Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Nutty Christmas

Do the holidays feel crazy to you?  If you get together with family, do you feel like someone opened a can of life-sized mixed nuts?

We're nut an exception (groan). Squirrels are an inside joke in my family since my mom claims to dislike them so enthusiastically.  She equates them to rats with bushy tails, and she really doesn't like rats.

Everyone has started to give her squirrel-related cards and gifts, and I'm no exception.  Thanks to Ben Kwok's beautiful squirrel template, I created this tangled squirrel for my mom.  After opening it, she said she might have to start liking squirrels now!

Here is the final colored version using my Irojiten colored pencils.

Here was the original black and white.



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The First Item on My To-Do List

Does your to-do list seem like it will never end?  
Do you feel like you're adding ten items before you can even cross off one?

My head was spinning this morning as I thought about all of the things I had to do today.  The holidays tend to pile up extra projects including shopping, wrapping, cleaning, decorating, and visiting.  While I love all of the items on this list, except for cleaning, I find the extra pressure daunting at times.

I started to make a list of what I had to do and immediately felt overwhelmed.  Rather than give in, I picked up a tangling project and my Micron.  It felt wonderful to slow down, relax, and tangle.  My mind stopped whirring and panicking about all of the little things I should be doing.  Instead, I enjoyed a few quiet, creative minutes with myself.  Here is a small, unshaded part of this ZIA:


I put my Micron down and picked up a regular pen and paper.  I then proceeded to make a realistic to-do list for the week.  

Of course I can't do it all in one day!  Who am I, Santa?  

The simple act of tangling for a few minutes allowed me to put everything into perspective so I could focus on what was important.  I figured out the few things I could manage to complete today and prioritized the rest of the tasks.

I'm smiling.  I feel calmer.  I am able to jump on that list rather than tackling it grumpily.  I love this time of year, and I love preparing for it.  Why should I let a little stress interfere with my seasonal festivities?  Bah humbug!

Next time I start a to-do list, I will remember to write "tangle" at the very top.