This week I discovered Astrid Tasks. It’s a good app to keep you on top of your to-do list. It pops up these adorable little reminders for you. Like: “Quit snoozing! Blog!” That one’s been coming up a lot lately. So, that’s what I’m going to do.
Apologies for my negligence over the last week! (Obviously, I’m already failing in my resolve to post daily–I’m sure you’re not surprised). A few things have kept us apart: I had some loose ends to tie up from last year. I was given a leadership role at my demo job, for which I had to go through some training. Plus, I had to care for my mother, being that it was her first week home from the hospital and she was still getting up her strength, which included running her up to her doctor at the end of the week for a checkup. What’s mostly at fault is that I’ve been too stuck in my own head.
All endings and beginnings create a lot of mental noise for me. I’d prefer not to expose you to that cacophony, at least not quite yet. Instead, I’m going to take the simpler and saner route of sharing some of my Christmas presents with you.
We all know that catching up with a friend after the holidays includes hearing a list of both what they’ve received and what they’ve given. I won’t force you to hear my whole list, modest as it was. There are two things I’ve got to share with you.
The first is this sketchbook that my older sister, Noel, got me. I’m accustomed to getting journals but this may be the first sketchbook I’ve been given. You can probably tell from the cover that it was made from an old book. She told me that it was re-imagined by a local Pittsburg artist. This gift is the inspiration for my only real new year’s resolution: to draw once a day.
A while back my friend Shayna told me that her new year’s resolution for 2012 had been to quit biting her nails so that she could paint them. Her Instagram has lots of images of her nails cutely done up. Knowing her, I was sure that self-improvement wasn’t her primary purpose. She, instead, wanted to motivate herself to be more creative and do something she’d thought about for years. I like that idea.
Considering how I feel about the calendar new year, and how I feel about winter in general, I rarely make solid resolutions at the turn of the new year. While I sometimes come up with a list of goals to work towards, I always have a rather relaxed attitude about them. (Seriously, who is that motivated in January when it’s 30 degrees outside or colder? I prefer to be realistic.) But I like the idea of having a new year’s resolution that isn’t about achievement or self-improvement, that’s simply about enjoyment and encouraging creativity. That’s something I knew I could be resolute about. I began musing over what mine could be.
The first idea I toyed around with was starting a private fashion blog for kicks. (I know. I know. I’m so vain! But it’s been an idle daydream of mine since the last semester of my senior year of college when I would blow off working on homework to browse lookbook.nu and thesartorialist.com). I had to be honest with myself that I’m not that great at self-portraits, nor do I have a large enough wardrobe for it to be anything but depressing.
After giving up on that idea and a few others, I forgot about it for a while. As Heather shared her new year’s resolutions with me, just as the clock was approaching midnight, I remembered that I’d wanted to choose a creative resolution. It wasn’t until midway through the 1st that it became immediately obvious that my resolution should be to draw daily. Saundra gave me a great set of drawing pencils last Christmas to compliment Noel’s sketchbook. I’d been longing to get my drawing hand back in shape throughout the last year. So my resolution was set.
If you’ve been wondering why I’m foisting my sketches upon you via Instagram, it’s because I’m trying to hold myself accountable (though I abstain from sharing the ones that I really hate). You might notice that I’m trying to master more of a fashion illustration type style, which is far from my usually realist drawings. Please, have patience with me.
The Fortune-Telling Book of Love
This little treasure was given me by Saundra. My utterly ridiculous, pseudo-superstitious self fell in love with it immediately. It’s full of charming old wisdom about love. It has childish spells, astrological charts, and romantic explanations for everything from interpreting dreams to knowing what it means for your love life if you see different kinds of birds. It explains how to divine your lover’s nature from the shape of his face and his different facial features. It’s quite incredible.
In general, I’m a lover of books that can entertain a crowd (in high school, I used to lug around a book of virtues that my Grandpa Jacobs gave me with Hilaire Belloc’s outrageous moral poems such as “Jim: who ran away from his nurse and was eaten by a lion”). It’s even better when they’re miniature, as this one is. If you run into me anytime within the year, I’ll most likely have it on my person. If you ask nicely, I’m sure I’ll be more than happy to share some of its wisdom with you. Here’s a taste: