It’s the last Monday of the month, which means it’s time to check in with how my various creative projects are going! (Not sure that really deserves an exclamation point, but whatever.)
First off, my 52-week photo project is still going strong. The photos have been enough of a challenge to keep me interested, but (usually) not so difficult that I get frustrated. And it’s doing what I’d hoped: giving me a reason to think about photography every week, even when I’m not feeling particularly inspired. I’m starting to think I might do something even more ambitious next year. (Though it’s still early… we’ll see how I feel forty-eight weeks into this thing, and after I’ve tackled some of the really tricky prompts.)
As far as drawing goes, I’m back to practicing nearly every day, but I’m also in another one of those phases where what I want to do doesn’t quite match up with what I’m able to do. I’m mostly fine with that; it’s frustrating, but I know it’s just a matter of sticking with it and figuring out what my next step is.
That said, the big projects this month have mostly been about figuring out my goals for the year (and beyond) and changing the way I work. The office is finally starting to feel like an office (I love the white walls so much), and less like a storage room. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but it won’t be too long before I can start working at my desk again, rather than the dining table. (I love my desk. I miss my desk.)
I’ve also been putting a lot of thought into what I actually want to be doing with my time and with my work. (The existential crisis I’d been expecting since the beginning of the year finally hit, though it was more of a slow simmer than a middle-of-the-night panic attack.) I’m setting firm goals for the rest of the year, surprising myself, figuring out ways to track my progress, and generally starting to feel pretty good about things again.
So, yeah. It’s been a good month.
Neko Atsume. I’m obsessed.
1. thinking… about what to make for Easter dessert. I’m leaning toward cupcakes, but I don’t know what recipe….
2. playing… Neko Atsume. Well. I say ‘playing.’ (I don’t have a lot of neighbourhood cats to befriend in real life, and I’d missed it. ;-))
3. making… plans. And I’m being very systematic about it for once; there are multiple notebooks and colour-coding and stacks of index cards.
4. getting… about as far with the office as I can, at least until new bookshelves are delivered and I’ve bought some more storage boxes. Still, it’s so much better than it was.
5. staying… up to watch the Oscars. I’m not even sure why, except I always have, and it feels weird not to.
6. listening… to Cavern of Secrets. A.K.A. new favourite podcast.
7. looking… for either the perfect tote bag, or the perfect tote bag pattern. I have something very specific in mind, but I might have to invent it.
8. trying… to sort out an odd password issue. (It’s going to be something dumb, like I used my Google account to log in originally. I just know it.)
9. wondering… if I’m going to be awake enough to do anything tomorrow.
10. ordering… that French-language novel I’ve been hoping to try to read forever. It’s happening.
This is one of the purely technical prompts in the 52-week challenge, and one that’s easy to do, but tricky to get just right.
The book is an ancient copy of ‘How to Make Good Pictures.’ It seemed fitting.
In some ways, this weekly photo project is becoming a bit of a photo diary. I don’t mind.
One of the best things about finally tackling the office is that it’s forced me to actually think about the things I keep in there. For nearly two years now, it’s just been a catch-all for everything that didn’t have another home somewhere else in the apartment, and even the things that belong in there haven’t really been in any sort of order.
But painting has made me think about everything that’s in there, whether it belongs there—or if I even need to keep it at all—and, if it’s worth keeping, whether it’s just going back into storage or if it needs to be accessible.
One thing I’m being absolutely ruthless with is my craft supplies. I have a bad habit (which I know a lot of people share) of collecting things that I might do something with someday. And then I either lose interest in the project or just never find the time to do it. (Or, worse, I don’t actually have a project in mind, I just really like this particular fabric, and I’m sure I’ll think of something to do with it someday.)
I don’t know yet whether or not I’m going to keep the buttons I’ve collected over the years, but I’m not quite ready to get rid of them. (Sewing is one of those things that, despite all my good intentions, I never get around to, but some of these are just so pretty.) For now, I’m just going to find a better way to store them.
1. getting… ready for a serious planning session.
2. using… my Twitter client’s ‘mute’ function so much. (And looking forward to using it even more as the US election cycle drags on….)
3. painting… the office. Finally. It’s still going to be a while before the room looks like I want it to (I don’t even have the furniture back in place), but even just painting—and the decluttering that went along with it—has been a huge improvement.
4. feeling… tired. I tend to forget how much work is involved in painting a room.
5. starting… the search for new conditioner. It looks like my go-to has been discontinued, so I have to start reading labels again…. ::sigh::
6. loving… Habitica. Part game, part my new favourite to-do list app.
7. waiting… to get the cable fixed.
8. falling… behind on some of my non-room-painting projects.
9. fine-tuning… some of my routines. And still thinking that I need to get out of some routines.
10. wondering… whether I’m going to get a chance to bake anything this weekend. I want to, but… painting.
I’m trying to get Lucy to relax around the camera. I can get ok pictures with my phone—she’s used to that, and doesn’t tense up when it’s pointed in her direction—but I want the control (and sharpness) that the real camera can provide. (Cats shouldn’t be camera-shy. And yet….) It’s an ongoing process; eventually, I will get the picture I want.
There was a lot of bribery involved in this picture.
At some point, I’ll have a few days in a row that aren’t dark and rainy, and I’ll be able to actually go outside to get the photographs I really want to make.
Until then, I’ll just keep wrestling with terrible indoor light to take mildly-interesting still life photos. (To be fair, I really like the light in this picture. It worked so much better in the camera than it did when I was actually looking at it. It’s just not the picture I’d planned for this prompt. But they never are, are they?)