life lately

Setting Creative Goals for March and Onwards

Setting Creative Goals for March and Onwards

Where did the month of February go? I know that it is a shorter month than the rest, but I was still so surprised at just how fast it went by! And here we are, already on the 3rd day of March. There is something about turning the calendar page to March, that turns my mind towards Spring. I know that technically we are still in Winter, and the current view out my window is one full of snow, with nary a tree bud to be seen, but I can’t help but start hoping for Spring. And with thoughts of Spring, and a fresh new month before us, also comes thoughts of “goals”; and specifically my creative goals.

I set myself a rather hefty list of goals to accomplish this year. I might have gone a bit overboard with the number I set, but last year I didn’t set any overarching goals, and at the end of the year I realized that I didn’t accomplish much. So, this year I set a lot. Seriously- the ones listed below are only my “creative goals”. Many of these creative goals are things that I enjoy or have been “meaning to get around to”, but haven’t dedicated the time and effort into. The act of writing them down is really forcing me to work on them- and, sharing them here is going to help me be a whole lot more accountable too 🙂 Since we’re now in the third month of the year, here is what I have done so far, and what needs to yet be done, both this month and the rest of year as well.

Improve my Photography Skills

There is so much about photography that I don’t know. I have decided that this is the year that I finally invest some time (and money if needed) into improving my skill set. You can’t grow if you don’t learn, right? I have been putting it off, but I have finally carved out the time to do some online lessons and DVD courses in order to get better at photography. I absolutely love taking photos- it is one of my favourite creative mediums, so instead of being intimidated by all the things I don’t know- I am instead going to start absorbing some of that knowledge bit by bit. My goal is to finish one course this month, and making this a priority each week is a good start!

Improve my Photoshop Skills

I have a very rudimentary knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator. I use these two programs for my job all the time- but I was not trained very well in the programs, and I know just enough to limp my way through. My boss has agreed to let me dedicate a couple of hours each week to tutorials and training, and I have learned so much in just the few lessons I’ve taken. I found the Youtube channel Phlearn, and if you are wanting to learn Photoshop- this is the place to go. Not only am I learning things that will help me with my job, but also with my own personal photos and this blog too. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. (Well – not literally.)

Create a More Cohesive Instagram

Although my family and friends, who are not part of social media, laugh at this goal of mine- I know that my fellow Instagrammers will understand. 🙂 I get frustrated when I look at my feed and it’s all over the place. I am now, as of this week, focusing more on creating cohesive images for my Instagram account. The first step I have taken to implementing this plan is downloading VSCO; and already I am liking how my pictures are turning out. It is so nice to be able to edit outside of Instagram, and have complete control over the look of the picture before it is published.

Create More Artwork, and Practice, Practice, Practice!

I had really gotten out of the habit of putting my artwork as a priority. Don’t we always neglect the enjoyable things we love, that are not as “important” as the other things on our to-do lists? I have now set a goal for myself to create one painting each week. I am also going to sketch each day, and take one artistic photograph each day. I will probably fail at this goal, but at least by setting it, I will create more than I have been, and I will be intentional about it!

painting, setting creative goals for march and onwards

Exhibit at Art and Craft Shows

Going to those two Christmas sales has really given me the “sale” bug. I took part in one art show last weekend, and it was great! I didn’t sell as much as I was hoping for, but I did sell four photo prints, which was very nice. Also, because of the sale, I found out about a local library that has an area for artists to hang their work. I now have my pieces hanging up for the month of March and April- so who knows where that might lead? And, I have just found out about another art show in April and I am now planning for that one too. And of course, planning again for the next Christmas shows. It was a huge step for me to do that first show, and now I am so excited for all of these new ones coming up!

Create an Online Shop

You may have noticed that I have a “shop” tab in my blog header, but if you click on it, it only takes you to a page that says “coming soon”. 🙁 I was hoping to have set up a shop online by now, but I have run into some complications with that, and it hasn’t happened yet. My hope is to be able to start selling online this year, but it might be a while before that happens. This is one of those creative goals that I have not made much progress on so far, but I’ll keep chipping away at it. . .

Sew More

Considering that I love to wear clothes, you would think that I would be chomping at the bit to get more things sewn and into my wardrobe. However- I am a slow seamstress and I always seem to run into problems with my sewing which then takes up more time. . . Long story short- it takes a lot of time. But, I do have a lot of projects in the works, and I would like to finish them up. I think a goal of sewing a few hours a week is not too bad of a target. Maybe even one garment a month? Do you think I can do it? I guess we’ll find out. . .

Unplug More Often

I currently unplug on Sundays; as it is my Sabbath and day of rest. It is so nice to have one day a week where I don’t turn on my computer or browse through Instagram, and I think that doing this more often wouldn’t hurt either. I actually don’t need to post a new photo every day on Instagram. If I miss a blog post here and there, the world won’t fall apart. (I hope- haha!) I don’t need to see what every person I follow is doing every minute of the day. There actually is such a thing as too much inspiration. I want to do these things only because I want to, not because I feel the pressure to keep up. Last weekend I took a break over the weekend, since I was busy at the art show. I realized that I needed to be living in the moment; not wondering how many comments I needed to respond to! I am going to make a conscious effort to unplug this year, when necessary.

Well, those are my creative goals. Congratulations on making it to this point, because whew! I thought this was going to be a short post and it is a looooooong one.

So, do you set yearly goals for yourself? If so, what are your creative goals, or non creative goals for this year? How are you doing with them so far? And, are you excited about the coming Spring season?!

pincushion, setting creative goals for march and onwards, the artyologist

Tea and Tulips on a February Day

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist

It is in February when I start longing for the sunshine and flowers of spring and summer. November and December hold the anticipation of Christmas and the snow is fresh and clean and appealing. January brings the promise of a bright New Year and fireside days. But, by the time February comes along, the snow is not a novelty anymore, and the days seem cold and lifeless. The weather warms up just enough to tease us with promise of Spring, only to freeze again. It is in the later days of February that we start to look towards Spring with expectation. I am not one to buy cut flowers often, but sometimes a bouquet of flowers is just the perfect thing to brighten up those long winter days. My mom surprised me and my sister this year on Valentine’s Day with a bouquet of gorgeous yellow and purple tulips. Yellow and purple are two colours that go extremely well together, and these tulips created a beautifully simple, yet elegant, bouquet.

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, tulip vase

I love tulips as they are one of those funny kinds of flowers that seem to have a mind of their own. As soon as you arrange them in a bouquet, they rearrange themselves and completely undo all the arranging you did to them. Tulips actually continue to grow in the vase, and these certainly did as soon as I put them in the vase. I promise you that they were arranged in some kind of order, but by the time I took these photos, they had drooped and flopped all over the place. It’s OK though, as it makes them seem that much more natural and alive; and they do give me hope that Winter is not forever!

What could be more inviting on a cold February day than a bouquet of Spring flowers and a piping hot cup of tea in a pretty china teacup?

Do you like to have bouquets of flowers in winter? And tea in a pretty cup?

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, vase and teacup

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, tulip details

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, teacup top view and vase

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, tulip detail

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, teacup and vase

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, horizontal tulips

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, teacup

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, tulip and teacup detail

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, top view teacup

Here Comes The Sun

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosty day

Remember that rime frost that I posted back in November? Well, these pictures were taken the very next day. One day the cold fog blew in and froze the world into a beautiful sparkling white wonderland, and the next, the sun came out from behind the clouds and melted it all away.

Rarely have I seen as beautiful sight as a bright sky blue backdrop behind frosty white trees glittering in the sunlight. I was glad when I noticed that the sun was peeking out that day, because by the end of the day, the frost had completely melted off, and we were left with bare branches again. But we didn’t have the bare branches for long, as the area I live in is very foggy, so we are always guaranteed some good winter frosts. In fact, the frost blew in a couple of days ago and the world is encased in sparkling diamonds again. I don’t think the frost will melt off for quite a while either, as we are currently in very cold temperatures (-30 degrees Celsius right now!) so unless there is a strong wind, it’s going to last for a while. In weather like this, I’m happy to look out my window and enjoy the view, without feeling the need to brave the cold in order to get some photographs! Photos would be nice but. . . 😉

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosted tree tops

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosted grasses

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosted tree tops and graineries

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, chickadee friend

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, tree over the rooftop

Here Comes The Sun, the artyologist, frosted lacey grass

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit

A Christmas Day Outfit, the artyologist

Happy New Years everyone! I hope that you all had a lovely and relaxing holiday season. I’ve had a lovely couple of weeks spent with family and visiting friends. I was pretty much “unplugged” for a week of that, and I must say that, although I don’t think I’m really addicted to my technology, it was so nice to just relax and focus on something other than writing a blog post, posting on instagram, responding to comments and generally falling down the rabbit hole of social media and the blogosphere! I haven’t really been reading anyone else’s blog posts either- so that is one of the things I’m looking forward to doing now that I am getting back into the swing of everyday routines.

I had thought about sharing a “best of 2016” post, for my first post of the year, as I’ve seen many other bloggers doing- a sort of year in review. But then I thought that since I have been blogging less than a year, there wouldn’t be that much to share, as I don’t love a lot of my early posts, (back when I was still getting the hang of this whole blogging thing). And then I thought about sharing, “Goals for 2017” or some such thing, but I am not organized enough for that. 😉 So instead, what better way to start off a fresh New Year, than with an outfit post with pictures of an outfit from last year, right? So, today I’m sharing what I wore for Christmas Day.

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, ornaments

I had two main requirements with what to wear on Christmas day this year. The first was finding something that was comfortable, as we all know that the key to a good Christmas outfit is something that you don’t have to fuss with. My other consideration was something that was nice enough to wear to church, as I didn’t want to spend the entire morning getting ready. This year, for the first time in my life, I got to attend church on Christmas, as the holiday fell on a Sunday this year. However, as Christmas morning is such a busy time for our family, as we open presents and have brunch in the morning, I didn’t have a lot of time to get ready, and so I wanted to wear something that I could throw on quickly and look nice without taking too much time out of an already full morning.

So, when trying to decide what fell into that criteria, this skirt instantly came to mind. This skirt strikes the perfect balance: it is able to dress up or down, depending on the situation, and it is also so comfortable and warm. I have worn this combination of striped shirt and skirt several times now (I am actually wearing it right now as I type this, so it’s definitely a tried and true!). I’ve also worn this skirt with a chiffon blouse here, and with a myriad of other combinations that I haven’t shown on the blog. It is just so versatile, which is why I decided to wear it on Christmas day. The one problem that I used to have with this skirt, which is why last winter it didn’t get as much use as it has this year, is that last winter I only had brown winter boots. I find it very hard to pair brown and grey- I have seen it successfully done before- but I always get so stuck on that combination. Maybe it is because I have too many neutrals going on in my wardrobe in both cool and warm tones: a navy purse, a camel coat, brown boots. a grey skirt, a black hat- yikes! What a disaster that would be all paired together.

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, boots

In order to create a more cohesive wardrobe, I have recently purchased two pairs of black winter boots though (shh… don’t tell anyone!) I purchased a pair of black, faux fur lined ankle boots in November, when a couple of weeks later, I came across these lace up boots in another shoe store. I could not say no to these boots as I have been looking for a pair of Edwardian styled boots for years. When the right boots come along, you can’t say no. They are definitely an investment- and besides they were on sale 😉

So, that is what I wore on Christmas day- and it proved to be a good outfit choice. It wasn’t overtly “christmassy”- in fact the only Christmas item was the earrings. I’m not really into holiday themed outfits though- so it was fine with me.

How was your Christmas and New Year? What are your main considerations for a good Holiday outfit? Do you like to wear very “holiday” themed items, or not?

Outfit Details:

Skirt: Vintage

Shirt: Had for many years

Necklace and Earrings: Also had for many years

Boots: Dkode

Tights: Hue

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, christmas tree

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, opening gift

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, nativity ornament

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, necklace

Christmas Day: A Comfy Yet Classy Outfit, the artyologist, in front of tree