Artist & Motherly Goals

I thought I would be a better mother. I thought I would stay married. I thought that if I got divorced, I would be the fun house. Apparently, not. Apparently, my daughter has more fun at her dad’s with his live in girlfriend and her dog. Apparently, mom is too busy and doesn’t do as much art as said girlfriend does with her.

It all makes me very sad.

The thing is I’m trying, however, I do have too many projects on the go. I’m trying to paint the apartment. I’m not only making resin things, I’m trying to post them on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Etsy. I’m also sewing and making gift tags.

I’m trying to make some money to pay off my debt. So far I have way outspent what I have made, but I am optimistic. People are receiving my pieces well. I’ve done the math and it can be really profitable, if it sells, and if I actually use the molds I’ve bought. Most molds, if I sell 1-3 pieces from it, I’ve made money. Anything beyond that is amazing. I now have a small collection of glitter and dried flowers. I have a lot of molds. I haven’t used all my molds yet, but I want to; I plan to.

The issue is space. I can’t leave things out willy nilly because they take two days to dry. I have one shelf in the wine cabinet. I fill one 15 oz cup with resin and that is what I use once or twice a week. I want to try to do it twice a week to get more stuff done.

The thing I am mostly focused on is keychains and pop sockets. I do make bigger things, however, I do not have the boxes to ship them, so nothing big is listed. I want to buy the boxes and start doing those bigger things, however, I want to wait a while until the living room is all painted and I can afford everything I want from that store including 2 computer chairs. I do not like to pay more shipping than I have to!

I feel like if I can make this art thing work, it will be extra income for me in the kids. I love doing arts and crafts and my goal is to take home 10k a year from my hobby. That money would pay for their university. It would also give me financial stability when they turn 18 and I no longer get money for them anymore.

I don’t want to have the plan of finding a man to live with. Actually, I don’t really want a stepdad for my kids, while they are living with me at least. I don’t want the drama. Maybe, I will meet someone wonderful that will end up being part of the family. I just believe in relying on myself. I believe the safest plan is one where I take care of my family and don’t lean on a relationship that might not work out.

I do resin when the kids are at their dad’s apartment or when they are asleep. I have to open the windows for ventilation which can be a little chilly but it is usually boiling hot in here year round. I have the kids here during the week so right now they are in school, and because of our work schedules and me getting full time in September, we opted for them to do in person schooling. So in reality, I have 4 hours a day with them. Sometimes I am cooking, sometimes I am cleaning. Right now I am blogging while they lay beside me on devices. I do try to do art with them. Sometimes, after school my daughter isn’t up to art and she just wants a show and a snuggle. We have an art desk and now that I am making less masks (also am trying to sew now when they are asleep), we have been at it more. We all sit and do crafts or my son may play with toys there. We are together.

Since the comments about loving daddy’s house more, and the obsession with the girlfriend since she met her, I am determined to spend more time at the art desk. I need them to understand in there tiny little adorable heads though, that mommy kind of has two jobs. Mommy also doesn’t have help like daddy does now. I am blessed that I can be home for those four hours a night. I don’t want to waste them. I don’t like her comparing, but maybe, just maybe, it is making me a more involved, better, more present mother.

Pushing Myself With My Art

This week I finished a little resin succulent pot holder that I have been working on for a month! I honestly didn’t think it would turn out as well as it did. The whole month I had anxiety about the resin drying or my choices. I honestly thought it would look stupid and it was gorgeous!

How did I make this most beautiful thing? Well, I used Thick Pour resin, mixed for 5+ minutes, added some glitter, alcohol inks and pressed flowers. Thick Pour is only recommended for 2 inches deep at a time so I did it in layers.

I had sooo much anxiety and self doubt with this project, until the very end. Getting it out was hard and I was terrified to break my very expensive mold! It held up though.

Resin is something I only started this year. I did spend way too much money on it; on molds, glitter, tile and the resin itself. I don’t have regrets though because I really pushed myself as an artist. I went from making cards to making 3D objects. I am also learning to sew and have made over 100 masks. Growth is important to me. I never want to become stagnant.

Art is my retirement plan. I want to do it my whole life and I dream of one day it being my full time job. I have 14 years before I need a second job. I’m hustling like it is next year. Selling art is hard but it is coming along. I think it gets a bit easier once you are established. I have noticed my social media slowly growing. I get a huge smile every time someone favourites an item in my Etsy shop. The thing is, I think I am so in love with the process, I believe I can do it. I love creating and posting my projects. I am determined to keep working at it until it is an actual business.

Let me know what you think of it in the comments!

Journaling Is Making Me Irritated

A few times in my life I have attempted to journal. Once my mother found it and lost her shit. Let’s just say, until I moved out, she read my mail. I didn’t ever try while I was married. I don’t know if it never occurred to me to try, or subconsciously I didn’t want to risk someone reading it.

Writing has always been important to me. It was a strength in school. I don’t feel as confident in my abilities these days after taking years off, same with art, however, I like it. I really regret taking YEARS off writing and art. What was I doing with my life? I was working retail. I was a mom. I was dealing with a super sick baby. I was running a direct sales business.

It is funny how life turns out though. The skills I NEED now are video, writing and art. Drawing is just not a skill I have at this point. I was starting to acquire it as a kid but then I stopped after grade 9. You may think your life is going in one direction then suddenly, you make a u-turn.

I started journalling last week, and let me tell you, it is not all joy and rainbows. It is bringing out my flaws. I see messy writing. I am so jealous of the people who can hand letter beautifully. That being said, I could probably do some boss lettering with an Ipad. This morning a made a to do list for today and tomorrow. Well, not only did I cross of 4 things and deemed them “unrealistic”, I also had to give myself two extra days. All that correcting and scribbling and making me want to throw out my journal and start over. Clearly I am still struggling with perfectionism. It is rare that what I do is good enough for me. I really want to work through this because it is no way to live. Even this article, I kind of hate it. I took a break from writing it, and now that I’m back, just no. I’m going to post it though because as silly as this issue seams, not having not nice lettering, it hits a nerve with me. It is a real, irritable, side of me.

The journaling is not all bad though. It has given me time to think. I have laughed at myself at times. It has also really inspired me. At one point I really wanted to write a book about FPIES, about my life and my kids struggles with it. I think EVENTUALLY I will put out that book and self publish. Until then, I have decided to blog about everything; one little story at a time. One day, when I have time, and enough material, I will take all my posts, tweak it, and turn it into a more cohesive book. Alright, that’s what I’ll do.

Painting Delays

I wrote a post a long time ago, that has long since been deleted, called I Should Be Cleaning. I always feel like I should be cleaning (or sewing). This weekend I planned on painting my living room. Even in this moment, I feel like I should be working on that instead of plugging away at the keys of my computer. So far, filled all the holes and sanded. I cleaned half the area I was going to paint. I kind of gave up after that.

Why did it have to be this weekend? Well, the kids spent an extra day with dad so I could do it, but, more importantly, I was supposed to have 3 vacation days from work. Work got crazy and I decided to cancel my staycation.

I still felt an overwhelming pressure to paint this weekend.

I don’t have any weekends off until 2021 now. To be honest, I haven’t had a full weekend off since I started my job almost two years ago. With my custody with the kids, it makes more sense for me to work every weekend when they are with their dad. I did try to take off my 30th birthday weekend this year but they were pretty desperate and I worked the Saturday.

I am committed to actually taking some proper vacation time in 2021! I do not want to wait that long to paint though. My plan is to paint this week while the kids are asleep and some Tuesday while I am off work and the kids are at school. If I want to paint this week, what does that mean? Well, it means that my furniture is staying in the middle of the room. It means that my apartment will be a clusterfuck for the week while my kids are here, which is not what I wanted.

I am stressed and tired. I think tonight I will try to catch up on sleep. I will give myself some much needed self care. I need it. I can’t live on Monsters, RedBull and coffee everyday. Every few days I need a really good sleep. Maybe, I’ll be able to prime the walls tomorrow if I get the walls clean tonight.

To be honest, I feel so conflicted. Painting takes time away from daily chores I need to catch up on. I know that getting through this work will make me happy. I know that a few dishes can wait. I know that I can fold laundry while my kids are painting pictures. However it works out, I think it will be okay. Wish me luck!

Redecorating

I feel like my apartment had a torrential rainfall inside of it. It is a disaster. I suppose, the lucky thing is, the kids are at their dad’s for a few days. I miss them already, but as I prepare to paint the living room, it is nice to have some alone time to do it.

I am moving things around as I fix the walls, filling holes from what seams like a past life. We have rearranged the living room a few times. We had a house phone on the wall at some point, just for the buzzer. Now it is linked to my cell phone. My ex-husband’s diploma hung prominently, now it is gone. Family picture collage frames used to hang. It was too painful to look at them after we broke up. Now I have completely different idea for photos. New area, new frames.

I feel like I have been erasing my ex since the day he moved out. I packed up all his stuff for him. I gave him the bed and bought a completely different one. I kept my TV but he has his TV stand. I kept the wine cabinet. That, he was so excited when we bought it. I now do my resin art in it and it has a shelf full of girly, floral, bone china. Something he didn’t want, in patterns he would never allow.

I am constantly terrified about getting evicted or getting fired. I haven’t done anything to deserve those things to happen, however, I still live in fear. Painting is just triggering me more. I love this apartment. I am getting more attached to it the more I make it “mine”. I could survive the evicted part, but it would suck. Prices for apartments have gone up so much! It would be a few hundred more a month plus at least hydro. My job, my now full time job, works around my availability so well. I don’t have to get babysitters at all when the kids are in school. Not even an afterschool program.

It is crazy to me that I have lived in this apartment for over 7 years and had my job for almost 2. I am waiting for the ball to drop. I felt more secure when I was married; when I had a partner with their own income taking care of things. The biggest thing that I think sparked this ridiculous anxiety is the fact that they wanted to evict us! They said my daughter was too loud. They accused us of letting her run around at 3 am, when, in fact, we were all asleep. This was a few years ago but I can’t shake it. My children have their loud moments but now that they are in school all day, I do feel a bit better.

I must go now. I must do some dishes, sew some masks, and get some sleep! Night my lovely readers.

Carless & In An Apartment

I’m going to say something kind of crazy. I’m going to let my driver’s licence expire. I also, don’t want a house. I get into arguments with family and friends about this all the time. I have savings goals and I once, out loud, pondered what I should do with my money. The response? Down payment for a house! Umm no, I’m never moving. Well, maybe I’ll move if I meet someone incredible who really wants me to move in with them. However, I am not moving just because I have more money or a better job.

The idea of moving is very overwhelming to me. I just bought paint last week to paint my kitchen and living room. Totally forgot to buy paint for the trim though! The reason I decided to paint now after 7 years of living in this apartment is timing, and I plan on staying here for at least 10 more years. Timing, because kids just began school and they are spending more time with their dad. We share custody pretty much 50/50. I was able to book off a few days of work for mid October so I shall dig into the painting then! My apartment has silly rules about approved colours, which I have never looked at. I painted the bedrooms bright colours, which I am sure were not approved. There is a fee when you move, which I will probably just pay over repainting. IF I move that is. Maybe I will retire here.

The colour I picked for the living room is yellow and for the kitchen, green. In the kitchen I am debating taking the cupboard doors off, which I am sure I will be charged for! My opinion is that if I am going to be here for years and years, I would rather be happy as a clam and pay for repairs later! Last year, I took two sets of closet doors off and I am sooo happy I did that.

I quickly mentioned that moving would be overwhelming. It would be. If I moved now, it would just be too much work for me to move alone. My Le Creuset collection alone gives me anxiety. As durable as cast iron is, I am terrified something would happen in transport. I am slightly nervous just moving it to paint the dining room. I am a bit ridiculous that way, always over worrying. That is, in fact, one reason I hate driving and don’t want a house. I have lived paycheck to paycheck before and I feel like those two things are a financial burden. To me at least. I totally understand the argument for buying a house, hoping it increases in value, then you are set for retirement. If you sell your home when you retire, I feel like, one, that is sad, and two, I wonder how much renting or a small condo will be in 40 years.

The car thing. Well, I am walking distance to work. It takes me 35-40 minutes each way. I could take the bus if I wanted to but on days I really want to the bus is unreliable. Winter gives me anxiety, walking in a blizzard. I swear I have less anxiety when I am actually doing it, than when September hits and I say “winter is coming”. I think of all the money I save not buying a car. The car itself, insurance, repairs, gas. This is the money I now have to save for my children’s university fund. This is money I can use to save for retirement. This is money I can use to invest more into my businesses.

Any renters here? Anyone carless? Let me know I’m not alone.

#art

I recently started tagging some of my social media posts #art and #artist. This honestly took a lot for me. I was seeing artists on TikTok tagging this, but I didn’t have the courage. I’m a crafter, not an artist. This is a card, not art. Well when I post my alcohol ink backgrounds, how is it different from alcohol ink art? #fluidart. Well? I argued with myself for weeks. Is it not fluid art???

Short story, shorter. Be proud of your work and give it the dues it deserves. Show it off.

I’ve loved art since I was little, definitely as long as I could remember. When I went into high school I decided to pursue science instead. I wanted to be a doctor, specifically a pathologist. I did some drawing through my teen years, but it was few and far between. I suppose when I was a kid I identified as an artist somewhat. Now, I’m possibly having a bit of an identity crisis. I don’t feel like I have enough skill to be considered an artist. I can’t really draw, I can’t really paint.

I want to learn to draw, specifically human anatomy. I am still in fact a science nerd. I could do it decently if studying reference photos. I just never make the time. I don’t know what the point would be. I’m not going to make cards with that. I should do it though. I could at least make TikToks about it. I follow a couple artists that make horror versions of cartoons and fast food restaurants. I don’t know where drawing might lead. What I might be inspired to create.

Honestly, right now though, I’m overwhelmed. My daughter is off of school and we are trying to do some homeschool. Started doing flashcards with my three year old, and now he is obsessed. He wants me to look at the cards with him all day long. My house is basically always a disaster. I clean it when they are at their dad’s on the weekend. I’m exhausted. I will be having a few days off from work coming up, so maybe that will help.

I don’t feel artistically burnt out. I am motivated. I’m just generally busy and tired. Maybe I’ll get a sketchbook and do a couple sketches a week. Something manageable. I could do that. Not that I need more on my to do list, but maybe it will help me destress. If I show off any of the sketches I’ll definitely give it a #art.

What Is Your Legacy?

Part of me doesn’t care if anyone reads this blog. Part of me hopes no one in my family does, but I hope my children do when they are late teenagers. I hope they read everything I’ve written. I hope they see every photo I’ve ever posted on social media. There’s a strange thing about life these days, when we die, no one is fighting over a photo album. They can look at mom’s Instagram, isn’t that odd?

Why would I want my kids to read my blog?
– sometimes I talk about them and I want them to know how proud I am of them
– I want them to know about things on a deeper level, once they are old enough and ready
– to see what hard work and commitment can accomplish
– so they can know me better
– to start a dialogue
– I may change my perspective as my life progresses, I may learn and evolve; I want them to see that is okay. What’s important is that we are always growing as people
– maybe I’m a little narcissistic, or just proud of it

I don’t know what my kids will be when they grow up but I know they love art. I personally wish I had continued my passion with art as a hobby instead of taking a 15 year break. Art is a skill that I wish I had more of. Now I’m not saying that I will FORCE my kids to continue with art. I will say that I plan to encourage and motivate them, especially when they are teenagers. Right now it’s easy, they love art. They draw, colour and paint everyday. Even if they don’t go into art and don’t want a side hustle, creating is so fulfilling. It can give you such a sense of pride and accomplishment. It can be therapeutic.

I find art fun, but I struggle since I haven’t been doing it my whole life. I find writing more therapeutic. It isn’t about being the best writer, I’m definitely not. It’s about panging on the keys, releasing of my raw emotions, the processing of events passed that still bother me, and the reminiscing of the good memories.

Do you have a craft you are proud of? What is your legacy?

Perfectionism

Every time I try to keep a diary, I end up throwing it out. The first time I did this blog, I deleted everything. I’m a perfectionist. I also get so passionate in the moment and later feel like I look insane. Some things were written when I was in a very emotional state. I was going through a separation from my husband and I had just got diagnosed bipolar. I have mixed feelings about just writing that. On one hand, I don’t want anyone to know that I have been diagnosed that. I am also a fully functional human being. I have a job and usually work full time hours. I am a single mom with shared custody of two amazing kids.

I hope to move up in my company one day. Then I get scared. Will they read my blog? Will they find out I’m bipolar? Will it matter? I really hope that in this day and age, it won’t matter. I hope that if I randomly post a couple conspiracy theories I am seen as fun and quirky, not crazy. Maybe just the fact that I have a blog will give hesitation to promoting me. I do try have a boundary between work and my blog. There is a bunch of tiktoks I would love to make about work, but I’m too scared of being fired. You never know. We are in a day and age where this technological world is still new. That is just my opinion on it.

I also live with anxiety, but if anything it makes me a better employee (also, just my opinion). I am meticulous with details and following up with things. I don’t let anything fall off the wayside. I am not trying to boast. I can find work extremely stressful because of my anxiety. I am the type of person who would buy my own planner and make little work to do lists for each day, write down important deadlines, and notes if I have to get back to someone with an answer to something. I am 100% more affected with anxiety than bipolar. Maybe it is the type of bipolar I have, or the fact that I am on medication for it. I could easily opt for anxiety medication but I am coping and I am a big believer in exposure therapy. I noticed the longer I am in my role, the more good days I have, and the more comfortable I am at work.

Recently, I learned how to ship out packages. Every time I do it, I have anxiety. I double check that the address is right and perfectly align the labels on the box. I feel like I am doing a good job but I still have a fear that the senior employee will correct me. He is always really nice about it, but I still worry about it. I actually worry more that he won’t look and a mistake will be missed. In reality, I know I am doing things properly and worst case scenario is it will probably come back to us. Not the end of the world. For me, living with anxiety means things feel like a much bigger deal than they are. I know that, like other parts of my job, one day I will be able to ship packages without any second thoughts, it’ll just take some practice.

Personally, at this point in my life, I would not apply for a promotion until I was as emotionally ready as possible. I am being strategic about it. I am learning as much as I can. I am now going into my third department and learning it from the bottom up. Is this a completely necessary step for someone who wants to be promoted? No, but I find it helpful. The last time I was a manager, I started as a greeter. I later moved to cashier, then to keyholder. I was comfortable with this because I knew exactly what was expected from each position. My company now is much larger so I probably won’t have a chance to learn EVERY department bottom to top, but every bit helps. Nothing will completely prepare me for being promoted. I expect to have anxiety for a while, but I also expect it to go away eventually.

The one thing I need to remind myself of: most people get nerves with new tasks and in new positions. Maybe, someone with anxiety may struggle more, but that doesn’t make it less natural. I’m going to be okay eventually, as I master the skills, things will become second nature.

Dreaming of Patterned Paper

I don’t know if anything will ever come from my cardmaking. Of course, I hope it does. I hope, at least, all the good ones sell. I hope my cards are loved. I know some people sell cardmaking courses. I don’t know if I will ever do that. Maybe I should have a cardmaking blog instead of a personal blog. I want to do more YouTube videos of me making cards. Right now I have been more focused on TikTok, but it is limited to a minute video or less. I don’t really need to be successful financially at cardmaking, but that would be nice. I enjoy the community. I like growing my Instagram. I like the back and forth with other cardmakers. It is nice to get compliments on my cards from friends, friends of which may never buy because they like the Dollarama prices.

I have seen in the past year an improvement in my cards. I discovered alcohol inks and I love playing with them. I’ve made some really awesome vibrant backgrounds. I know that I have a specific style when I use alcohol inks to make backgrounds. Not that it is a laziness, well kind of, but I find that now I’m so comfortable with alcohol ink backgrounds that I’m hesitant to use other mediums. I want to get more into distress oxide in backgrounds. Even simple pattered paper might be fun. Sometimes when I’m not comfortable with something I push myself in that direction. Maybe I’ll attempted different types of cards with different mediums.

Do you craft? What is your favourite medium?