work weekend

mishaw

August is my busiest month of the year for contract work. Nothing very creative, just nuts and bolts of book layout and such. The day job has been pretty hectic this month as well with projects I didn’t expect and pressure I really don’t need. I’m worn out, burnt out, and a feeling resentful. Working this hard and still wondering if you’ll be able to pay all your expenses is demoralizing. That and I’ve not done laundry in WEEKS.

It’s not all bad, of course. To cope with things I’ve been painting, sketching and making stuff. Small stolen moments of distraction. I post some things to instagram. I posted something to Facebook a couple weeks ago and the next day a co-worker wondered “Why (if you can draw like that) are you working at THIS place?”

I’m not sure what that means, but it did bother me a little. I mostly like my day job, I’m good at it and I have health insurance. It’s a comfort zone thing. Creating for myself is a stress reliever so I’ll continue. The cat is a thief though so today I’ve got to make a trip to the art store to replace the things he’s made off with (then I’ll probably locate his stash and have two of everything.)

There is a virus going around at work and I’ve made it my mission not to catch it! Which might be futile considering I worked 60 hours this week and sleep has been scarce. I’ve just now sent off the final proof of the book and I plan on getting my laundry (okay, fine – half the laundry) done today, then it’s art store (cue the harp dream sound effect) and straight back home to tidy up and probably eat or something.

I know, I’m so glam.

 

tiny miracle

mac-POOPED

My beagle won’t poop in the rain. Sunday morning there was a storm that included flash flood warnings. I knew then (at 6am when the obnoxiously loud weather alarm sounded on my cell) that this was going to be a rough day for my little muppet.

I’m not sure if it’s a beagle trait, but Mac has never liked water. He’s the kind of dog that would rather jump over puddles than drink from them. He’s 6 years old though and I worry about the stress of not “going,” ya know? I have a hard enough time keeping him together as it is with all his allergies and chronic ear infections. So I “made” him go out in the rain and eventually (read 20 minutes) he POOPED and I was so proud of him that I posted it on the internet.

Him refusing to do his business in the rain is no small problem. Florida hurricane season is from June until October for gawdsakes. I wrote a poem about the struggle a couple months ago, which I feel is appropriate to share here with you, given the momentous occasion and the amount of strawberry margarita I consumed earlier with dinner. Ahem…

I Will Not Poop
-a poem by my dog

I will not poop,
Won’t even try.
Not in this rain,
I’m staying dry.

I will not poop,
My paws’ll get wet.
It’s raining out there,
Did you think I’d forget?

I will not poop,
Won’t make a peep.
Not ’til the rain stops
And you’re fast asleep.

🐶

 

Simple is good. – Jim Henson

Goodnight and have a glorious tomorrow! ♡

 

hello love – NEW printable!

hello-lov.jpg

Once upon a time…I ran a teeny tiny Etsy shop that had teeny tiny printables for sale that made a teeny tiny amount of money…

I’ve since closed down that little shop. My life got darker and busier and I let the shadow of difficult situations stomp out the light I’ve always carried for these illustrated characters.

To counteract all the darkness and “grow” my light I’m going to share my characters with you here on MOTH + BLOOM from time to time in the form of printable art, stationery, invitations and animated gifs. The little owl you see above is one of my favorites. I do have a thing for owls, you know.

You can click the image above to download the 5.5″ x 8.5″ tiny owl memo sheets. They are set 2-up on an 8.5″ x 11″ page. Look for new downloads monthly. ♡

See also: lemony memos, stay sweet art print and wallpaper here.

credits:
Artwork © Aimee McEwen. Personal use only. Not for commercial use.
If shared, please link back to this post.

quiet not blind

Had a long talk with my Mom a couple days ago. It was nice. I vented a lot, maybe cried a little. She gave me a good pep talk; put me in the right direction, told me I’m the only one that can do it, nobody else can do it for me. Something someone else told me once, somebody I miss very, very much.

It’s a rare thing for me to “miss” someone but here I am. Kinda hate it.

Mom also told me I need to rest and to feed myself properly. Those two things are really obvious but I’m bad at both. I definitely am not sleeping and I can’t remember the last time I went and bought proper groceries. Gotten a bit off track this year.

Been painting more lately and I feel like it’s helping me “calm down.”  This weekend I decided to not work on anything and just rest. Not sure what I’ll do with my Sunday but couldn’t hurt to make a trip to the grocery store and grab some healthy stuff. Two years ago I did really strict meal planning and it was the best thing I’d ever done for myself. Mom also prescribed meditation. That’s a new one. She says medication or meditation…you choose.

Maybe that’s what I’ll do after I get groceries…research meditation or download and app, or just take a nap….;)

 

slow weekend

I’m not even exaggerating…it took me two years to break out my “new” watercolors and paint something with them. Study above is from last weekend. I’ve not touched the watercolors since. I worked almost 60 hours this week at the day job. Yesterday (Saturday) I slept almost the entire day and today my inflammation is up – my motivation low.

Back on the computer now though…because I have a 500 page project to finish and it’ll probably kick my ass but I worked hard all week just so I’d have space to work on this monster. Aside from the tiredness, I’m not feeling terrible. About this time each year I work on a book project and it takes about 35 hours (aside from the 500 page monster, I mean).  That’s time on top of my full-time job and it’s rough on me, but the pay is decent so I can’t turn it down. Not with ER bills piling up due to the rabies vaccination episode in April-May.(oh-my-life)

The usual deadline for my 35-hour project got pushed up a week, so I’m psyching myself up for a lot of late nights. My office is a mess right now. There’s art supplies and paperwork and half-finished projects…I started reorganizing a couple months ago. I don’t usually leave things in such disarray. I’m slipping a bit this year, I suppose.

I’ll work on the 500-pager for a while then paint something(s) maybe read a little. I downloaded a few e-books from Project Gutenburg. I can’t remember how I found the website, but I’m sure I was wandering around the internet and just ended up there…I’m reading Jane Austen’s Persuasion, you know, in my “free” time. (half-hearted LOL) ♡

 

 

an impeccable sadness

image---via-unplash---daria-shevtsova-57355

Struggling a bit lately. I need to be honest because not admitting I’m feeling wobbly means staying stuck. I’m angry with myself, overthinking, overly critical, unsure about how best to push through so I’m taking things a day at a time, sometimes half a day. I’m frustrated and tired.

“Depression is an impeccable sadness.” I thought to myself last night as I trudged upstairs with the bowl of leftover Pad Thai I intended to eat in bed while watching ALL THE STAR TREK.

To cope with ‘myself’ I’ve been drawing, painting, listening to extremely sad music and tossing a lot of junk that’s been cluttering up the tiny townhouse. The herbs I planted a month ago are needing to be put to good use so I’ve decided to take the Pineapple Sage and make jelly, a simple syrup, then infuse it with vanilla in some sugar…maybe also a marinade (for chicken). There’s a ton of mint and basil too, so I’ll add the mint with cucumber to water (in a large pitcher) and let it sit in the fridge overnight – I honestly have no idea what to do with the basil. I’ve given some away already. I could make pesto, caprese salad or bruschetta with gluten-free bread. We’ll see. Great, now I’m hungry.

Let’s see, what else have I been up to…did this portrait of my friend’s dog, Levon, as a house warming gift. Took me a few hours and was a decent distraction; just emptied my brain and focused on the drawing. Inhaled a ton of charcoal dust – (cough, cough) really makes you feel ALIVE (cough). Got a few more projects planned that I’m hoping will help me deal with the depression in a more constructive way than just sleeping (or crying – which is kinda my favorite).

That’s all I’ve got for now, I’ll be fine, so you guys have a lovely weekend and stay hydrated! ♡

41

Over the last two weeks my inflammation flared and I’m exhausted. Dealing with pain doesn’t make for the best birthday but I’m not letting it consume me. I was able to get a few projects done this month, in spite of myself. Planted, painted, reorganized, started reading a new book.

Sometimes during a flare up I get really negative about the future. Chronic pain will do that to you, it messes with your head…makes you think you’re defective, that you’ll never be whole…it leaves scars.

“Nobody wants to be with a sick person, Aimee.” my ex-husband’s voice will echo against my skull during the weaker, more desperate moments.

Scars fade you know. I’m learning how to stop hiding behind mine. I feel grateful for 41 years in which to learn how to take better care of myself. Still learning, always.♡

Cheers to 41!

 

 

 

let the rain fall

100LIFETIMES

It’s been a very stormy day, I woke up to thunder and heavy rain and was glad. I like it when the weather matches my mood.

Sometimes it seems like we’re rushed through our sadness or, worse, encouraged to ignore it altogether.

Isn’t it better, though, to recognize our sadness for what it is?

Sadness is a natural response to loss, regret or hardship. Only when we make space for our sadness can we move past it, adjust, and affect positive change in our lives – not doing so can lead to anger, bitterness, avoidance and depression. All of which effect our overall wellness (emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual) and stifle our personal growth. Give yourself permission to feel sad and find ways to express that sadness. Journaling, creating art…or just letting yourself cry can be extremely helpful.

You are wild, wondrous, and worthy – feel your feelings. ♡

credits:
Artwork ©Aimee McEwen.
Personal use only. Not for commercial use. If shared, please link back to this post.

biscuits + berries

artur-rutkowski-strawberry2

Made gluten-free buttermilk biscuits for me and about 12-13 of my invisible friends over the weekend. Just now getting around to finishing them off, actually. The first thing I did was get a recipe online here…then I just switched out the regular flour for GF flour.

It wasn’t until I got home from the store that I realized I’d forgotten the buttermilk! So, I hopped online again and found a substitute…it’s 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Combine them, let sit for 5 minutes, then mix and it’s ready to use. Lucky I had milk and lemons, though!

I popped the biscuits in the oven and decided to make an impromptu strawberry shortcake (for one, obvs). I cut up some strawberries, sprinkled them with sugar and let sit for 30 minutes in the fridge. I also decided that since I don’t care for whipped cream (yeah, I said it!) I’d cheat a little and use the cheesecake mix of a Jello No-Bake Cheesecake kit instead. I mixed the cheesecake up, according to the directions on the box, then added a little lime juice (like a tablespoon) totally as an experiment – thought it’d go well with strawberries. By the time all that was done the biscuits were ready. I ate one with butter straight out of the oven – as it’s written into law somewhere that you have to do that – even if you burn your mouth (which I did).

The biscuits were good! Not the best I’ve ever eaten but they were a nice GF alternative and the dog LOVED them so, you know…BONUS!

Once the cheesecake had time to set up in the fridge I was ready to start building my shortcake…made a big mountain of it…like so…

strawberry-and-biscuits2

…proceeded to take three bites, then felt full. Guess that test biscuit I ate took up all the room I had in my tum. Don’t worry I didn’t waste it, I wrapped it up and finished it the next day…for breakfast.

My eyes are definitely much larger than my stomach, lately. It could be stress or old age or both, who knows. Last night for dinner I ate naked chicken wings (no breading) and arepas…have you ever had arepas? They are made with corn, totally gluten free. I buy the frozen kind. They’re damn good with chicken wings…remind me of pancakes or waffles…except there’s a bit of cheese in them. Anywho, I ate one arepa and 3 chicken wings (drummettes, actually)….then I was full…and ate the rest for breakfast...this is my life now, apparently.

credits:
Top Photo: Artur Rutkowski    Bottom Photo: Aimee McEwen
Personal use only. Not for commercial use. If shared, please link back to this post.

coffee and coconut oil sugar scrub

It’s 8pm on a Wednesday and I’m sitting here with my stalker – I mean cat – in my pajamas, with a lovely blue-gray mud mask on my face. It’s pretty great, actually.

I’ve been using these Que Bella masks for a couple months (get’em at Target, 8 out of 10 hermits prefer Target to other stores). Probably tried them all but I haven’t chosen a favorite yet. The one I’m using right now is the Repairing Charcoal Mud Mask…it makes my eyes water somethin’ fierce but it’s only for the first 3 minutes of a 15 minute mask. While I waited for the mask to dry I decided to exfoliate/moisturize my hands…which I do a couple times a week…it’s super easy, so I figured I’d give you the “recipe.”

When I do this stuff I’m really messy so I always change into an old shirt before I start. I mix everything together in my tiny kitchen and apply the scrub to my hands over the sink. I don’t recommend using this scrub in the shower, it’s oily and things could get slick in there if you know what I mean. Safety first! I also feel this scrub is too abrasive for the face so stick to using it on your pretty little hands.

The Mix: Combine equal parts sugar and coffee grounds. About 4 tablespoons, each, should do (I prefer damp, used grounds to dry…whatever you prefer is fine), add 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, and 2 or 3 drops of sweet orange essential oil. This mixture is soupy, if you like it more dry add more dry stuff or less wet stuff. I’m not very scientific about it, to be honest.

Apply mixture to hands and massage gently. I do about 2 minutes per hands then rinse with warm water. Dry hands and apply your moisturizer. I use this lotion (yes, it’s for babies…if you met me you’d agree it makes sense because I am a giant baby). The scent is decent, although I would prefer it to be unscented. Burt’s Bees has an unscented lotion that I’ve used forever, I love it. I prefer to use baby lotion because my skin is sensitive and this one’s free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, sulfates and it’s not tested on animals. If I’m not using baby lotion I’m using straight shea butter, cocoa butter or coconut oil. Nothin’ fancy. ♡

This is about as wild as it gets for me on a Wednesday. How about you? Do you practice self care during the week or do you reserve these kinds of things for the weekends?