GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life


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Memory Unlock / Thankful Thursday

While taking a break at work, I enjoyed some milk tea with a biscotti my husband bought me from a local bakery. The cookie reminded me of when in middle school, I made paximadia (greek anise biscotti) for either Latin Club or a class that was studying different cultures. I was deep into my Greek Mythology phase at this time so it was very natural I’d find a Greek recipe for the event.

I remember how time-consuming the process was. I had baked before but nothing this complex. Maybe just 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies. Nothing that required two baking times. I remember how hard the cookies were. I thought they were ruined. I had never had biscotti before so I didn’t quite know what to expect. I took them to the event, but I can’t recall if they were a hit or not. I don’t think anise flavor was very popular with 12-13yr olds. I vaguely feel like they were better received than I had expected they would be.

I’m don’t remember if my mom liked the cookies or not. She was a big coffee drinker so I would expect she may have enjoyed them with her coffee. I just don’t remember.

I’ll write in my journal an ‘artist date’ idea of making paximadia now 40 years later and see if the experience triggers any more memories.

I guess since it is a Thursday, I should get back into the habit of doing my Thankful Thursday posts. I know it’s been a while.

I am thankful for:

  • Memories unlocked
  • Cycles
  • Tackling difficult projects
  • Inspirational books
  • Angel numbers everywhere


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A Creative Life

I’m still feeling out of sorts (it’s been a long few months) but I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment earlier. I’m looking at ‘creativity’ as something to produce a tangible product. Something to put in my Etsy shop (I have one but I’ve never finished setting it up) or a service to offer. This morning as I was looking through my bookcase I noticed the Ernest Holmes book Creative Mind. I bought it while going through a local church’s Science of Mind classes. I was expecting an artistic book and was disappointed it turned out to be about spiritual law and connecting with Source. I’m really drawn to New Thought but I spiral around it, or maybe orbit around it is a better term? I come close, but then drift away and come back, drift away. I’ve done that with my artistic projects as well.

What if I use the word Artistic for drawing, painting, knitting, and the word Creative for connecting with Source, Secret Messages, looking for Hope and Joy in my daily activities? That makes a HUGE difference in my mindset.

I can be creative without being artistic. The pressure is off. I already feel like a weight has been lifted.


Ghosting Life

I haven’t felt like writing, or really doing much of anything lately. I thought it was seasonal and I’d feel better once the days became longer. I have moments when I feel okay. Only moments.

I’ve deleted some of my social media – I should update that here too. Everything feels overwhelming. Nothing I could do would really matter in the grand scheme of things. I follow my routine. Wake up, care for the pets, go to work, come home, care for the pets, go to bed. Rinse and repeat. If I didn’t have the pets I’d spend as much time as I could sleeping. A way to escape.

I’m sure I’ll feel better eventually. It’s like a carousel where the horses move up and down, up and down. Right now I’m in a down phase. No need for alarm, it’ll cycle through like it always does.


Urban Sketching

I had a busy weekend with a couple of Urban Sketching events. One in Tulsa, which is about a 2-hour drive, to sketch the Art Deco architecture of the downtown area. My husband went with me, and we enjoyed the road trip although the morning was cold and windy. I sketched outside as long as I could, then went inside the meeting area to watercolor my work.

E 6th ST and S Cincinnati Ave – Tulsa Oklahoma

The next day, the Oklahoma City Urban Sketchers met in downtown OKC. It was an afternoon event, so much warmer but just as windy. I decided to sketch the view outside the window of the reading room at Oklahoma Contemporary. I made a game out of counting which color the trolley would be.

NW 11th and N Broadway Ave OKC

As I was journalling about my weekend, it dawned on me, I don’t really enjoy urban sketching. I like visual journalling, but there’s usually a connection to my life somehow. I’ll sketch a meal, or a favorite object. Sketching the view outside of the hotel window when I was in South Carolina for a business event had meaning since that was my first time there. That building in Tulsa has no meaning to me. It was just an interesting object at the time. I should have sketched the banh mi I had for lunch, but I was too ravenous and my hands were still sore from the cold.

I’m surprised I feel a bit bad about not enjoying it. Maybe it’s a matter of finding a style of sketching I enjoy. Maybe I just need to practice buildings and perspective of downtown cityscapes. Maybe I need to find a different media than ink & watercolor.

Maybe I’m overthinking it.


Forced to Slow Down

Last week during an indoor cycling ride, I really pushed myself. It was the 1st stage of the “Tour de Zwift” event titled “Flat is Fast” on a route I had ridden before so I wanted to see if I could break any previous PRs (personal records).

Two days later, my knee hurts whenever I straighten it. I could go back and look at my stats to see if I set any personal records but I don’t remember off the top of my head. I do know I have to walk slowly, and mindfully. It feels like my knee needs to pop but I’m afraid if it does, I’ll go down and it’s going to be painful. So I’m alternating propping it up with some ice packs, and taking a hot bath.

I’m missing stage 2 “Mountain Madness”. I hate hills and inclines while riding, but it’s what I want to work on this winter. I’m tempted to see if I could do stage 2, but then stage 3 “Round and Round” (Crit style race) is tomorrow. I don’t think there are any inclines and if there are, they’ll be minimal.

So I’ve done more art this past week. I signed up for Carla Sonheim’s 2022 Yearlong Course and the 1st lesson from Starheadboy came out so I’ve made some stickers on regular sticker paper. I have vinyl sheets coming so I can make stickers to go outside. I’ve made my acrylic painting of the character that came out when I was doodling for sticker ideas. It was fun to create without really worrying about the end product. I think I try to convince myself it’s all about the process and not the product but I want something “Instagram worthy” when it’s all over with.

Cat or Gremlin?

There’s a phrase that has come up a few times lately. “If you’re not having fun you’re not doing it right” It really does apply to both art and cycling. It applies to a lot of life if you think about it.

Slowing down, having fun. That will be my focus for the upcoming week.