Archive for Life

Life | My Artistic Progress

My Artistic Progress | Squirrelly Minds
I have a confession to make to you guys – I’m a sham. Okay not really, but when I decided to open up shop selling my gemstone watercolour art, I had never taken an art class. I still haven’t (though want to). Sure, I took a class in university (art for elementary school teachers) and a print making course, but I haven’t been properly trained, and it’s the main reason why I feel so uncomfortable being called an artist. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, I’m just having fun!
But I started thinking about the process I undergo when I create a painting. I have no idea if it’s the ‘proper’ way to do it, and if I were an art student, whether my teacher would nod approvingly or fail me for poor planning. All I know though is that it’s what works for me, and that’s what is most important in my opinion.

My Artistic Progress | Squirrelly Minds
So what is my process? I briefly discussed it in yesterday’s instagram post, but here’s the fleshed out version.
First I find pictures of my subject. Tons of them. I look for movement, colour, shading, orientation, size, and so on. Sometimes I’ll combine features to make one figure, or I’ll take the shape of one, the colour from another, the positioning from a different picture and so on. In the case of the above flamingo, I combined the flight/body movement of this bird and some of the colouring of the flamingo from Sharon Montrose’s animal collection. Then I sketch and paint the prototype (above). This might take a few tries to get it just right. Once I do, I trace the outline with tracing paper. As you can see from the top picture, I tape all the pieces together and then overlay them onto the final watercolour page, making sure it’s centred and in the position I want. I then use a sharp pencil to trace the outline, creating an indentation on the watercolour paper.
The last step is outlining the indentations with watercolour pencil crayons, then my favourite part, painting! I can’t wait to get started on that with the flamingo.

So that’s how I go about it, and yep, it’s the process I underwent with each of the gemstones. Again, I don’t know if it’s the smartest way, but it’s what works for me.
I’ve been toying with the idea of doing different paintings for the shop. I was originally going to stick to themes surrounding birth months, but I’m having way too much fun with this flamingo not to share. What do you think, should I?

If you do any sort of craft/art I would love to hear about your process!

How do you take your creations from imagination to reality?

Life | Happy May Day

Happy May Day | Squirrelly Minds
Happy long weekend friends!
Whatever you choose to do, whether it by ride your bicycle or lie in a hammock, I hope you take the time to reflect, relax, and enjoy.

Life | Pregnancy Update – 22 Weeks

Pregnancy Update - 22 Weeks | Squirrelly Minds
It’s been a little over a month since my big announcement at 17 weeks. As you can tell from the above picture, I’m getting pretty far along in my pregnancy. Today I’m 22 weeks 5 days, this Wednesday will see me at 23 weeks. Over the halfway mark and just over 17 weeks until we get to meet our little squirrelly baby! (provided he/she is on time).
So how have things been going? I don’t like to gloat as I’m in the minority and don’t want to anger other mommas, but as far as actual pregnancy symptoms go I’ve had a very easy 22+ weeks.
Pregnancy Update - 22 Weeks | Squirrelly Minds

I’ve had some ligament pain but more back pain. Honestly though, that’s been my own fault. You just might recall that I’ve had back pain for several years, and I knew pregnancy wouldn’t make it go away. Weekly prenatal yoga and monthly chiropractic helps, but I make the mistake of working too hard in the garden or at dance, causing my back to seize up and my body to feel 90 years old. Nothing to do with baby, just my own stupidity. You’d think I’d learn by now eh?
The strongest craving I’ve had was green grapes. I couldn’t get enough of those firm and crispy nuggets. Right now I don’t have any specific cravings, but my appetite is definitely increasing!
Mood wise I’ve never felt better since baby. I’m not reduced to tears at commercials or get angry over tiny annoyances. I did however have one episode a few nights ago. I was so excited to have granola with milk (haven’t had it in ages) but my first bite told me the new jug of goat’s milk had gone sour. I was so upset for the rest of the night and in near tears. I wanted that granola SO BAD! The mister offered to get me more milk, but I was too upset to take him up on his kindness and sulked the rest of the night instead. Other than that though I swear I’m totally sane.
Baby Growth
As of last Friday, baby (nicknamed figlette) currently weighs 1lb 4oz. The technician said that was a couple days over, but assured me that a few days off projection is nothing as baby’s grow at different rates. Thank goodness cause I started worrying I’d be pushing out a 10 pounder.
Baby Movement
I started feeling figlette’s flutters quite early, but the kicks became very prominent at 19 weeks, and although faint, the mister is just now feeling baby!
And now for the question/answer you’ve all been waiting for…
It’s a….
…mystery! We decided early on we would not find out the sex. We wanted that surprise at the end of (hopefully not several) hours of hard work!

That’s all for now! Let’s hope this baby continues to be easy on me ;)

Life | Biggest Announcement Yet

Baby Announcement! | Squirrelly Minds
I like to coin the above picture as “A Special Kind of Addition”. Clever isn’t it?

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as regularly as I did pre-Christmas. Well it was after Christmas that I not only took on a fuller work schedule but also had to endure the dreaded first trimester. Yes friends you read that right, I’m pregnant with our first! This late August/early September there will be a little baby running around in the Squirrelly Minds HQ. Okay maybe not running around, but certainly taking over the place. I’m 17 weeks along and couldn’t be more excited!

It’s still hideable with the right clothes, but I’m definitely developing more of a bump. And while I hate to admit it in fear of being exiled from 90% of mother’s out there, I’ve had quite an easy pregnancy so far. I did have nausea and food aversions (cooked onions!) but I thankfully never unwillingly gave up any meals churning in my tummy. The worst was battling inhumane exhaustion. Despite several naps and 9+ hours of sleep, I constantly felt like I was running on empty. It was hard feeling so exhausted and useless when I’m used to being so productive!

Now that the second trimester is well under way I’m hoping to get things back on track here. Though forgive me if SM is not up to its past vigor. I’ve got lots going on right now! YAY BABY!
I’m so excited to finally share the news with you all! Squirrelly Minds won’t be turning into a mommy/baby blog any time soon, but please forgive me for posting DIY’s and cute nursery inspiration here and there.

I’m so excited to share this journey with you!

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