Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Eat well, kiss well, work ditto and you'll die happy.

Paul Gauguin

Summer is here and my boys are home.
And that means little or no working for me. My two are not the quietly-read-in-the-corner-and-not-make-a-mess kinds of kids. They are the We-want-to-have-a-lemonade-stand-and-need-you-to-make-the-lemonade-and-set-up guys. I'm hands on and hands in. I've been going through the ideas I've ripped out of magazines and culled off Pinterest -- glow in the dark jars from light sticks, chalk shadows, patriotic pretzels, drawing, journaling, etc etc. They abuse and waste my supplies when I attempt a real Art Project, I can't teach them a thing. No respect for their elder.

So I am trying my best to cool my jets and enjoy the summer and not do a bunch of work (until next week, more on that). And apparently patience pays off. Last week I got notice that one of my cards has been featured in Somerset Studio Gallery's Summer 2013 issue (I was also in their last issue). And today, another note from them -- a feature this time in Handcrafted Volume 8!! And I'm scheduled to be  in Cloth, Paper, Scissors in January 2014. Hope my 15 minutes of fame doesn't happen all at once.

2012 Winter issue


I like going from one lighted room to another, such is my brain to me; lighted rooms.
Virginia Woolf

I love the idea of being able to compartmentalize my different activities, I call it the Jeffersonian approach, after TJ (being a Virginian I know all about Thomas Jefferson). I paint a little, exercise a little, read a little, write a little. Doing a little of these things each day makes for a happy and balanced me.

Everything can't be so easily compartmentalized, however. For example, when my boys come home from school I want to give them my undivided attention, especially when they are doing their homework. I want to be In The Now with them. Here's where the dilemma comes in: shouldn't I model correct behavior and work on some of my home-work while they work on theirs, to keep them focused, and model Working Behavior? And doesn't it make sense for me to Get Some Things Done while being at one with them, like working on my etsy shop or website? I do this administrative work sometimes, but then get fussy with them when they "interrupt" me with their reading and addition problems, focus gone. Be a good mom, susannah, be in the moment. Flip through recipes or something.

This Jeffersonian ideal of time management is an ideal, not a reality. There are always things on my to do list that don't get done, and who wants perfection anyway? Perfection is boring, might as well roll over and die. It seems to me that the quote I keep seeing on Pinterest for example, is that you spend your time doing what's most important to you. And the reality of how I spend my day is this: tend to the children, paint, play with paper, eat with my family, read. Sometimes exercise. Lots of times garden, rarely clean up the basement.

And try to send a handwritten note to someone. To make them feel special.