Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Five! Five things that are rocking my poptarts! Good things. Moving things. Things that restore my faith in humanity, or my faith in myself. Artsy things! Nerdy things! ALL THE LOVELY THINGS!* If you’d like to get my blog in your inbox, click here. If you’d rather just get my weekly newsletter (with a round up of my blog posts included in link form + subscriber perks, including discounts), click here.

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Thing One

Three years ago this month, I moved out of my marital home and in with a roommate, whose house was swiftly offered up for sale out from underneath her, necessitating another move to my little hobbit hole on Old Carriage Drive.

It was, frankly, completely awful. Living alone, being alone, was not in my wheelhouse. Had *never* been in my wheelhouse. I didn’t know how to cook for one, for example. I didn’t know how to fill the hours. I didn’t know how to *sleep* alone, or plan alone, or live without being anchored to some other being. I was an orbiting planet and other people were my North Star. Actually, I was less planet and more moon. A vast, empty satellite waning light and dark in accordance with whatever light came (or didn’t come) from elsewhere.

Fast forward to today, and I am now that girl who, when friends text to cancel social outings, fist bumps the air, sheds the ‘outside clothing’, and settles in, happily, for solo time. My life is set up so that I *get to have* a lot of time alone. I *like* being alone. I like living alone. I like having everything in my life designed so that it revolves around solitude broken only *as I wish* with social time that is carefully scheduled to accommodate my need for *alone time*.

Where I used to cry myself to sleep from loneliness, I now scramble to ensure that I don’t overwhelm myself with social stuff. My, how things have changed. *Fist bumps self with a booyah!*

Artist Dates (a la Julia Cameron) has been a major part of that shift. Where I used to feel pathetic about dining alone, or going out alone, I now see it as a source of creative fuel. I take myself on solo dates regularly. A travel art kit, and enough dosh on my debit card to get a pint and a meal, and I’m set for the evening.

A friend asked me to do a goddess t-shirt, so I’m playing with designs for that. This one began as a meditation last October, but I’m working on her again to see if I can fill her out and make her t-shirt worthy.

I’ve written about Descendants before, but what I didn’t know was that they have an open mic every Thursday, and last night. As a result, there came a point in my solo evening when I had to make a decision, because the place went from very conducive to this kind of thing to not so conducive. Live music turns any place into a party, and open mics especially so.
To make eye contact or not to make eye contact. That was the question. To pack up and book it out of there before the open mic began in earnest? Or to put away the painty things and enter the fray along with my fellow humans.

I opted for the latter. Put the sketchbook away. Sat gazing with an open face at all that was happening around me. Got invited to join a table (the seating at Descendants is communal). Bought a pint of whisky caramel pecan ice cream to share. Made friends. Exchanged numbers. Connected on Facebook.

Having the *choice* to do that is wonderful. Gauging my level of ‘ability to human’, and then accommodating that is wonderful. Sharing a pint of ice cream with strangers is wonderful. Finding humans that feel like tribe is wonderful.Not feeling like I’m going to die of loneliness? Priceless.

Thing Two

I’m learning a metric butt tonne about surface pattern design lately – something my Journal52 + Facebook tribe helped me with by raising the funds for me to take Pattern Camp + Creative Campfire with Jessica Swift.

I am *in love y’all*. I get to combine my desire for messy, doodly, paint-in-the-hair time + nerdy Photoshop time to create patterns that are suitable for use on all the things.

This pattern started its life as a journal spread for my BODKin, which will go live in class this coming Monday. The spread is a ‘gratitude garden’, and the demonstration includes a myriad of techniques including pushing and pulling background and foreground to create a lot of value contrast, deli paper as a ‘no mistake’ option for adding text, and using india ink markers over acrylics paints.

Book Of Days 2017 – Session Two – Week Nine

Once the spread was finished, I scanned it, and used areas of the spread in a kaleidoscope like pattern that I created in Photoshop, and uploaded to my Society6 & Redbubble account.

One of my lovely Wildlings (thanks Patti!!) bought an a-line dress with this design on it. It’s a *crazy thought* that people might want to adorn their homes & bodies with my stuff, but apparently, this is a thing!

A-line dress in my psychedelic floral pattern called “Wild Garden”. Also comes in all the things, including skirts, t-shirts, wall tapestries, rugs, notebooks, etc.

It took me a long time to get up the gumption to try my hand at using Society6 (great for art prints, device covers, notebooks, household stuff, etc.) & Redbubble (for skirts, shirts, tapestries, etc.) to create another income stream. People have been asking for prints of my work for quite a while now – like, a couple of years – but it always felt weird to me. Like – yes, I will show you pictures of my babies, but why would YOU want to hang them on your wall?

I’m over that now that I’ve discovered how much fun it is to create with surface pattern design in mind. It is a *BLAST*, y’all! And while it isn’t going to make me rich any time soon (Seven sales so far, adding up to a total of about $40 commission), it does delight me, fire me  up, and provide me with a ready answer when someone asks “Can I buy that?” Yes! Yes you can! Thank you!

*Squee!*

Thing Three

Speaking of surface pattern design, roses are sexy.

This is a macro of a demonstration I did for Let’s Face It 2017. It’s a two part thing wherein I share a tip (using Tombows SIX WAYS) and then a mini lesson in creating these lush, sexy roses using – you guessed it – Tombow markers!

This was about an hour of happy patterning & colouring. You can join me for this and a whole bunch of other lessons by eleventy billion* other amazing teachers in LFI2017 by clicking here.

*May be a slight exaggeration. The use of hyperbole is strong with this one

Thing Four

Remember this? I posted about it last week and said I might try merging the face at left with the pattern at right.

She’s coming along brilliantly. A friend who saw her live and in person suggested that she looked like an exhausted guardian angel. Apropos, I think, considering what I must put my guardian angel through on the regular.

Thing Five

Ever After 2017 starts July 1st.

You can only use your coupon until that day, so if you were hoping to get in on this awesome deal, don’t delay!

And that’s it for this week’s edition of Friday Five! I hope you enjoyed this peek into what’s delighting & inspiring me this week. Have a beautiful weekend and I’ll see you back here soon. <3

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