Thursday, March 22, 2012

two important things

22 months

ada turned 22 months old yesterday, in fact, she's been running around saying "i'll be 2 in may!" and to tell you the truth, i'm pretty excited about it. don't get me wrong, the baby part was cute and all, but man oh man, i am completely and totally relieved that babyhood is over.

i've recenlty come to realize that i really need sleep, a lot of it, to be my creative and best self.  and, as you know, as new parents, you don't get a lot of any sleep.  also, i've come to realize, the other important "thing" that i need to be my best and most creative self is lots and lots of time. alone. let's say i need alone time, and lots of it.  not just hours, but days, preferably in a row, of time alone to "work" in the studio. and by "work", i'm talking about that sort of "i don't feel like i'm doing anything" sort of work.  for example, i could simply be puttering around, playing in my sketchbook or reorganizing my book shelves while flipping though the stacks for inspiration.  so yes, that's the other part of the equation, i need those long stretches of time to just be.

to recap : sleep + time = creative, and best, dare i say happiest, me.

so, even though i said it here and here.  i really mean it this time.

yes, at 22 months there's food all over the floor after dinner, lots of "ada do it"s causing many things to take 10 times as long as they should, such as walking up or down stairs or simply getting her dressed. throw in an unexplainable tantrum now and then and you have our new normal.  but, i'll take all of those things and more, because alongside them comes a sweet little hand to hold as we climb the hill near our house, a funny little voice to listen to as she sings old macdonald for the 17th time in a row, and best of all, it means, you guessed it, i have the oh-so-important combination of things that i need back so that new ideas and creative energy has returned.

for the past 22 months i've oftentimes wondered what was "wrong" with me, why i couldn't just pop out a few paintings in an afternoon's nap time.  in fact, i've been kinda hard on myself, some days the "what do i think i am doing" gremlins (or whatever you want to call those voices in your head) started to creep in, especially on the days when i would just be puttering around the studio. but yesterday, as i was in the studio, i listened to an interview with jonah lehrer, author of the new book Imagine: How Creativity Works.  everything he said really hit home and i found myself nodding along and talking back to the radio. it was exactly what i needed to hear to justify pretty much everything i'd been struggling with. one of the things he talks about in the interview is how the concept of "the best ideas come in the shower" is really true.  in his book, he confirms that big creative ideas come from that "puttering" around stage when you are just relaxing and not trying too hard.  those times of "non-work" are essential for helping to get the big, creative ideas to float up to the surface.  hooray for puttering, napping, daydreaming and even showering!  ha, another thing i just realized new moms don't get to do enough of!  i cannot wait to order this book, devour it, and, to stop feeling guilty about "puttering" around the studio!

other things to catch you up on:

+  we had our first video shoot for my upcoming online workshop!  it was truly invigorating!  i'm truly getting more and more excited about all i have to share with you.  my biggest goal is to make my online workshop feel as much as possible like an in- person workshop rather than an online one.  it's going to be hands-on and small.  it's going to be different. it's my hope that you will feel as if you are in my studio working right along side me.  that's the goal anyway...  it's gonna be good. did i mention i'm excited?

+  one of things we are shooting is a "promo" style video that i'll share with you here starting sometime next month if all goes as planned.  i had the idea to do a promo video after watching this one from joy the baker.  i'd never heard of joy before a couple of weeks ago, (where have i been?!), and she is now my new official "girl crush"(i can't believe i just used that phrase, but i did).  i watched her video and i teared up.  it's so simple and sweet and it makes me what to know more.  heck, it made me want to bake muffins.  (so i did)  i hope that when you see my video for the class, that it will make you want to pull out your sketchbook or paint a picture.  she's been the inspiration for sure. oh, and joy just came out with her first book!  i'm going to order it with the above mentioned book on creativity as soon as our tax returns come back to us.  oh how i love tax season.  (seriously)

+ yes, video shoots and taxes all last week.  no wonder i had no time to blog or fold laundry.

+ one other note: as i'm sure you might have heard, picnik, my absolute favorite way of editing photos, is closing next month.  i was shocked and seriously saddened by this.  it's my go-to site for many things since i'm no photoshop expert.  i did my best not to panic when i found out about its closing, hoping and hoping that something would turn up that might be similar, and this morning, i think i found it.  picmonkey is new to me, but it reminds me SO much of my beloved picnik, so i'm hoping it'll do the trick.  have you used this before?  or does anyone out there use something they love that's easy peasy and NOT photoshop?  please share!

+ speaking of sharing, i have lots more to do, but you know how i need my sleep, so off i go :)

thanks for being here and reading, phew, that was a long one! xo *s


  1. i really enjoyed reading this post! there are SO MANY things here I can relate to. i definitely think my biggest struggle as a parent is never having enough alone time, or enough continuous hours of free time to really delve into doing something creative (without feeling guilty that I'm not doing laundry or yardwork or whatever!)

    and i love joy the baker too! she is so relatable. and the best part? every recipe i make of hers turns out fantastic.

    I got your book recently and I have been really enjoying it. the little ideas and projects are really fun ! i know it will be something I turn to again and again when I need a new inspiration.

  2. Hello Sarah,

    I check in ever so often here since I've become enamored with your beautiful book. I want to find out more about your online workshop, even though I can't possibly fit in yet one more thing! This seems to be my year of soul searching and putting things back in place that have gone all a'kilter, as they DO. But, knowing your class is bound to be a hit, I'm hoping you will offer it again. In the meantime, I will continue to check in, for you are one of my too. Yep, I do admit... I'm a bit smitten :o)
    x, Val

  3. .... one of my girl crushes, is what I was trying to say :o)
    x, Val

  4. I totally get you Sara. My two are now 4 and 6 and really it wasn't too long ago where I started to feel more like "me" again. It is getting easier and easier as they get older and a little more independent. Bittersweet though. I often tell them to please stop growing. :) Your course sounds great. Can't wait to see the video. xo

  5. I can't wait for you online course!!! My youngest daughter is now 10 and I SO get what you is bittersweet....but I LOVE me ME time!!

  6. My oldest is 13, my youngest is 8. It didn't bother me that I was happy they went off to preschool. It didn't bother me that I knew I needed time away from them. But it did bother people around me. Some other mothers sure thought it was strange (not all but some thought it was strange that I would 'admit' to is calmly and clearly, without guilt). But my kids know they are loved and adored and I do plenty of things with them individually and collectively. I just also need some time by myself to keep myself balanced, and unfortunately we all suffer when I don't get it.
    Oh, and there was the sleeping and the showering and the eating a simple quiet meal and getting into and out of the car and just being able to walk out the door without luggage (diaper bag) and....


thanks so much for saying hello! i do my best to reply to comments, please know i read and appreciate each and every one! xo *s