Month: March 2020

Homeschool for Empty Nesters

Boredom Busters

I’m so grateful for all the free and low-cost resources available to us during this challenging time! So many options for keeping the heart, mind, and body busy. Granted, there are still plenty of days when I can barely get myself off the couch to get to the fridge. But even those days can be victories if I stop at three slices of homemade bread with butter and honey, right?

Online Options

I took a cue from my friend, Morgan, at Morgan Victoria Designs and found a place on my desk for a couple of small watercolor paint palettes, brushes, and two pads of watercolor paper. Now I can just pull out those few items and practice every time I have a few minutes. I also signed up for a Skillshare account so I have a huge variety of subjects to study whenever I feel up to it.

My favorite artsy place to hang out, The Art House, has temporarily closed it’s brick and mortar studio, but they are offering some online options. Morgan created this little gem of a watercolor class to create a few sweet blooms for spring.

New Hobby

The very first time I played with watercolor was in a class at The Art House with Morgan. The subject was a wonderful lone pumpkin and I was hooked from the first moment the class started! Up to that point I would emphatically tell people I could not draw. But I soon realized that taking it step by step made it totally doable! Morgan is a great teacher very patience and encouraging.

After that first class I started investing in supplies and finding ways to include watercolor in the handlettered pieces I created. And I have continue to play with this super fun, though challenging, medium. Have you dabbled in watercolor? I’d love to know more!

My Happy Place – for Now

Temporary Quarters

During this time when Garret and I are sharing an office/studio/gym space, I find myself occasionally needing a break. Garret has been co-located or worked out of our home (when he owned his own business) for a couple of decades, so we’re pretty good at giving each other space. But in our temporary living situation, there’s not a lot of space to give.

When we made this particular move, we knew it was short term – probably about one year – but we also knew there was a lot of “stuff” that we didn’t want to take with us to our new more permanent space after the year was up. We also didn’t have a lot of time to make some pretty big decisions about what to take with us immediately, what to store, what to gift to others, and what to let go of. We had already been working on de-cluttering our lives, which was a true blessing, but there are so many things we quit looking at when we live in a space for any amount of time. For the year previous to our move, we had challenged ourselves to eliminate one trash barrel full of things a week. Before you get after me, we didn’t necessarily throw a trash barrel worth of stuff away; we just made that our size reference. The items may have truly been trash, or they may have been recyclables, giveaways, etc. That was just the quantity we shot for. Then, when we moved to the condo we’re in now, we brought with us only what we thought we would need. The remaining items we had kept went into storage.

Tight Fit

As grateful as we are for our little condo, we are stuffed in here pretty tight. Most of my art and craft supplies are stored in boxes in a closet. When I want to do something, I need to dig through boxes to find my supplies. That makes it a bit challenging to be motivated, to be honest.

That’s where The Art House in Gilbert has saved me.

Saving Place

Right now The Art House is my “studio-away-from-studio” and I love it! I feel like I have truly made friends with many of the people who work there and they have unofficially assigned me a seat right up front. I can sign up for watercolor, acrylics, or cookie decorating classes. They occasionally add something else of interest; I recently signed up for a floral arrangement workshop. I learn something new with every class and for two hours I don’t have to look for supplies or even think about what to paint. I just listen, learn, practice, and calm my artistic heart. It’s heaven!