GentleSoul Arts

Living a Creative Life

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.

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.