmarks.

Day 4: Draw map; add color.

Day 5: Add landmarks and any additional color

Day 6: Ink and letter.

What about day 7? I’m leaving myself a little wiggle room in case any of the drawing, inking, or lettering takes longer than I expect. My goal is to produce 52 maps this year, and I’m sure this system will change and be refined.

Want to see my first map?

map1

You can follow my progress on Instagram–I’ll post every day using #curiouscartographer2017. And you can check out other Year of Creative Habits projects here.

Tell me about your creative projects for 2017, willya?

 

 

 

 

*Not drawn to scale.

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