life

Social Saturday | July 31

stack of books with a cup of tea on top

Here we are already at the end of July and beginning of August! The summer seems to be going past very quickly- how about for you?

This has been the Year of Reading for me- I’ve just finished book #33. I’ve been trying to spend my evenings reading, rather than browsing the internet. It’s been nice to get through quite a few of the books on my list, although of course, as soon as I cross one off, I find several more to add to the bottom!

vintage copy of Mistress Pat book

I requested Mistress Pat by L.M Montgomery from the library (review: not my favourite of her books, but still enjoyable) and the copy I received was this beautiful first edition from 1935! I love it when they keep older editions of books in circulation, rather than replacing them all with new copies.

mallard duckling

We had some exciting visitors to our place; my sister walked out the back door, and spotted two lost Mallard ducklings in the flower bed! When their mom never showed up, we brought them inside and put them in a brooder, and then my mom brought them to the wildlife rescue shelter a couple days later. They were so tiny and cute, and actually very quiet as well. (At least compared to the chick we’ve got inside; we named him Mortimer, because he never stops cheeping!) They were hard to photograph and got a little bit panicked when my sister picked them up, but I’m glad I got a couple of pictures to remember them by.

three tiny paintings of potted plants

I’ve been working on some more watercolour illustrations; this time houseplants. I’ve been trying out this mini format- just 4″ x 4″ and I quite like it. So far I’ve done a Kalanchoe, a grouping of Cacti and a Pothos.

I’ve added them to my Society 6 shop as greeting cards or mini prints. There are “hello”, “happy birthday” and “thank-you” cards as well as blank ones available. I will also be listing these original paintings in my shop here, but am waiting for some mats I ordered to arrive first (hopefully they arrive soon!).

card with pothos on front

Ps: I’ve also added some more photography prints to my shop, and am slowly adding more as I have the time.

How has your summer been going so far? I hope you have a great weekend!

two card designs with plants on the front

Social Saturday | May 1

kolanchoe succulent plant with orange blooms

Happy first day of May! Is it warm where you are at, dear Reader? We’ve been having a bit of a rollercoaster lately- going from coat-and-scarf temperatures, to hot and having to wear a sunhat, then midweek there was a snowstorm and then it’s now back up again to warm Spring weather!

orange flowers blooming on a kolanchoe succulent

  • One of my houseplants is finally blooming, after years of stubbornly refusing to. I grew this one from several cuttings, and I believe it is a Kalanchoe- it’s so much leggier and scruffier looking than the ones I’ve seen online. I pruned it ruthlessly a few months ago, and I guess it decided that meant it was time to bloom!
  • This week I listened to this interview on The Daily Connoisseur YouTube channel, with the author, Richard Thompson Ford, of the book  “Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Changed History”. It sounds like an excellent book, so I’ve just requested it from my library.

stack of books found at the thrift store

  • In other book related news, I love Agatha Christie mysteries, and have amassed quite a collection of them. As I add more volumes to my library, though, it becomes more and more difficult to find copies of ones I don’t already own. But, when I went to the thrift store a couple of weeks ago, I found a whole stack of Agatha Christie books, a couple of other books, and some smocked pillow patterns.

sketch of ladies in dresses and hats

  • I’ve started doing fashion sketches again. I’m not sure if I’m going to do anything with the sketches, but I enjoy the process of putting all of my fashion dreams down on paper. It’s so much easier to sketch than to sew, and it’s nice to be able to indulge in all of those garments that will most likely never come to fruition.

a pile of art bookmarks

  • I have also turned one of my abstract watercolour sketches into art bookmarks. I plan on including one of these with every order that is placed either in my Art Shop, or Poshmark Shop. It’s nice to open a package and receive a little something extra, isn’t it?

So, those are just some things that have happened in the past couple of weeks. I hope you’ve had a lovely week, and that you’ll have a good weekend too!

Social Saturday | February 6

a cactus planted in a vintage teacup with yellow and brown flowers on it

I can’t believe it’s already the weekend! This week seemed to go by fast for some reason, even though I wasn’t particularly busy. I didn’t do much this week other than work and sew and read…not a bad mix though, right?

This week I finally decided to just go for it…. and sewed a t-shirt! This might seem like a relatively easy project, and it did go together quicker than I anticipated, but I was intimidated to start because I was afraid that the knit would be hard to manage and it wouldn’t turn out well. I know the hem is kind of wrinkly, but it will always be tucked in, so I don’t mind that. There are a few things I will do differently for my next project, but all in all, it turned out way better than I thought it would!

a homesewn pale pink tshirt with cuffs

Janey of Atomic Redhead re-opened her vintage shop this week, with a few changes; she is now selling downloads of vintage cards! She has such an amazing collection of vintage ephemera, including valentines and other holiday cards that she decorates her home with each year…what a great idea to do digital downloads of them! She has quite a few cute valentines, if I hadn’t already made my cards this year, that would have been such a great option. You can browse her Etsy shop here.

Lauren of Wearing History has been putting out so many good blog posts lately! Here is another one I enjoyed this week, about how the “cottage core” trend of late is a reiteration of similar trends of days past.

two vintage photo albums- one black with vintage writing and one mint blue with a beaded applique on the front cover

As I’ve been sorting through my hard drive for my year long goal of finally organizing it, I have been looking through pictures and realizing that I really should print them out, so I can enjoy looking at them. I’d also like to do a family history album of sorts, with photos of my grandparents and other relatives, so I found a few photo albums this week. Vintage photo albums so much prettier than modern ones, aren’t they?

Well, that’s about all for this week. We’ve got an extreme cold warning in effect here (-40 celsius!) so I think I will be spending the weekend cozied up by the fire with a cup of tea and a good book. How are you planning on spending your weekend?

Thoughts on Quitting Social Media…But Not Blogging

phone with social media pictures on it

This has been a long time coming…I deleted my social media accounts.

I only ever had Instagram, so it’s not as though I had that much to delete, but over the past couple of years I’ve really started wondering whether I still wanted to be on social media…I kept taking longer and longer “breaks” and after a while I realized just how much of a burden it had become. I wasn’t excited to post like I was a few years ago, and I wasn’t even going on the app to see what others were up to. It took me a long time to finally decide that I wasn’t going to go back, and that it was time for me to delete the accounts. It seems silly to say this, but since I deleted them, a burden really has been lifted!

I know I’m not alone in this (several other bloggers have also recently talked about their relationship with social media) so I thought I would share my reasons, in case they could be of use to you.

  • There is such a thing as too much inspiration. I was getting so inundated with “inspiration” that I wasn’t actually doing much myself. Instead of being inspired by the creativity of others, I just looked at what they had to share and didn’t go and create anything myself. I had burnt out. As you all know, I wasn’t blogging here anymore. I had a hard time coming up with my own creative ideas to share… which is why I originally created this blog!
  • I started comparing my posts to others. This led into a trap of feeling like what I was posting wasn’t good enough to share. Especially for my art shop account, there was so much pressure to be constantly trying to “sell” my artwork. After much thought, I’ve come to realize that social media is like a stage. It’s not your “own space” because it’s on someone else’s platform, and every person on that platform/stage is doing their act all at the same time, competing against the algorithm to try and get some attention and be at the top of the popularity contest. Whereas a blog, to me at least, feels like an invitation into your own space. There may be some drawbacks to that, as not as many people may be able to find you as easily, but people come in to your blog to stay for a while instead of just scrolling down the app. I want to build this little blog back up again, without the constant pressure to outperform everyone else.
  • I was tired of having a “brand”, yet also feeling the pressure to be “authentic”. I realized that the more privacy you erode through sharing snippets of your life, you can end up oversharing. While people might feel that they know you, because of what you have shared and invited them into, in reality they don’t know the real you. We all curate what we show online (creating our own “brand”), but social media is especially good at blurring that line in order to create “authenticity” and I found that on Instagram it’s really easy to overshare; more-so than on my blog. The truth is that you’ll never really get to know someone fully via social media and while I do want to be open, I don’t have the personality for the “social” aspect of social media. I am an introvert and I don’t even socialize that much in real life! After a while I found that for me, it was actually quite draining to be so engaged all of the time- which is what is required of those who succeed on those platforms.
  • Sadly there was a lot negativity and general nastiness this year… and I wasn’t even on Twitter! For some reason, things started to get so negative, perhaps as a result of tensions in peoples’ real lives coming through to their online spaces? It’s definitely been a hard and stressful past year, but I saw so much negativity which really took away the fun, and I found myself avoiding using Instagram because of it.
  • I didn’t want to be a content creator anymore. I was creating so much content, and all for the benefit of Instagram! They were the ones getting paid for all of my work! All of the art I shared on my studio account for the past few years, only resulted in a couple of sales. And I never received a penny from Instagram as a result of directing people to their app, keeping them there, and racking up their ad revenue. I had never thought about it this way before until I watched this video in August (I don’t know anything about this lady; I just came across her video). She talks about how she became a better artist once she quit social media, because the pressure was off and she could pour her time into her work, rather than trying to curate an aesthetic feed or trying to sell her work to people who could watch her content for free, without ever having to actually buy any of it. She really hit the nail on the head with that one! Granted, some people have been able to create very successful businesses with the help of social media, and I have even discovered some talented artists through the app, but I don’t have the personality for it. While it may work for some, I realized that I was never going to be that person.
  • It was so addicting: the more you are on social media, the more you want to spend time there. After reading several articles about the tech industry, you begin to realize that it’s not all “in your head” and these apps are actively working against you and your brain! Once I broke that addiction, I didn’t crave to be back on it. I had essentially been gone from Instagram since July, but it took me a few months after that to officially write a “goodbye” post. At the time I thought that I might one day return, but the longer I was gone the less I wanted to. Even though I still was signed into my Instagram account on my computer, I never checked in to see other people’s posts. So instead I followed all of those people on their blogs or Youtube channels, if they had them, bookmarked their shops to keep in mind for potential future purchases, said goodbye, and then deleted my account.
  • Finally, Instagram (owned by Facebook) released their new data policies on December 20 and they are quite invasive. I was just really tired of having to sign away all of my privacy in order to use their app, especially since I wasn’t even using it any more! It’s not what I had signed up for originally, so their new policy was what gave me the kick in the pants to actually do what I had been thinking of for months.

Ultimately the real reason I quit was because it wasn’t fun anymore. While I enjoyed it when I signed up back in 2016 (originally so I could participate in Fashion Revolution), it’s changed a lot since then, and so have I. And ultimately, if something isn’t fun and you have no responsibilities to it…then why are you doing it? So, I made that final push and it seems to have been the right decision.

That’s not to say that there aren’t any drawbacks of quitting social media. I’ve discovered that a lot of my favourite bloggers are no longer blogging, and are focusing exclusively on Instagram, so I won’t be able to see any of their future posts. I’ve also put a lot of thought into how this might affect plans for an online shop. Social media can be a good tool for networking. While it is the right decision to make for now, because my art account was actually stopping me from creating, and wasn’t adding any benefits, this might be something I need to revisit in the future.

Despite these drawbacks, I have already seen several benefits. Because I am not filling my time with scrolling, I have found the time to craft and sew again! I’m also happy to return to this blog and am excited to write posts for the first time in a long time! I’ve spent the past few weeks thinking up ideas for some new posts, and even what I would like the future of the blog to look like.

One thing I did keep from my Instagram account, was my bio. I had spent quite a bit of time brainstorming a focus for my IG account, and have decided that I would like to incorporate it here too. Not much is really going to change, but I’ve settled on:

“sustainable fashion and lifestyle with a vintage sensibility”. 

I think that encompasses rather well the things I am interested in sharing and it’s kind of nice having a “mission statement” to keep me going in the right direction. Some of the topics I’ve been thinking about lately are creating a clear style vision, using minimalism as a tool for your wardrobe, zero waste lifestyle, sustainable fashion, crafts and sewing projects, more of my artwork and photography, vintage fashion, more “life lately” sorts of posts and, as always, outfits (at least when I have something to dress up for!)

So, if you have made it this far, thank-you for reading my ramblings! I hope that these topics sound interesting to you, and that you’ll stick around. Here’s to 2021 being a better blogging year than the last!

And a very Happy New Year everyone! I hope that your year is off to a great start!

How to Make a Folded Heart Valentine Card

how to make a folded heart valentine card, the artyologist

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Valentines Day is one of my favourite holidays in the year! It’s just so lovely to send people cards and notes to tell them how much you love them, don’t you think?

This year, I decided to try something a little different and make some folded heart cards. Years ago my sister made me a card like this (out of neon yellow paper!). I thought it was so cute, so I thought I’d replicate them this year to give to people…but not in neon yellow! If you need a last minute card, this is a nice and simple one that only takes a few minutes. It is similar to origami, but since you cut the paper, I don’t think it truly counts as origami. Nevertheless, it is a cute design and only requires a rectangle of paper and a ribbon if you’d like to tie it shut…keep reading for how to!

How to Make a Folded Heart Valentine Card

Step 1: All you’ll need for this card is a piece of paper that is twice as wide as it is tall- example 3” x 6”, 4” x 8” etc. You can make it as small or as large as you’d like! If you’re sending it in the mail, make sure you don’t make your card too big to fit in an envelope!

folded heart valentine card step 1

Step 2. Mark the centre of the paper. You don’t have to make a line all the way down like I have in the photo- a small tick at the top will be fine, since this will be the inside of the card!

folded heart valentine card step 3

Step 3. Fold one edge of the paper into the centre and crease

Step 4. Repeat with the other edge of the paper.

folded heart valentine card step 5

Step 5. Fold the bottom edge diagonally into the centre to form the bottom of the heart.

Step 6: Repeat on the other side, to finish forming the bottom of the heart.

folded heart valentine card step 7

Step 7: Take your ruler and mark where the middle of each side is. For example, this card is 3” wide, so I am marking at 3/4” and 2 1/4” .

Step 8: Fold the top edge diagonally where you have marked, to start creating the top of the heart.

folded heart valentine card step 9

Step 9: Repeat with the other side.

Step 10: Now fold down the flaps diagonally. You won’t be able to fold the back of the card yet, but we’ll do that in the next step! We will now cut where the dashed line is in the photo.

folded heart valentine card step 11

Step 11: Now that the back of the card has had a small cut, it will be able to fold diagonally to finish forming the top of the heart.

Step 12: Repeat on the other side.

folded heart valentine card step 13

Step 13: I had a hard time photographing this step, but open the card slightly and “pop” the folded parts inside out, so they are now folded inside the card.

Step 14: Now you are finished folding! Go along all the edges and crease them again, so you’ve got a nice crisp edge.

folded heart valentine card step 15

Step 15: If you’d like. You can tie a ribbon around the card to hold it shut. You could also seal it with a sticker (or a wax seal if you’ve got one!).

There you go: a quick, easy Valentine card to show someone you care!

valentine envelopes

Another special touch, is a matching envelope. I made these envelopes out of coordinating papers- they’ll add such a cheerful pop of colour in my friends’ mailboxes!

Do you like Valentines Day? What are your plans this year? Did you send cards or plan on giving cards to your friends?