december favourites - what I'm loving into 2019

So I took a couple weeks off from my day job in December, and while I originally planned to get a lot of personal work done I actually ended up taking it pretty easy. I went really hard in 2018, and it turned out that I needed the break. I’m happy to be going into the new year feeling refreshed and inspired.

During my time off in December I explored some new things and revisited some old loves. Here’s a short list of things I loved in December and have incorporated into my daily life.

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1. Barre classes: (I take mine Barre Fitness)

Those who know me know I generally don't like working out around other people. I have tried many times to get over it with various group fitness classes, workout groups, and running clubs. I tried Barre Fitness on my vacation and it took me by surprise! The people who go there and work there are all really friendly and welcoming, and even though I'm the least graceful, least flexible person in every class, I somehow still feel like I belong there. It’s expensive, though, so once my intro deal is over I’m going to have to try out the barre classes at my local community centre until I can afford to pay for Barre Fitness (or until they have a good deal for existing clients).

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2. The instant pot

Graham and I both got ourselves gaming systems for Christmas. Lucky us! A PS4 for him, a Nintendo Switch for me so I could expand my Pokemon universe. We asked our family to get us Best Buy gift cards so we could buy some more games for our new toys. And then... We had xmas dinner at his sisters place and got to hear her experience with the Instant Pot that she got last year when the hype was huge. The next day I asked Graham if I could use our gift cards towards an instant pot instead. Who am I?? *There was some $ left over for at least one of us to get a game. 😉 

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3. The bullet journal

This is a returning love. I've kept a bullet journal on and off for ages, and I don't necessarily plan to keep it going for any specific period of time this time either. But I wanted to use it as a way to set my goals and plan out my 2019 projects at least for the first part of the year, because I have big plans for 2019, but I also want to have more balance than last year. As an added bonus, it gets me to do more journaling in general which is very important for my creative process and my mental health.

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4. My favourite paints, the acryla gouache range by Holbein Artist Materials

I never stopped loving these tbh, but I felt like I had to include them because I used them quite a lot in December, from painting gift wrap, to painting the tree ornaments I made as gifts, to just painting in general. I want to make more use of them in 2019.

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5. A shampoo bar by Lush

This one I was really skeptical about. I have really thick, curly hair, and I thought there was no way I would be able to distribute shampoo from a solid bar evenly enough for a good wash. I was so wrong! I’m still learning how to use it, I still manage to use too much, but I’m so pleased with the results! I have had ongoing scalp issues for a while. I think I have plaque psoriasis or maybe just really bad dandruff, but I’m too scared to go to the doctor. I read the reviews of the Soak and Float shampoo bar, and several people said it helped with symptoms similar to mine so I thought I would try it. I’m happy to report that my scalp has calmed down! The only downside is that it leaves my hair squeaky clean which I don’t like, so I follow with a good conditioner and only use it a couple times a week. It has the added benefit of removing more plastic from my life which is always a plus.

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I made a Procreate time-lapse so you can check out my illustration process.

And that’s it! I might try to do a post like this once a month as it was a great practice in gratitude. I hope you had a wonderful holiday celebrating whatever you celebrate and best wishes to you in the new year. <3

Procreate brush second impressions - RetroSupply Co mid-century set

Ok, friends. I’ve spent some more time working with the mid-century brushes from RetroSupply Co, and I’m so happy to have them in my tool box. I made a piece using the brushes in Procreate while screen recording my iPad and turned it into a little review video for you. I hope it’s helpful.

If you want to see my first impressions, check out this post.

chill + chatty sketchbook sessions - ep 001

Regular sketchbook practice is how artists learn and develop, and I’m guilty of treating my sketchbooks like places to collect my finished work rather than a place to play and experiment, or a place to practice the fundamentals.

It’s time to change that, because I know that it’s the only way I’m going to grow as an artist.

Enter the first episode of chill + chatty sketchbook sessions, where I get on camera with my sketchbook and a cup of coffee and catch up with you.

The first episode, like any new endeavour, wasn’t perfect. But by the end of if I knew what I wanted it to be going forward.

And I did learn some things about my art process, and picked up some new techniques that I want to continue to work into my future pieces.

One big takeaway for me was that I need to stop expecting that my piece will look amazing with the first layer of paint. I need to be ok with the ugly beginning and work it out with more layers until it becomes closer to what I imagined when I started.

Check out the first episode! Grab yourself a snack because it’s a long one, and why not sketch along with me while you’re at it?