GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life


Lazy Day

My intention for this year is to write a post on Sunday mornings but yesterday after waking up to care for my corgis at 7am (which is really late for them to sleep!) I opted to go back to bed.

I slept until after 11am. It was glorious.

I then started laundry and my husband mentioned needing to pick up some things a the grocery store. I needed to get more dog food & cat litter at the pet store. I got dressed and we went to run the errands.

I didn’t have an agenda for the day, other than laundry. I have been trying to do more things throughout the week so I don’t have to spend the weekend playing “catch up” on housework.

I cleaned my art area in preparation for the 1st lesson in Carla Sonheim’s yearlong course. I went through my files, shredded old items, and cleaned off my computer desk. I’ve kept the kitchen sink cleaned & the dishes caught up. It makes a huge difference when nothing is piled up to the point of being overwhelming.

I’ve noticed that even when it seems overwhelming, like dishes piled in the sink and on the counter, it takes less time to tackle it than I expect. What in my mind is going to take hours, may only take 20 minutes, if even that long.

It’s the same with art. I feel like I need a large chunk of time to create, but 10 or 15 mins in my sketchbook consistently adds up. Consistently. That’s the key.

I tend to be an all-or-nothing person. I don’t want to do things halfway, and sometimes drawing the sketch and coloring it later feels prickley. Like a pebble in my shoe, or the seam of my sock going sideways. If I can’t do it <this way> then why bother doing it at all. Then nothing is accomplished.

So I’m practicing doing small bits. So when they add up, I can see the results and have some time to be lazy, or get to the large creation without feeling like other things are undone.


Rewind: Bead Swap!

I found some old blog posts on an external drive & thought I would share them here. This is the 1st one in the folder, dated 2010. I think I ended up putting some of the paper beads bracelets I made into geocaching caches for SWAG.

I received my beads from Janice Mae at Aubrey’s Beads swap last week and I’m so amazed!  Some of these guys look like glass beads and the ones rolled in sand in Aruba are probably my super favorites!  There are some so tiny, they look like seed beads. But they’re paper!

There are some really neat bell shaped beads I plan to use for earrings. Just need to pick up some more finding (dropped a post & it’s lost now!).  The large circle bead is 1” in diameter and I plan on using as a center for a drop necklace.  I know what I want to do, I’m just not certain how.

BeadSwap 002

I did pick a few of the brown & natural tone beads to use for a bracelet.  Janice Mae also sent some accent beads and there were some pretty brown glass beads I used as spacers. It’s a nice solid feeling bracelet 

BeadSwap 006


Obligatory Year-End Post 2021 Edition

The last week of the year always makes me think about what I’ve accomplished & what my goals will be for next year.

I’ve accomplished a lot that I never imagined possible in the last year. It mainly revolves around cycling, and I want to continue riding into 2022 but maybe push myself less to reach specific goals. I think a 30-mile ride is a nice sustainable practice, and maybe when it’s summer and outside riding weather again, I’ll want to try for 40 or 50. Or maybe not. That’s where I’m thinking of dialing it back. I spent a lot of this last summer working up to 30 for the Cycle 66 event. I didn’t focus on much else and didn’t spend as much time drawing and painting as I would have liked.

So this year I will focus more on creativity and I want to spend more time learning Spanish. I’m brainstorming ideas for my Word of the Year (and will share that on my podcast). I think it will help me determine what is really important as I navigate all the things I want to do.

This week, the time between Christmas and New Years, feels magical in that it’s sort of a void. The portal between celebrating a winter holiday, and the new year. It’s either quiet at work, or crazy busy. I’m practicing being in the moment, acknowledging the turn of another year but I also want to acknowledge the small turns that occur. Seasonal, lunar changes.

There’s been a lot going through my mind and I don’t feel like it’s all sorted out. Like a snowglobe that has been shaken, everything is floating and flitting around. I think having things sorted out may be overrated.

I look forward to sharing more of my rambling trains of thought in 2022.


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Reflections on cycling

This past weekend, I had an opportunity to really push myself on a 30-mile gravel ride that I ultimately opted out of. I rode a 20-mile gravel ride with friends previously, and that was pushing past my comfort zone (I’ll more about that on my podcast). 30 miles while probably doable, was more than I wanted to push right now.

I started thinking about the WHY of my cycling. I started 2 years ago for health reasons. My mom had passed away, I had turned 50, I didn’t want to turn into a “little old lady, piddling around the house”. That may still be my motivation for getting out the door, or starting a Zwift session but what do I get out of spinning it out?

Quiet time to myself, knowing that I can travel 30 miles easily under my own power. If it comes to where I don’t have a car, or can’t afford gasoline, I have reliable transportation. Noticing trees, butterflies, flowers, a slower way to travel, on paths that a car isn’t allowed.

Do I want to race? No. Do I want to ride gravel all the time, or roads all the time? No. I enjoy being able to ride in various areas. I’m not strictly a roadie or a graveler. I have zero interest in mountain bikes, bunny hops, or flipping over my handlebars after hitting a root.

I want to ride for fun, to see what my body can accomplish. Sometimes I want to ride alone, sometimes with my cycling friends. I don’t really know about riding events. I did two this past year. One I didn’t know anyone, and it was enjoyable. The 2nd was a larger event, but my cycling group was riding, so we ended up mostly together so it didn’t feel like a large event once we started rolling. I enjoy having a supported ride with traffic being stopped for us. I don’t want to ride with a large group I don’t know. Everyone I’ve met has been welcoming though, but I have my core group that I know will support and encourage me

I’ve accomplished a lot in the last 8 months in terms of my cycling goals. I went from a normal ride being 8-9 miles to it being 18-20 miles. I’ve become consistent, riding in groups when the weather permits, getting out on my own or with a friend on the weekend, or on my trainer now that the time has changed and it’s dark when I get home. I have 2 bikes (Frida, the road bike and Kismet, the gravel bike) and although I know the N+1 rule, there’s not a ‘next bike’ in mind. I’ve gone from flat pedals to clipless on my road bike. Although I don’t always embrace the term, I finally feel like a cyclist.

Looking towards 2022, I would like to learn basic maintenance & repair for my bikes. Maybe my next bike will be an upcycled scrapper I put together myself, just to learn to build one. I’ve done a few 30-mile rides so my next goal will be 50 miles (road miles – my gravel goal will be becoming comfortable with 20 miles and hills).

Mostly, I just want to keep riding.