100 Days – #1

I. I thought I was going to do a really ambitious 100 Day Project that consisted of creating one 5 x 8-inch painting a day that incorporated colours or symbols or words that represented what I needed in any given moment, but I came to the conclusion that this would be setting myself up for a) failure and b) a long, long 100 days, so…

II. …I set up an easel in my living room, dug my heavy-bodied acrylic paints out of storage, and decided to work on a canvas every day for between 10 and 20 minutes first thing in the morning. Coffee, candle, canvas. Every day for 100 days.

Hold me? :)

III. I’m filming these for TikTok and if you’re visiting me here from there HI HI HI! It’s lovely to see you! If you want to get these posts emailed to you, there’s a box up there in the upper right that will get you all set up. Just type in your email and I’ll see you in your inbox.

IV. So, today was day one and I experienced a *lot* of resistance to getting started. I stared at the canvas for an hour first. Then I wondered where my heavy-bodied paints were. Then I whined to myself about how much space this was going to take up in my very tiny little nest of a studio apartment. Then I found my paints and got everything set up. Then I drank a third cup of coffee. Then I lit a candle and drank a fourth cup of coffee. Then I set up a ring light so I could film the process. Then I changed my mind about doing anything at all for the 100 Day Project and I knit three rows on a triangle shawl. Then I shoved three slices of pumpkin pepita loaf cake (with butter) down my gullet. Then I said “Fuck it” and I threw down a layer of cool colours on the canvas.

V. So I guess I’m in. We’ll see what happens.

@effywild The 100 Day Project – Day One #the100dayproject2022 #effywild #acryliconcanvas #artistsoftiktok ♬ original sound Effy Wild

I am aware that I’ve made this project a lot more time-intensive than it has to be by filming and also blogging the process, but I love the idea of being more “out there” in the world and also who doesn’t love a good challenge, right?

VI. In other news, I am in excellent spirits. I am loving my work. I am really enjoying all of the classes I’m taking (most of them not art-related, which feels refreshing and good for me). I’m not gonna lie – I’m lonely – but I’m using the time well. Loving on my furbabes. Lots of video chats with my kiddos. Reading and knitting. Text convos with the like-minded. It’s not a heavy loneliness. It’s anticipatory loneliness. Like, something is coming. Not sure what, but I feel myself yearning for something, and I’m living in the yearning.

VII. So much is percolating and bubbling up from the nether depths to consciousness now that I’m not half soused half the time. My self-awareness is a bit overwhelming, and I have access to memories I didn’t have before. Some of them are gnarly, and these recollections call for a lot of self-soothing. Some of them are revelatory, and I’m finding myself shifting in response. Self-loyalty. Aligning with my own integrity.

VIII. I’m applying liberal applications of empathy to the self that sits with all that is coming up at this time. She has been holding so much for so long, and whatever she needs to do to clear it, I’m game. Making this kind of space for myself takes courage and silence and while I’ve always had a lot of the former, I am not so good with the latter, but this morning?

This morning, I painted in silence. It was only about 10 minutes, but I did it and the voices that rang in my head for that 10 minutes were *very very kind*.

“Look at you!” they said. “You’re doing it. Good for you, love! Proud of you.”

Now, that’s what I’m talking about.

IX. A new round of Wild Musings is happening soon, and I’m in. What about you? I love this kind of prompted writing practice, as you well know, and I believe it’s a beautiful jumping-off point for art journaling or any other kind of self-expression. Check it out here, and if you’re in, too, I’ll see you there.

X. Here’s where I left day one of #the100dayproject. See you tomorrow!

 

 

What If I Sh*t On The Table?

I. I wrote most of what I want to kick this week off in my newsletter, which you can find here, but there’s some less “newsy” stuff I want to explore, so I’m here today as well because a witch has things to purge and what is a blog but a personal vomitorium?

I kid, but not really. Anyway, let me explain that rather – um – alarming title. I promise it ends well.

II. I was in conversation last night with some shadow-dancers, and in response to something we were exploring (how difficult it is to stand for what we know is true for fear of abandonment), I had a vision. It ain’t pretty, so brace yourself.

I saw all of us trauma survivours (of whatever – you know who you are) as women on the birthing table, in transition. I saw us exhausted, in pain, at the end of our collective ropes. I saw us fully dilated, with our bodies absolutely on fire with the need to push, and I saw us clenching up for fear wondering what would happen if we shit on the table. This thought, this fear of laying a fresh turd right there for all present to see is so powerful that we *do not dare to push*. So we white-knuckle it. We hold it all in however painful it is to do so.

Gross, I know, but stay with me.

III. Along with this vision came this understanding:

If we don’t push, we’ll delay the inevitable, and it will hurt for a lot longer, and while shit is not a pleasant thing to have to deal with, the baby that *needs us to push* in order to come into the light doesn’t care one iota about the fact that we are going to shit on the table, and neither should anyone else who is present in the room, and if those who are present in the room *do* care about the fact that some shit arrived along with a *whole ass human being* we just pushed out of our cootchie, well, those humans do *not belong in the room*.

See what I’m saying?

IV. It was one hell of a vision, and while this whole “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best” thing is not a new revelation for me, it was powerful to have this new (if rather visceral) way to think about it.

V. I was reminded of the experience of having all of my upper teeth extracted.

After growing and feeding babies in and from my body while I was living in poverty, my teeth were too far gone to save, so they had to come out. And I was terrified because like many of us who have a history of child sexual abuse, I do not enjoy the sense of powerlessness that comes over me when someone hovers (looms!) over my prostrate body and does stuff to me that hurts.

I had asked my partner to stay with me throughout the process, which my partner promised to do with the dentist’s approval, but he couldn’t handle it. He said “Your face is getting all wrinkly and it’s freaking me out.” and he *left me there*. I was high on nitrous oxide, terrified, and totally helpless, and *he left me there*.

Same thing happened when I went to emergency with an irregular heartbeat and the doc was afraid I was going to throw a clot.

He left me there, all hooked up to a heart monitor, watching it like a hawk while I waiting for a head CT, afraid I was going to stroke out.

VI. It should come as no surprise that these examples of being abandoned when the shit hits the fan are only the tip of the “abandoned when the shit hits the fan” iceberg.

When my first husband died of pneumonia and my grief over it elicited eye-rolls and exasperated sighs. When the kids in our household were all going through some form of crisis AT THE SAME TIME and he checked out completely, smoked pot and played WoW and left us all to our own devices. When my kid got hospitalized for psychosis and I was left to fend for us both while he holidayed in India.

I know *now* that that fucking guy did not belong in the room. But in those moments, I thought it was *my fault* that he didn’t want to be in the room, because, look. I couldn’t even get the flu as a kid without being treated like I was an inconvenience, so of COURSE it was my fault that he didn’t want to be in the room, right?

VII. I know better now, because, me? If I love you?

I want to be in the room.

I want to hold your hand when the dentist is ripping your teeth out by the roots. I want to help you breathe through the worst while you shit on the table. I want to hold you while you grieve. I want to *show up*. I want to *be there*.

Hell, I want all of that even if I barely *like* you.

So, yanno. It follows that anyone that wants to be in my life has to be able to say the same or they don’t deserve me.

And that’s a thing I know now.

Hallelujah. I’ll take it.

On To Lighter Fare

VIII. When I say “lighter”, I mean “less heavy”. I am lighter. The content I am pursuing and engaging is lighter. The things I’m painting are lighter. The way I play is lighter. While all of *waves at the above* is super heavy, I am following heavier fare with lighter fare as way to practice self-loyalty. I am doing therapy and then engaging in something whimsical so my nervous system has a chance to regulate itself. I’m taking a course on shadow work, and following up with an episode of The Great Pottery Throw Down or Portrait Artist Of The year (instead of the latest serial killer documentary). I’m digging in my own dirt, yes, but I also turn on the tunes and dance it out until I’m a glowing, sweaty bundle of endorphins, and then? I sluice off in a hot shower.

It’s such a relief because I got stuck there for a good long while with nothing but the heavier fare. Too much true crime (what is up with my fascination with serial killers, y’all). All the sad songs. My regrettable past playing on loop in my head. All The Trauma Work, none of the fun, and what passed for fun was really just anesthetic.

There wasn’t much room in my life for the things that give me life. 

That’s shifting.

IX. I wrote a bit about that for this week’s Journal52, which I sent out to my beloveds via my newsletter + uploaded to The Wilderhood, but I thought I’d share it here as well. 

GRAB THE FILE ON DROPBOX

It has been an absolute joy to see how people respond to these (brand new for 2022) editions of Journal52.

Lighter Fare. Mmmmm hmmmm.

I’ll take it.

X. As mentioned in my newsletter, I am 73 days alcohol-free. The search for lighter fare has been integral to this journey, because once you stop numbing everything out, everything arises to be felt and dealt with, and that, my loves, is heavy stuff. But, I’m up to it.

See? This is me. Clear-eyed. Self-possessed. Dancing in all of my own rooms without fear. Pushing as needed, shit be damned. This baby is worth it.

xo
Effy

*I know I’m aging myself here – we give birth in beds now, but I had the delightful experience of having to hop up on a *table* in the delivery room once, and I’ll never forget it. Boy am I ever glad that’s a thing that’s changed. 

 

 

So, Then This Happened

I found this in my travels on the interwebs and found myself immediately enchanted with the idea. 

I thought about it for a while and realized that it’s not really practical as an actual thing for me because my witchcraft practice can best be described as “engaging in spicy psychology”, so I don’t do “spells” the way the average witch does spells. I make mine up, usually on the fly, and they aren’t generally “book, bell, and candle” type things. I do most of my witchcraft in my art journal because art witchery is my jam. 

BUT! 

This could be so much fun as a whimsical project that I don’t take too seriously. I could see myself creating mixed-media art spells on recipe cards. It could go like this:

I sit down and do a tarot draw to see what wants to come up for the day’s session.

I paint something that will call in whatever needs to be called in – love, prosperity, healing, strength, creativity – whatever.

Voila. Spell cards. Right??!!

*Swoon*

The more I thought about it, the more excited I got.

So, then this happened. 

I don’t know what to tell you. They just hopped into my shopping cart and whined and cried and carried on until I hit “buy now”.

AND this all coincides with the upcoming 100DayProject. 

So, that’s a thing I’m going to do now because, yanno. I don’t have enough to do. 

*SIGH*

In Other News 

It’s month-end and I had a bit of a disaster when I was filming the new moon working for Moonshine, so I’m woefully behind. I spent an egregious amount of time making tiny doodles in a waterfall using a Sakura Gelly Roll, and then when I went to glaze over the doodles with some acrylic ink, the Sakura smeared and disappeared and OMGDOOOOOOOOOM. 

SIDE NOTE

I went looking for an “omgdooooom” gif or image on Google and you know what came up? 

Links to my blogs. 

Omgdoom leads to images of people’s faces in shock about something but omgdooooom looped me right back here. 

I am amused. And bereft of an OMGDOOOOOOM gif. Could someone make one for me? 

Okay, back to our story.

Needless to say, I have to fix the thing before I can finish the spread and get it up in the classroom.

Oof. 

So, today will be for *waves at all of that*, which means I have no more time for *waves at all of this*. 

I’ll see you on the other side of omgdooooom. ;)

P.S. I was absolutely in love with the way the light was coming through my window treatments yesterday so I snapped this, and offer it, and these totally chill furbabes for tax.

Caturday Vibes

I. Yesterday, I made myself a pot of echinacea, turmeric and ginger tea and settled in to do the thing.

II. What thing, you ask? I peeled all the seals off this monstrosity of a Jelly Gouache collection.

Y’all, I am not lying when I tell you that this took an hour and I was *covered* in gouache and my hands were cramped into arthritic little claws of omgdoom by the time I was done. But! It was so worth it!

Today, I’m going to organize them so the blues live with the blues and the pinks live with the pinks and the greens live with the greens etc. Yes, I am a Libra with Libra rising and a Cap moon. *Giggles*.

III. A lot of today is going to be spent doing something I call “Sandboxing”. Sandboxing is putting together all the content for a lesson in a behind-the-scenes spot on my class website that no one ever sees since it’s where I beta test things and make sure they’re all spiffy before you lot file in to enjoy the content. I enjoy this part of my work because I get to see everything I’ve created, curated or collected coming together into one cohesive offering, and that makes me ridiculously happy.

It’s definitely work, but it’s fun work. Kind of like icing the cake.

IV. As soon as I’m sufficiently caffeinated, I’ll be launching into that bit of action for the day, but I wanted to get my ten things done and dusted since I’m enjoying the way they give some structure to my day. It makes me a bit nostalgic, since way back in the day when I first started blogging, I literally poured myself out of bed and into my blog every morning without fail. This was back when Xanga was a thing (and also Livejournal) and the whole world kept an “online diary”. Remember? I loved that. I loved reading my “blog roll” with my coffee and leaving comments and “eprops”. It was like having a little village to wake up to every day where we’d all visit the neighbours “over the fence”.

V. I keep wishing blogging would make a comeback but I get that our collective attention spans just aren’t up to it anymore. No matter. I’mma blog anyway, and like those of us who are opting out of fast food and fast fashion, maybe some of us will opt out of fast socials – or at least, incorporate some slow socials into our routines.

VI. This morning I discovered that a stencil I was coveting is available on The Crafter’s Workshop AND that TCW ships direct to Canada.

Swoon!

My bank account isn’t happy with me at the moment, but my heart is all aflutter over the anticipated arrival of a bunch of new stencils, which I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed. Honest. I also needed the two books of wallpaper samples I bought from Etsy. I SWEAR!

VII. I’m paying a lot of attention to the little things that will bring me a sense of the good life even while Omicron burns through Ontario, and because I believe that art is magic, I made a spread that included some of those things.

All this stamping took FOREVER but like most things that require me to get still and focused for a little bit, it was well worth it.

I have some whipped cream coming in my grocery order today, by the way. Because, of course.

What would you put on your list?

VIII. My kitchen is an absolute disaster and there are a bunch of flat-packed furniture things lying about in boxes waiting to be built. I still haven’t put together the little table I keep going on about, and when that’s done I have two cabinets & two cube bookshelves to build AND a teal accent cabinet that I’ve been meaning to put together since 2019. Yup. Still in the box.

I *will* get to it at some point, but I think I’ll keep the list “work-focused” for this weekend since it is month-end, and getting distracted by things like building flat-packed furniture is not going to help me get month-end done. Just please pray for me that I don’t trip over boxes and break my neck before I finally get them all sorted.

IX. Renee sent me this, and I *cackled*.

X. Since my eyes went all borked and I can no longer enjoy reading actual books, I am thinking about decluttering my bookshelves and that makes my heart ache a little bit BUT I am going to make a list of all the ones I want to read again or use for research and get them as e-books. I will get these cataracts sorted eventually, but in the meantime, the only way I can enjoy reading is if I can adjust the font size to something my borked eyes can handle. I like the look of shelves full of books, but I don’t like dusting them and I’m asthmatic and they never leave their homes in the shelves anymore anyway, so…

…I’ve always had this battle between having a cluttered collection of bookshelves and witchy knick-knacks and craving a temple tidy environment that’s easy to keep clean, and I’m leaning hard toward the latter these days because my space is soooooooo tiny…

…but I *love* every little thing I display on those bookshelves, and I love love love my books – so much so that some of them have traveled with me for decades from country to country to city to city to house to house…

…can you tell this is a bit of a conundrum for me?

Maybe I need a storage unit so I can go visit my books when I get to missing them.

Hoookay. That’s enough of a brain dump for me for now.

Sending Caturday Vibes and love.

P.S. Day 64.

 

via GIPHY

The Good Life

I. I got off to a fantastic start yesterday with a very early rising (5 a.m.). Did my Wordle. Had my coffee. Journaled and did a tarot draw. Slayed half the list by painting and editing. Did Zoom coffee with my muppet and then therapy and then another Zoom coffee with one of my kids, and then I lost the will to participate in the world as it is, popped an Edison Jolt, ordered in Fettucine Carbonara, crawled into the blanket fort and – you’re not going to believe this – watched three hours of Chris Cuomo’s testimony on YouTube.

Why did I do that last thing? I have no idea. I’m not even really all that interested in *waves at that whole Cuomo thing*.

Oh well. Whatever. Let’s blame it on the Edison Jolt, shall we?

II. I was going to start typing about how I didn’t really get all that much done, but you know what? I’m looking at the above list, which includes checking in with myself, doing some (really good) work, connecting with people I love, feeding myself, letting myself check out for a while, and that is actually A LOT. Also, this:

No lies detected.

III. It was a good mail day. I got this set of 56 Jelly Gouache, and while I did not have enough go-go juice left in the tank to peel off the lids and swatch the set, I am really excited about carving out some time to do that in the near future. Maybe this weekend.

I’ve watched a few YouTubes on the stuff and they look like they’re delightful to play with. I’m thinking they’d be amazing for pattern surface design since they are matte and will photograph well. They also feel like an antidote to deep winter. Just LOOK at all the colours!!!

Here’s one of the YouTube videos I watched.

If I get bored this weekend, I might hop onto a Facebook Live because friends don’t let friends peel 56 lids off tiny pots, and friends don’t let friends swatch alone, either. Maybe I’ll turn on the big girl camera so I can throw the video up on YouTube, too. I’ll let my list loves know if I do either. Are you subscribed to my list yet? No? Here you go. 

IV. I made myself a pot of rooibos vanilla tea yesterday and liked the way it looked on my painty table so I took a photo.

I like what this photo says about my ordinary reality. It might be ordinary to me, but I am absolutely swimming in good things. Art supplies. Good books. A creative practice. Delicious tea. BRAYERS. A massive handbound art journal. Space and time to play.

This photo represents abundance to me. This is what the good life looks like.

What represents abundance to you? What does YOUR good life look like?

P.S. My thoughts on “the good life” are informed in this moment by my participation in Isabel and Renee’s “Your Favourite Self“.

V. Day 63. I’ve lost ten pounds – not that I care about that except as proof that alcohol was bulking me up with empty calories. I’m eating three times (at least) more than I did before I quit and yet the pounds are melting off with zero effort on my part. Ok, then. I’ll take it. I’m about to dip down into the 170s, though, and I am an endomorphic 5′ 11” so I don’t really want to lose much more or I’ll have to turn in my Amazon Warrior card and I am rather possessive of that card, thank you very much.

P.S. I would *never, ever* spear a panther. 

VI. It’s Friday so the wine witch is all uppity. I have plans to shut her up with black seedless grapes, chocolate-covered almonds, and ginger-infused kombucha. Hey. Whatever works.

While I am not planning to remain alcohol-free for the rest of my life, I am really enjoying watching those numbers rack up, and every time I think to myself “Yanno? A glass of rose would be fab right now!” I find myself opting not to. There’s some fear that one or two glasses will swiftly lead to 8 and when I play that possibility forward on the screen of my mind, I have visions of myself feeling absolutely wretched the next day, full of bile and regret, and unhappy with my decision.

So far, that’s working.

I’ll take that, too.

VII. OH HEY FELLOW CARDSLINGERS! This tarot journal is luscious. I bought both the printable and the digital version, which I’m going to load it up into Goodnotes on my iPad and see if that helps me keep up with it. They have a “Writual Membership” which I’m “try-before-I-buy” ing. It looks good so far.

VIII. New Moon in Aquarius is coming up. I’m looking forward to calling in some shenanigans because that is what I need in my life right now and it’s going to take some innovative ways of looking at things to get that need met, because shenanigans are hard to come by in the time of COVID.

IX. Reunite* starts in earnest on Feb 2, so there. Shenanigans!!!! Which reminds me that it really is time to get my easel set up and ready if I’m going to do more than half-watch while I do my own thing. I suck at being in other people’s communities but I’m working on that because I *get a lot* out of being in other people’s communities. Especially the really nourishing ones like the ones that grow up around Flora Bowley’s offerings*. 

X. Therapy yesterday. We talked about how my relationship with anger has shifted, how it doesn’t get buried under piles of fawning until I reach my threshold and explode all over whoever has been pushing my buttons. How I’m owning it as righteous, which relieves a lot of pressure.

I’ve embraced my inner Sekhmet.

I’ll take that, too.

And you? How are you? How’s your heart?

*affiliate link. When you purchase products I recommend through links I mark with an asterisk (*), I make a commission, which helps me purchase more products to recommend and also keeps me in coffee, kombucha, paint, and black seedless grapes. Thank you! 

 

What I’m Watching, Wordle, What I’m Planning, Art Supplies, and Other Musings

I. I am absolutely loving season four of The Great Pottery Throwdown. It’s so wholesome and just what the doctor ordered. Here in Canada, I watch it on “Cottage Life”, which is an Apple TV add-on. I also binged season one of Relentless, which I watched on Discovery+. It’s a mindfuck of a documentary about an independent filmmaker’s search for a missing woman. Gripping! Also, The Gilded Age, by the creators of Downton Abbey, which just started this week. I’m watching it on Crave. I turned Renee onto it and she was immediately sucked in. I love watching series with Renee because she texts the best commentary.

All the streaming services I mentioned above are the ones I have access to in Canada. If you’re elsewhere, I’m sure Google will help.

What are you geeking out on lately?

II. Wordle is fun. I start every game with the word “adieu” so I get a sense of what vowels I might be working with. I like firing it up first thing with my coffee as a way to nudge my brain awake and firing on all cylinders. Today’s was pretty easy.

Wordle 222 4/6

⬛⬛⬛⬛🟨
⬛🟩🟩⬛⬛
⬛🟩🟩🟩🟩
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

III. The news is heavy. More unmarked graves. Russia and Ukraine. A new variant – though that seems to be good news since there’s a theory that it’s more contagious but *less* dangerous, and if we keep getting variants that are contagious enough to take over its predecessor while being less severe, that’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m pretty sure we’re on our way to this becoming endemic.

BUT. The immunocompromised and those who can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons will still be super vulnerable so wear your damned mask and get your booster. I’m not liking the “everyone is going to get it” rhetoric because while it will probably not kill you, it could still kill whoever you give it to.

I know. I’m preaching to the choir.

IV. I have an art crush. Have you met Froyle Davis yet? She is *amazing*. I have never really been able to wrap my head around collage, but watching Froyle work fascinates me. She’s got a YouTube channel and a bunch of stuff up on Skillshare. She inspired me to get some wallpaper sample books (I got mine on Etsy) and order an inspiration pack from her. I still haven’t dug my Gelli plate out of storage but once I do, it’s game on.

LOOK! LOOK AT THIS!!!!!

*Drooooooooooooools*

V. Once winter is over and I can set us up on the front lawn with a folding table and some lawn chairs, my friend, Julie, is going to grab my other friend, Sal, and a stack of old Nat Geo’s and I’m going to get some Citrasolv and we’re going to have a Froyle Davis inspired collage party.

VI. I’m thinking about what I want to teach in my next weekend retreat. So far we’ve done Sweet Trash, Journal Jam, and Out Of The Shadows. I am thinking I’d like to do a lip-up girl immersion – one girl, created on a Friday evening to be scanned or photographed and used as a template, and then four projects – maybe earth, air, water, and fire inspired, over Saturday & Sunday. Yes? Lemme know in the comments.

VII. Arteza has a selection of opaque, matte “craft quality” fluid acrylics and they’re lovely. Perfect for art journaling because they’re super easy to write over + use coloured pencils over without having to fuss with clear gesso. I’m not an affiliate – just a fan – because when you’re just throwing paint around without a plan, and/or you want a matte finish that dries super quickly, these are fantastic.

I’m also loving the Decoart Dazzling Metallics and Decoart Americana paints that I bought three years ago and never used because I’ve always been a bit of a Golden/Liquitex snob.

I’m definitely getting over that these days, though, because craft paints are fun, and having some budget friendlier paints to suggest to students feels good.

VIII. I also tried the Golden SoFlat Matte paints and they were – well. Just okay. I tried mixing colours with them, and the experience was meh. They’re fine for pops of matte colour here and there, though. 

This mixing kit, though?

Yesssssssssss.

If you’re new to Golden fluid acrylics, and you want a taste, start with these.

They’re super mixable and these ten colours will set you up.

All the links in this exploration of art supplies lead to Amazon.ca but Google can help you if you’re not in Canada. xo

IX. Speaking of art supplies, here’s a PDF list of some of my favourites. 

X. And that’s me, today! No DRAMA DOTS because, lo, my life is currently drama free. HUZZAH!

Sneak peek at my lesson for February’s Book Of Days 2022 for tax. This spread features some of the Arteza craft paint, the Decoart Dazzling Metallics, and a bunch of Golden Fluids as well as some Liquitex Acrylic Ink.