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Regenerating Creativity

Today’s quote is:

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. -Maya Angelou

I have found this to be very true for me and it’s the exact reason I do these month-long exercises. I find that the practice of creating art every single day only fuels more creativity more. It gives me more ideas. It stretches me more.

So if you’re from the camp of “what if i run out” I highly urge you to use up all you have. Sit and do art. Again and again. Don’t hesitate, don’t postpone, don’t be afraid.

You will get more.

So much more.

So, sit and create.

ps: alas i don’t like the spacing and lettering on this one. but i keep trying. that’s the goal after all.

A Book a Week – The Orphan Master’s Son

I was recommended The Orphan Master’s Son almost two years ago.

But I never read it until now.

It was finally over book club that I decided to buckle down and take this long, long novel on.

And long, it is. It’s also hard to read. It’s harrowing and painful and has really really difficult to get through.

I am glad I did it but I will admit that I could have easily done without it.

Read this one at your own risk.

Savor Project – 2014 – Spread Twelve

This week’s all about the second skiing in Tahoe. I scanned our badges again. And I also added some photos of Nathaniel writing.

I also scanned their progress reports from the ski school again and made a spread with them.

so grateful.


Savor Project is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

The Price

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.  -Thoreau

How true eh?

Yet another one that’s been on my mind a lot lately. What am I willing to exchange my life for?

To me, this shows up significantly in two different ways. One is how much of my soul (my core beliefs, desires, identity) am I exchanging for it? Is this going against some deep sense of self I have and what will be the cost to giving that up? Am I willing to pay that price? Is this worth more to me than what I am giving up?

Some of these questions are subtle and hard to answer.

But they are important, too.

This is one of the reasons, many years ago, I walked away from my Wall Street job. I wanted to make sure that if I was working 100 hours a week, it was for a cause I really believed in. That wasn’t the case with the job I had then. I felt like I couldn’t look my future kids in the eye and tell them I had to work when I was doing that kind of work. I respect other people’s choices, but it wasn’t a right fit for me. (I left that job to do Teach For America, I felt that, there, I was serving a much more needed and important role. That didn’t pan out for other reasons but I still don’t regret my choice at all. I still believe there’s a cost to doing something that’s really not aligned with who you are and what matters to you.)

The second way this quote speaks to me is more easy to visualize and define: The time you spend on doing activity X is time taken away from being able to do Y. It’s always like that. More than money, time is the one resource that runs out no matter what. We all get the same amount of it each day and none of us gets to save any of the minutes up. So we get it, and we use it. One way or another.

I feel like a lot of my choices would be better served if I kept asking myself, what am i exchanging for this? For this hour of TV I watch, for the trip I am taking, for learning lettering, for listening to a book. Even for the activities I like doing, they still mean that I can’t do something else. My self-induced todo list can sometimes get in the way, too. And it’s important to always ask what I am exchanging.

We often think about “what am I getting?” but not as often about “What am I giving up?”

In coaching, one of the exercises I do with my clients is “what are you saying no to?” So when you say Yes to watching TV, what are you saying No to? (like getting more sleep, reading a book, talking with hubby, etc.) When we’re clearer about what we’re exchanging, we can make better informed choices.

Remember This – Week 15

One of the assignments for week three of The Walk was about creating art piece around your guide on your journey.

As I mentioned in my previous art, when I did this a while ago, what came to me was a little kid who gave me a box that represented the light within myself and told me that when I let it shine inside myself, it would guide me.

So I decided to draw me sitting down and then the girl sitting next to me, on a rock, and handing me the box with the light coming out of it.

then I added my journaling on the light rays a micron 0.005 pen.

On the bottom, it says “thank you for helping me.” and the journaling is all the things I choose for myself even if they are hard, uncomfortable, etc.

This is one of those pages I will come back again and again. It’s good to remember that I have choice and what it means to make these choices every day.


Remember This is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Change of Self

Today’s quote is:

“Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene.” ~Arthur Christopher Benson

I remember as a little girl, I kept thinking how I would come over to America and get a fresh start. I wouldn’t be the weird girl anymore, I would fit in. I would belong. As if all the things that made me weird would magically disappear.

Alas, not so.

I took a class a few years ago and one of the quotes they say there is: Who’s always around when you’re complaining?

Let me give you a hint: you.

So I’ve learned that you can’t run away from who you are. Who you are is who you are and it follows you around wherever you go. Hence if you want something to go differently, what you want is a change of self.

(there are exceptions of course.)

I think of this often when I am unhappy with how things are and daydream that if only I had so and so, life would be so much better. If only I lived in this place or had that job or had this body, blah blah.

A shift in perspective, a change of self, can go such a long way in these situations.

I do this with my clients often. What’s the perspective you’re holding and are other ones possible.

And, like most things we tell others, I need to hear it myself often, too.

Listen with Intent – Week 15

When choosing to walk in the direction of joy, the first step that jumps out at me is to celebrate. Celebrate small things, all things, regularly. I want to listen for things to celebrate. The sweet, good, wonderful things that are happening to each of us every day that we just gloss over. I want to listen for them, make sure to notice them and then celebrate!

The lettering I used here comes from this pin.

The image is a cupcake.


Listen with Intent is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Weekly Diary - April 13 2014

Just a few photos from this week:

The boys like to play Stratego.

and I like watching them.

especially when there’s laughter

we also made our own ice cream sandwich cake.

the little boy made some magnet creations.

while I worked.

then we visited david at school where the 3rd graders presented their nonfiction books. David’s was on quantum physics.


then it was family photo time.

and tickle time!


and here we go. so grateful for my life. i hope your week was lovely, too.


Weekly Diary is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Nathaniel Reads to Mommy - Week 7


Nathaniel Reads to Mommy is a project for 2014 that I am doing with my 4.5-year-old son. You can read more about it here.

Today I Know – Week 14

This week’s inspiration also comes from this pin. I started drawing this while I was on the plane and so it’s a bit wobbly but so be it.

I drew this page and then colored it using Faber Castell qrt pencils and some watercolor pencils and peerless watercolors. Then I went over it with my pitt pen to make it darker. I colored the background with watercolor pencils.

prompt says: today i know that i am hungry for

I wrote about how i am hungry for knowing what i makes me come alive.


Today I Know is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

What Lies Within

Today’s quote is:

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like that this is not as much about the present moment as it is about being you. I like the idea of thinking about what lies within me. And also what lies within the people I love. It makes me curious about what lies within each of us. I wish we talked about that more.

When we’re kids this question comes up all the time. What do you want to be? What do you like to do? What makes you happy? But as we get older, it’s as if these questions are no longer relevant.

Maybe we just assume that the career/path we picked must be the one we wanted. Or maybe others assume that. Either way, I don’t see this question come up in conversations. I can’t remember the last time anyone asked me any of these. Nor can I remember asking an adult myself.

So maybe this is a good time as any. I’ll start and maybe you can share, too.

  • I don’t know what I want to be anymore. I am a bit confused and lost.
  • I feel inspired by art more than anything else at the moment but I am not sure I have any deep desire to be an artist for a living. However I know I don’t want to stop doing art or learning art.
  • I also love learning in general. I’ve been on duolingo a lot with David for Spanish and also practicing my Italian. I love it and feel excited when I do it.
  • I love reading and listening to books. They make me happy.
  • Teaching my kids, explaining something i know, seeing someone else “get it” makes me happy.
  • Nature makes me happy. 
  • Volunteering makes me happy
  • What lies within me is a deep desire to make people’s lives better, to be of use, and to fully come into my own.

And there we go. This is my short list as of this moment. I wish we regularly asked people around us:

What lies within you?

Monthly Projects – March – Fashion Figures

After completely skipping February, for March, I decided to draw a fashion figure every day for my Monthly Drawing Projects. I discovered this awesome blog called paper fashion and fell completely in love. I then obsessively pinned and drew all month. I ended up with thirty women.

For the last set, I started using actual watercolor paper. I like these so much more.

None of these are original to me. All of the figures come from artists in this pinterest board.

I will now post every single one so you can see them larger. Feel free to skip since it’s 30 of them.

There we are. I was very tempted to continue with this for April, too, but I think I will take a break and I have an idea for April, so we’ll see how that goes. I will most likely do another month of these figures later this year.


You can read more about my monthly projects in 2014 here.