Cheers!

happy-new-year

Hello!

Today is New Year’s Eve…Eve!
I’m pretty excited, as this is one of my favorite holidays. I’m generally fearful of the “unknown” (which is like, everything), but not on New Year’s Eve/Day. I love the promise of hope that it brings and the possibilities.

Plus, resolutions are the best! I know I can’t control the coming year and all that it will bring. But I can set intentions and focus on certain priorities (and turn it into a list! Yay!). This year may have been… tumultuous… but personally, I had a great year as far as resolutions go. I started doing yoga…again and again and again. But I keep at it. That’s something… I also joined a gym (and occasionally go when my friend makes me!). And I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself and the world from reading more, studying languages, and through meditation.

Last but certainly not least, I had intended to open an Etsy shop before the end of the year. I wish I could say I had achieved this one, I really do. However, I am still mighty pleased with how this goal has turned out, even if it didn’t happen the way that I expected. Okay, so I didn’t get my store up and running yet. But I did start a business! (I did NOT see that coming!) And the Etsy shop will happen soon! I’ve come a long way from just doodling Disney characters after work, if I do say so myself. So, these are all mini-victories that I will be able to celebrate with a glass of bubbly champagne tomorrow night.

Resolutions are great, because they aren’t promises that we can try anything and will succeed. But they are the hope that we can try anything.

And that is worth celebrating.

-Belinda

‘Tis the Season

Hello!

“May your days be merry and bright!”

I’ve been listening to A LOT of Christmas music this week. It’s always fun to listen to the songs we know by heart, in genres that we may not make time to listen to otherwise. I love the jazz, and soul, instrumentals and crooners of my Christmas music. It’s heartwarming and cozy. Although this year, singing along with the songs during my commute, it truly dawned on me that the lyrics never change. When else would you listen to the same song in 20-different versions? I can’t think of any other time that makes sense…Oh well, I still enjoy it. And I may not hit the high notes like Mariah or Whitney but that doesn’t stop me from trying when no one else can hear it! (I can only imagine how silly I look from across the street!)

awnings-palette

Have a wonderful weekend!

-Belinda

Wi-Fi Printable!

Hello!

This week I decided to make a little printable to share! In preparation for the holidays, I figured there has to be a better way to share WiFi with any visitors and guests than just reciting gibberish. Even booting up my laptop at my parents’ house today to make this post I had trouble getting on their internet promptly because I kept getting the info wrong. Pinterest had some solid suggestions, particularly to display or frame a little sign with the Network ID and password. So, challenge accepted & I made my own!

wifi-password-card-01

And here’s a second version (that still makes me giggle):

wifi-password-card-2-01

To use these for your home– right click on the image and select “save as” to save a copy to print however you like…or you can right click and select “open in a new tab” to save a copy from there, or print from your browser. We’re going to display ours like a postcard on the fridge!

-Belinda

 

The Thing About Art…

You didn’t ask me what I think about art. But I’m going to tell you anyway.

Disclaimer: these are just my minimally researched thoughts. Not right or wrong, just how I prefer to view it…

I think art is determined by experience. There is good experience and bad experience in art, and I’m sure I could improvise a list of criteria but I’m not a big fan of lists (in philosophy. In life, who doesn’t love a good list?!). For now, I’ll give examples. A grandparent views their grand-kids’ art as a good experience — good art. To a random person, it may not be as rewarding of an experience to see some random kid’s finger painting. Bad art. A song you loved before because of the experiences in listening to it is great music/art. That song during a negative experience is less likely to remain considered good music/art. I personally never understood abstract art until after high school. Seeing it in the pages of a textbook was not the right context. It wasn’t a rewarding experience at all, and frankly was reminiscent of the finger paint. But I wasn’t Pollock’s Nanna, so no thanks… But then I saw one of his pieces at a museum and was struck by how mesmerizing it was at full size, and in that context. It was such a positive experience, so memorable and inspiring that I now consider Pollock to be one of my favorites. It’s definitely art. Anything can be art. It’s all based on the experience. (Further, I don’t consider my practice sketches to be art. So I suspect there is an element of intention involved or cognizance of the experience? Like, a fun road trip isn’t necessarily performance art. But a breathtaking hike in nature, certainly could be art.)

I don’t want to provide a list of criteria for these experiences. Again, I don’t like lists. This conception of art would be like the moral particularism of aesthetics (in plain-er English, like one theory of moral philosophy, it may not be a list of criteria that determines whether something is right or wrong (or in this case, art or not), but rather it’s the particulars of a situation that can affect the decision, but it’s different particulars each time and they may not always have the same polarization (for example: lying is wrong, sometimes. (White lies, or bluffing, etc.)). So basically, what may make something a good or bad experience, or good or bad art, really depends largely on the particulars of the experience… in this case, that also includes who is involved. (Moral philosophy, for the record, doesn’t generally distinguish between the people involved in a moral act. It’s not usually relevant since they are looking for universal things to be true/good/right.)

So if I haven’t lost you in my rambling shower-thought of an exposition, I’d love to hear what you think! What do you think makes something art? Do you think it’s just a matter of an artist saying something is art? Or does it require a critic/professional evaluation? Or some aesthetic component — beauty in composition, colors, etc?

Do tell!

-Belinda

P.S. – If you enjoy this topic, I super-recommend Methods & Theories of Art History by Anne D’Alleva. It’s tangentially related, and explores these and other questions. It’s really approachable too and better presented than anything I could write!

One Small Step

Hello!

Oh happy day!! I was sitting on the couch with my laptop (like, just minutes ago) thinking “shoot, I don’t have anything to write about this week. Maybe I should start talking about philosophy…yikes…” when my husband got home and brought in the mail. And in it, I received my Retail Sales License!! YAY! I never thought I’d be so happy to get mail from my state’s Department of Revenue, but I’m so excited I actually did a happy dance in the living room. I’m one step closer to opening the Etsy shop! I can’t wait!

Society6 is great for my digital illustrations, to be sure, and I love their product selections. And let’s be honest, I am not equipped to make cell phone covers or pillow cases myself, but I’m glad to offer them with my designs. But I’m also excited to soon have a legitimate format for my handmade pieces too!

I guess in theory I could have started the shop already and then worried about the legality of it… but on this area, I believe I have moral obligation to– oh, never mind.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

-Belinda

Thanks Giving

Hello!

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday! I have so much to be grateful for this year. Not to say that this year has been a breeze or hasn’t had it’s ups and downs. But I’m still thankful to be where I am right now, and have a wonderful community of family and friends. A large part of my gratitude is in being able to start Summer Child Designs. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s a dream realized. Thank you to each and every one of you for your support and encouragement. It has not gone unnoticed!

Also, I realize this is the last week of the month of November. I was truly hoping to have my ducks in a row to open my Etsy shop this week, but alas, we’re on hold. My business license and tax stuffs are still a work in progress. Nothing bad, just a lot of snail mail and holiday hours to contend with… That said, in this limbo period, I’m definitely spending my time on creating new designs so the store (when it finally opens) is full of goodies! I can’t wait!

Thanks to all!

-Belinda

 

Not-Quite-Winter Blues

Hello!

This month’s color palette is to remind us that there will be warmer days again eventually. It’s hard to believe that as the temperature plummets today. I realize I’ve been referring to Fall for a while now, but it finally feels like it’s here. Not complaining, of course… just need to go find my winter coat, I guess. (Does this mean it is big cozy scarf weather too?! I know the trends are leaning more towards ankle boots and longer sweaters…but knee-high boots and big scarfs last fall was so easy! I’m not sure I’m ready to give that up just yet…*sigh*)

Stay warm!

-Belinda

pyramid-color-palette

Getting Down to Business

Hello!

When I decided to start Summer Child Designs, I thought it would be something I’d wade into slowly and carefully. Maybe just get my feet wet and see how it feels…and go from there.

This week I think it’s safe to say I’ve dived in.

I knew this work was for ideal for me because it is something I am actively doing as much as I am thinking about it.  I enjoy the process, I love the work. It’s challenging and creative and entertaining… But I enjoy a lot of things, and can be creative in a lot of ways. So what’s the difference?

The difference is paperwork.

Let me put it this way — I had for years considered and thought about going to grad school for philosophy. But when it came to actually doing the work, taking the GRE, applying to schools. Nope, no thanks. I just never did it, even if at the time I thought it was what I was meant to do. Yet for Summer Child Designs, I’m actually doing the paperwork. I’m doing the research and making the contacts and spending afternoons reading IRS and tax forms (things I’m pretty sure they don’t teach you in art school, but totally should!). I mean, somethings don’t change — if I ever need a values statement it will probably declare my aversions to talking on the phone, as a general rule. But fortunately there is email and FAQs pages, form instructions and discussion boards. It all sounded completely overwhelming, and incredibly official, but I remain undeterred. I’m doing this legit.

Because you never know what you are capable of, when you are willing to learn and take things one step at a time. And from here…well, the water’s  fine.

-Belinda

November Things

Hello!

I’m pretty excited for November. I’m not the kind of person that likes to jump from Halloween to Christmas. I don’t have to be super into Thanksgiving to still appreciate stuffing more than is healthy. (I love bread so much I have socks that profess it.) Plus, I’m ready for hot tea, sweaters, and curling up with a good book. Mmhmmm. I’ll probably spend too many hours playing Banished, which will then inspire me to read some classic novel (like maybe finish Anne of Avonlea), and then I’ll want to buy frilly blouses on Modcloth (that I will never wear comfortably, sooo not my style!). It’s like “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” but it starts with an uneventful simulation game, and ends with poor fashion decisions… Yay November!

I’m also excited because word on the street is that y’all like Etsy. So, I’m working to make that happen for Summer Child Designs.  We’re talking a handmade extravaganza! Illustrations, linocuts, and… well, that’s it. But still! It should be pretty sweet, if I do say so myself. Keep posted for updates when that is all available– currently anticipating it being open by the end of the month!

Yay November!

-Belinda

Halloween

Hello!

Halloween as an adult is weird. Halloween on a Monday is weirder. Last year, we celebrated by camping in the freezing cold and rain. It was a lot more fun than it sounds, and definitely as creepy as expected (thank goodness I hadn’t watched The Blair Witch Project again until this year, or I would have totally bailed). But now it feels freakishly more like Summer than it does Fall, with a bit of a heatwave, so that’s definitely not helping the spirit of it!

This year I’m really giving scary movies a try. I’ve seen a few before, but none of the really classic ones. It’s amazing how campy and ridiculous most of them are now, having not been traumatized by them as a child. It’s like making an adult watch Star Wars for the first time — Yoda as a puppet is hard to take seriously. Same goes for Freddy Krueger, apparently. Not bad, just not what I expected.

I think I’ll still always prefer the magic of Halloween over the guts and gore. It’s all about the humor and whimsy. Let’s be honest, nothing beats Hocus Pocus for Halloween. Nothing! …Harry Potter, Scooby-Doo, Abbott & Costello. That’s where it’s at for me. So it makes sense then that I would make these two creatures I’m calling the “Spooky Buds.” They are silly and probably kinda lame. But I like ’em!

-Belinda

snake-bud-for-blogbat-bug-for-blog