A Slow Return to Normalcy

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As many people who know me in real life know, about the time I was getting started on creating and writing for this new blog, my family life took an unexpected turn for the complicated that slowly grew much, much more complex during the months leading into the new year.  While some of these problems persist, my life has begun to right itself rather like a ship coming out of particularly vicious gale, and I am tentatively stepping back up to bat with my writing and artwork.

Two nights ago, I reopened a piece of artwork I had worked on in Photoshop before the chaos really struck, and I was overwhelmed as I sat there staring at it.  It’s a piece that has somewhere upwards of 100 layers. I haven’t actually counted…

Elf Portrait In Progress
The number of layers I was using to create this piece was astronomical. It was even more daunting coming back to it nearly 9 months later after life pretty much blew up in my face….

That single moment of staring down a project that I could barely remember my thought process on encapsulated the entire experience of piecing my life back together over the past month.  Let me break it down for you.

  1. For a period of time (days, weeks, or whatever it might be) you sit around and think about how you really do need to get back to that project, activity, thing that you were trying to do before things got crazy, but you don’t leap on it because you’re honestly feeling overwhelmed by all the other things that also were dropped about the same time. Which one is most important? What shattered piece of your life to pick up first? Let the wallowing in indecision commence!
  2. One day a fateful moment arrives.  Perhaps a friend, a client, some other outside source, or even your inner self finally prompts you to take the step.  To sit down, brush the dust from whatever it was you were working on, and get back to it.  You take the plunge.  You open the file or the drawer, or the garage.
  3. Then there’s that moment. That utter moment of panic when you look at this thing you abandoned in a moment of crises, and you can’t even remember what you were thinking. How did you do this technique?  Why did you do it this way? Surely it was done with some semblance of logic! Right? Right?!
  4. You take a deep breath, step away, maybe eat some lunch and think about it.  You’ve opened this bag of worms – so what now? In my case, I knew the only answer was to move forward and start working again. I fumbled around feebly until the controls and the memory of using them began to came back like riding a bicycle awkwardly for the first time in years.  Slowly, ever so slowly, the project began to move forward again, and another piece of life returned to its proper alignment.

And, so, as with my long abandoned Photoshop file, the same thing is happening today on this blog. It might only be weekly updates for some time yet, but the only way I can move forward with life right now is one fumbling baby step at a time. I hope that those who are following this blog will find at least some interest and enjoyment in that.

As a parting note to all of you, no matter what season in life you are in, remember that you can only go forwards, not backwards. So step forwards. It may not be bravely. It may not be with any grace, but step forward nonetheless.  Even if you fall flat on your face, skin both your knees, and need help getting up after your epic nose dive, you’re still further ahead than if you had sat on your duff and not moved at all.

Evolving into the Pinback

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Recently I was at an anime convention with some friends, and, having gone to more than my fair share of conventions over the years, I ended up spending less time in panels and more time perusing the Artist’s Alley. Basically, I ended up doing research for the part of my business that involves handcrafts and art prints even though I was supposed to be on a mini vacation.

I clearly can’t separate my work out of my life. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Oh well….

Happily, I was rather inspired by what I found there. All manner of plushies, beautiful art prints, and a mind blowing multitude of pinback buttons. It was like I had discovered all this again.

Granted, none of this is new at any convention, but I had never looked at it from the viewpoint of a seller of handcrafted goods before. In the midst of all this what really captured my interest was the pinback buttons. Now, I’ll freely admit that I’ve never been much of a pinback wearing kind of girl. Reality is that I maybe have 4 or 5 pins to my name, and I pretty much never use them. However, this isn’t a reflection on the pins but on me.

You see… I always forget to wear them.

Just like how I forget to wear all the other jewelry I own.

Frankly, I’m lucky that I remember to eat some days. Three square meals in a day is a major accomplishment, let me tell you. So, personal adornment is pretty far down the ‘daily-concern-o-meter’.

In spite of my personal fails in this area, the pinbacks inspired me. I hadn’t even made it to Sunday at the convention before I was getting all sorts of ideas for unique pinbacks I could make. By the time I made it home from the convention late on Sunday night, I had a list a notebook page long and growing. The very next day I sat down and bought a professional button maker, and the madness began.

So now, I have an ever expanding collection of button designs available at my Etsy store. I’ve started off with the holidays because that time of year is pretty darn imminent, but soon there will be more button designs that will have pop culture and nerd themes. I’m super excited.

For those of you keeping up with my antics on Etsy, I would love to hear from you about what kind of button designs you’d like to see from me in the future. Do you want to see more vintage inspired, pop culture designs, or both?