GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life


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Making things simple

Yesterday morning as I got ready for work, I decided to not wear makeup because I was planning a cycling workout in the evening. I didn’t want to have to remove my makeup before I showered after the workout, knowing it would be intense & I’d sweat more than I would during a casual indoor ride.

That leads me to think of how can I simplify my routine so I have more time to do things like write, paint, sketch, and practice Spanish on Duolingo. A full face of makeup daily is a place to start. Today I’m wearing a moisturizer with some foundation powder and tinted lip balm. Simple. No mascara, no eye shadow, no eyebrow gel. It will be a quick wash when I go to bed and I won’t have to scour my eyes to make sure there’s no residual mascara to make my eyes darker than they already are.

Next, I thought about my wardrobe. How can I simplify it? I’m due to go clothes shopping soon (the last time I bought jeans was online at the start of covid in 2020 when many retailers shut down to in-person shopping) I thought about switching jeans for leggings but no. I like demin, and I want to experiment on altering pockets to make them larger. So sticking with jeans, and my favorite year-around booties (BOC Sabelle lace-ups) so maybe simple t-shirts and sweaters for layering, maybe some scarves. Mix and Match, but have a few ‘extra’ things for going out (those would be full makeup days as well).

How can I make art regularly a simple practice? Last night, after my workout & shower, I needed to get my Steal Like an Artist Journal 30-day challenge completed. I have a bunch of 5×7 (ish – maybe more like 4×6) cards that I’m going to create something on every day. I really didn’t want to sit in the dining room /studio so I grabbed a few cards and a travel art kit I created to carry with me to work, plopped in front of the TV to watch (listen) to Big Bang Theory reruns while I created a face with watercolor crayons and used some scrap paper to glue a shirt. These cards aren’t intended to be masterpieces but a practice to get the creative juices flowing.

Tonight I’ll meet for a knitting group and since I’m in-between projects decided I’d continue my simplicity theme and crochet some cat hats to use up some of the yarn I have stashed. I think it will be quick to work up some to put in my Etsy shop, which is on my list to update & utilize in 2023.


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NOtifications

I’ve been busy today cleaning and getting ready for the week when I finally sat down and scrolled a bit on Instagram. I have 2 accounts, my personal one which is mostly corgis and cycling, and my art account which I admit has been neglected the last month. But I noticed there were 3 notifications on my art account. I flipped over to it, and no, they weren’t really notifications. 2 of them were Hey these people have posted, you should look and the other was You may know this person.

I noticed that happens more and more on social media. Notifications that you may be missing out. Look at what these other people are doing. I don’t know if I have any feelings towards them, I just noticed that they’re not notifications of connection just the apps way of saying “look it, look it, look it” like a kid wanting attention.

Then I think once I post, I can have it sent to my social media accounts. Facebook and my re-set up (3rd times a charm right?) Twitter account, oh and Tumblr, but I honestly don’t know anyone on tumblr. Am I one of the people screaming for attention? I won’t set it to be shared, this is a rambling post that serves no purpose other than getting me into the habit of writing on the weekend.

Back to cleaning…


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Thankful Thursday 1/5/23

So I’m actually writing & posting this Friday morning, before I’ve had a full cup of coffee. I remembered 3 times yesterday to do this, then got distracted.

  • Uneventful New Year celebration
  • Household repairs
  • Seeing more robins
  • Pink & Orange
  • Schedules not changing
  • Routines that are changing
  • The achy feeling after a good workout
  • Figuring out a new planner
  • Cutting off jeans into shorts
  • Parrots


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New Year, Same Me

I forgot the write my annual obligatory year-end post but I don’t have any esoteric wisdom to share. I could do a year in review. Maybe I did that last year? Well, in 2021. I forget what I write on this blog, and I don’t go back to re-read what I’ve written in the past. Just verifying renewal info, I’ve had this incarnation of this blog since 2018. I know I had one before that and found where I had saved some old posts I had intended to share. That didn’t happen. Maybe that was the year before. Everything blurs together, and the pandemic year(s) didn’t help.

Quick review – I didn’t ride my bike as much in 2022 as I did in 2021 but I did ride a few new locations, working on hills. I had more trainer miles, and I expect that trend to continue.

I did go on vacation, and didn’t have a panic attack about it. I’m learning to spin wool and when it’s warmer outside will try to wash a small bit of fleece to learn that process. Back to knitting and found some local knitters to hang out with once a month.

I’m back doing Duolingo, working on learning Spanish. Maybe I’ll never be comfortably conversational but if I can add to the words I understand and improve grammar, it’ll be a win.

I do want to write more here. I’m paying for it, and social media has become annoying so I’ll share more here. Back to basics in a weird way.

The word I selected for 2023 is Connect but I really feel like disconnecting. Or maybe looking more at how & why I connect. Social media is reminding me more and more of the seagulls in Finding Nemo all screaming MINE MINE MINE. There are some genuine connections but I doubt many of the people who follow me (or who I follow) would recognize me if I passed them on the street, or was sitting next to them in a coffee shop. And would I recognize them? How is that connection?

I’m also reading a book titled “Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection” by John T Cacioppo and William Patrick. I knew chronic loneliness can lead to many physical ailments, but I didn’t realize it could impair cognitive functions as well. I know it’s more difficult to make friends as an adult and I wonder how many people, especially the elderly, die earlier than they would have if they had more social connections. That sentence feels bulky but Grammarly didn’t give me any red lines on it

So really new me, same me. Maybe more mindfully connected. Or maybe just rambling what’s in my head onto this blog.

Happy New Year!


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The week time doesn’t exist

It’s the Wednesday between Christmas and New Year. The office is quiet because most people saved their time off to take in this weird limbo time. I’m working on cleaning my desk, preparing spreadsheets for 2023, and organizing my computer files. It’s only been 2 hours. The day drags on.

I may run errands at lunch. I don’t want to spend money though. I have some extra cash from Christmas but a goal for 2023 is to be mindful of purchases. I don’t currently need anything and may in the future so I’ll save the money to buy what I need when I need it.

I have art videos I could watch, but that feels wrong when I’m at work. I doubt anyone would care, again, no one is here but still. I watch videos during my lunch break. I could request some Postcrossing addresses but my postcards and stamps are at home.

I’ll check the holiday schedules for next year and try to save time off to take during this in-between week.


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Preparations

I’m not ready for the holidays. Gifts and groceries are purchased but I still need to clean, bake, and plan the timing for preparing dinner.

This is the 1st time I’m hosting the holiday. First time ever and I’m in my 50s. My mom and I would go to my grandma’s as a child. When she passed, I would take my kids to my mom’s and my in-laws. My mom never came to my house for a holiday I can remember. This year my mother-in-law will be at my house. I’ve invited my oldest and their spouse, and my dad. I honestly don’t know if they’ll show up. Statistically, the odds are not in my favor.

I feel the pull of perfection. If it’s not perfect, there’s no point. But no one will care if it’s not perfect. If no one cares, there’s no point. It’s a slippery slope.

I remind myself the season (FER ME) celebrates the return of the Sun (the big fireball that warms our planet, not a metaphorical savior offspring of some guy beyond the clouds looking down with disdain). Days will length, and while it’s still winter and freezing, growth is occurring in areas that cannot be seen.

Sitting at the table as I worked from home yesterday afternoon, the sun finally shone through when the wind pushed the cloudy cold front south. The warmth on my back and the brightening of the workspace caused me to pause and turn my face to the sun. I thought of a cat in a sunbeam and smiled.

The feeling of the smile is what I’m focusing on during the next 1 1/2 days. I’ll clean my house because I want it to be clean, not solely for the fact I’ll have people over. I’ll do it for myself. Part of the foundation to begin 2023.


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Thankful Thursday 12/15/2022

  • Holiday events
  • Time to catch up
  • Binge watching shows
  • Christmas Wrapping
  • Crow schedules

Another prompt when I select “write a post”. Fun! I love prompts. Tell us about your first day at something.

My first time on a group cycling ride was an adventure. I decided to meet them mid-way instead of doing the whole route. I didn’t realize we were going to ride on the road and not on the bike trails. It was explained that there were too many of us to ride on the trails. On the road, we’re sort of like 1 large vehicle. Riding so close to another person was scary and I gripped my handlebar so tightly my arms hurt the next day. I was in the back with my friend, and it was difficult keeping up but there were a few stops to regroup. I was glad because I wasn’t good at grabbing my water bottle to take a drink while riding (I’m still not great at it). It was still a challenge, but it is easier to ride in a group.

I may have posted about this since it was 2 years ago, and now group rides are no big deal. I’m comfortable riding close to someone I know well & ride with often. Now I seem to be either in the front leading or in the back struggling. There’s not much of an in-between for me. That may be something more to ponder.


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Thankful Thursday 12/8/22

  • Holiday lights
  • Foggy Mornings
  • The Crows still visit
  • Feeling connections
  • Big changes ahead
  • The mesmerizing trance of knitting

I’ve never noticed before but there was a prompt asking “Do you ever see wild animals” I saw a lot of wild animals over Thanksgiving weekend. A deer ran out in front of my car on our trip to my mother-in-law’s house. Then while sitting on her couch, I looked out the open front door and saw a coyote walk next to a drainage canal next to her house. I had let my own dogs outside a few minutes before, but brought them back in when I heard all the neighborhood dogs barking (mine would have joined in and corgis have LOUD barks).