Ever since lockdown and spending more time in the studio, I’ve been able to begin my days planning, sketching, and journaling with intention. It’s a way to ease into the day, stay on track, and feel pleased when it’s time to stop working. I find I’m able to stay focused, keep anxiety at bay, and feel way more creative. As if everyone magically knows of my morning intention time, the puppies don’t paw at me to go out, neighbors don’t fire up the weed eaters, family members don’t ask me any questions, and my inbox garners no unread emails requiring immediate answers. Yes, lockdown here is just serene with choirs of angels audible in the background.
Just in case it’s not showing up in the email form of this blog post, that gif is someone absurdly laughing out of control.
Every morning is a new adventure in chaos curbing, despite my best efforts. I do actually plan, sketch, and journal every morning with a fountain pen in a handbound book I made, but, despite every effort to make that the first thing I do every day, I’m lucky if I start it within three hours of getting up. Yes, I still have the hallway commute, but it turns out there are a million things that need doing along all points of that hallway. The upside is that by the time I get to that journal, I can list at least three things I can immediately cross off as having done. The first thing on my plan every day? “This,” meaning the journal time. I don’t check it off until I’ve completed it so I don’t just make it a too-long to-do list and skip out on the writing or sketching parts. I expect choirs of angels don’t so much sing in the background as snicker and roll their eyes.
Our 13 month old puppies rarely sleep through the night and wake us up barking at the uninvited critters inhabiting our crawlspace despite the large sums of money we’ve dropped sealing it from non rent payers. In the daytime (and the middle of the night) the pups want in and out so much they must be akin to T.S. Elliot’s Rum Tum Tugger, a “Curious Cat” that consider himself on the wrong side of every door.
My husband’s work is hugely stressful and high stakes, and we’re just glad he’s able to do all the meetings and hearings on Zoom! We can’t celebrate with steak dinners out when he wins, but, thanks to his online shopping ingenuity, we have eaten well (maybe too well???) in captivity. That reminds me. There’s homemade fudge brownie ice cream in the freezer…be right back…
This week our dishwasher broke. Our son was determined to fix it and nearly did. Slight unfixable problem with said uninvited critters, however. From Friday until Thursday our small kitchen was a mix of dishes, tools, and claustrophobia amidst my freaking out trying to keep food prep areas clean. The good news is that Skyler installed the new dishwasher that the delivery people left on our front porch. He also blocked the gaping hole we had no idea was behind the previous dishwasher. (Bye bye, rodentia! The smorgasbord is closed.)
Skyler did all that repairing between college classes (online now), working for his dad and for me (from here in our home-art-studios-law-firm-university-dog-run), setting up a photography darkroom in his bathroom, and dealing with code violations, developers’ projects, City of Atlanta officials, and transportation issues, serving as the recently appointed Land Use and Zoning Committee Chairperson for our historic district’s neighborhood association. (People actually used to ask me to my face if I worried homeschooling Skyler would prevent his being “well rounded.” Paaaaaleeeeeasssse!)
And then there’s me…
Online class prep, website work (mine and my husband’s firm’s), making and packaging Russian Filigree Powdered Solder, testing and refining Eastern Repousse Tool Sets, working on filigree choker, painting, drawing, writing, proofing the rest of my family’s writing projects, delving into new illumination studies, and still suffering from Shiny Online Workshop Syndrome (I’m taking two workshops in the UK and one in Colorado this month all from the comfy drafting chair in my studio.)…Yeah, I know; everyone is busy. At least I’m not wasting any time being stuck in traffic.
Like my son, being interested in more than one thing is not a recipe for binge watching Netflix, but truth be told, I wouldn’t trade the chaos around here for all the couch potato time in the world. I suck at being bored.
Prep for my upcoming online classes is going great, if more time consuming that I’d imagined. That, however, is the way of all things I do. They just take longer than I want to admit because I never cut corners or blow off details. That said, students may hear the odd dog bark or helicopter fly over in the recorded demos…probably the live classes too. This is the new reality, and, since we’re all in this together, we’re making the very best of it. Out of the the proverbial chaos comes creativity!
Get the structure and sense of community that you get from an in-person class. Learn new projects and techniques while you level up your skill set. See the demos up close in 4K and replay them as needed so you can work right along with Victoria in between live sessions.
There are a couple of spots left in 3-D Filigree. It might seem counterintuitive to take a sculptural workshop via a 2-D flat screen, but the more I prepped, the more I realized I could show all kinds of secrets I can’t show as easily in person because I would never travel with all my sketches and paper models, plus I get to use my own soldering set up that fits me like a favorite pair of stretchy yoga pants. Best of all, you can take the class in your own favorite pair of stretchy yoga pants. (I’ll never tell!)