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Monday, June 9, 2014

June, June, June, Just Because it's June

The 9th - to be exact - and zipping by like a comet.  It always does. I always think I'll get So Much Done now that it's summertime but then I wake up one morning and it's September and what do you know - the spare bedroom is still a wreck.

Thank goodness I have girlfriends coming the end of this month. I may not have totally organized that space but I sure will have made a dent in it before they get here. It might be a good idea to apply this sort of carrot and stick motivation to some of my other procrastination projects.

Like organizing/scanning the family photos & letters.

I'm always thinking I need to do a better job of this sort of thing. 

Okay - enough TheQueen bashing. I have been productive and busy and even fulfilling my June Resolutions. The itty bitty bites thing has earned me $23 towards the new camera. It's still something I have to remind myself to do - but it's getting easier. And more fun! Yesterday I took my time with a delicious salad lunch, on the back porch, with birds singing and summery breezes wafting across my skin, with white dogs at my feet, snoring. With peaceful conversations.  It was a wonderful experience, tasting everything in the bowl just one tiny bite at a time. 

So - I will continue to practice till it becomes the new normal.

As for the drawing - ah well. Yes. That is coming along too. I spent a good part of the weekend drawing another face out of the hair-do magazine. This is one of the most fun very hard things I've ever done. And it's sheer delight to watch a face slowly appear on the paper. 

The hardest part is the accurate line drawing. This is what you have to start with and to make it accurate is nigh on to the biggest challenge I've ever faced. (ha ha. punny me)  I use a clear plastic grid to lay on the original and then draw a light pencil grid on the paper and try to recreate the image, one square at a time. So far - I have had only middling success. I'll erase and draw and erase and draw till frustration sets in ... usually after about 2 days ... and then stop fiddling and finish the face I've drawn.

The shading is like putting on makeup - and is deliciously fun, but takes a long time. So here is what I've done so far, this month:

I know - her mouth is too short and her eyes aren't quite right but after a while you just have to move forward. Eventually I will get good at this... at least I'll get more accurate - and when I am perfectly satisfied that I can make copies using the grid system - I'm going to pop the big bucks for this:
So that's how it is - today - at Tara. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

I Resolve for June (and a little May recap)

Oh la - June already. I want to shout "WAIT! STOP! I'm not done with May yet!"

Only we don't get that chance. Sigh. And it's not that I am not looking forward to June. I just need a little more time to finish May.  June is the last month of the fiscal year and I have to scramble to make sure I spend all my library budget but not spend a penny more than my library budget. And I need to do it, or at least encumber it, this year by some ungodly date like June 9 or 10. With much new paperwork.

Then there is some staffing activity - which also involves new paperwork and new procedures. And the last week of school tours. And the summer reading program. I feel like a cartoon character.

Okay - time for a deep breath. 

It is all going to work out just fine. And the reward at the end will be GIRLFRIENDS VISITING!!!!!! That's not us - but there will be photos. Ha! I should have thought of this first since just thinking about it now is making me happy - and relaxed.

But with a new month it's time for new resolutions. Last month I was supposed to draw for an hour a day. I didn't quite make that but I did put in a goodly amount of time on drawing. The funny part was that - as my drawing got better I became afraid of it. As long as it was amateurish I didn't seem to mind practicing - but once it began to look like someday it would become really good - I quit drawing. I left the project I was working on out on the dining room table, always reminding me that I was supposed to practice - but I backed off of it many days.

Well. Any quest involves some doubt. That's the purpose of a quest. And even if I didn't draw 31 days for 1 hour a day - I did get this much done:

I have no tutor right now - but then - I am a librarian. I believe if it's in a book you can learn it and the book I'm using is by Lee Hammond.  I like her straightforward explanations and solid, simple advice. She says that when she wanted to learn to draw people she bought a hairstyle magazine and drew every face in the book. Brilliant idea! So I bought one too and I picked the back cover photo because it was big and the woman has unusual lines in her face.  

Why, yes. Of course we have her books in the library. 

So. You can see that I am moving in the right direction. This isn't really an art discussion post - it is my June Resolution post so I won't go on about what I've learned - I will only tell you I have two resolutions for this month. 


The first resolution needs no explanations. I want to get better - I need to keep practicing - besides - it's really fun. I learn stuff about myself even on days I don't draw - and eventually I will develop courage. 

The second resolution has to do with a trait I would really like to eradicate - even at this late date in my life. Yes. Of course TheQueen has room for improvement. And a few days ago I decided that I would do something about my bad habit of gobbling my food. I know it stems from letting myself get so thirsty I feel RAVENOUS. EMPTY. ROAR. COOKIE MONSTER HUNGRY.

So I set myself a little goal - to go 5 days - 3 meals and a snack - eating only with itty bitty bites. If I succeeded (I did!) I could put $100 into the New Camera Fund. Alas. My beloved camera has a dog hair underneath the lens. To get it out I have to send the camera to the manufacturer. That costs $200. A new camera as good as this one costs $300. I did the math. I started saving. And on Saturday I had achieved my goal! (see those dark smudges? dog hair)

But 5 days did not a transformation make. It merely showed me that I can eat more daintily. To reinforce the new skill I will do this for every meal and snack for the entire month of June. 4 times a day, 30 days, 120 little check marks in my Daytimer. And each check mark earns one dollar. I think I shall go shopping in July. 

So - there you have it. Coming in July! A New and Improved TheQueen.