Trash Box Life Hack

I have found a hack that uses up my junk mail and has been a useful resource in my workroom and home. I am forever moving my trash can from area to area as I work on different projects. Now I have a nifty supply of paper boxes to help me keep my areas tidied up.

life hack paper boxes

life hack paper boxes

life hack paper boxes

You can find a video on how to make them from 8 Asian Life Hacks.

Downy Woodpecker

Downey Woodpecker pastel on watercolor ncwren
Downy Woodpecker~female
pastel 5x7
An experiment with a watercolor background of splatters and salt.

Year in Review~2015

2015 year in reflection ncwren
2015 was an interesting year around here. I started a new business with my art. The growing pains are precisely that-painful! Trying to keep up with a website, blog, market myself and my art via social media, and deal with all of the government requirements AND produce art have been very full filling to say the least. I have enjoyed learning about each area of this new enterprise (except for all of the government stuff!). My biggest hurdle is changing back and forth between the different jobs I need to do around here.

This was also my first year in attempting to draw or paint everyday. My initial rule of keeping my daily sketches down to one hour didn't work all the time. My 'just another 5 minutes' kept turning into another hour. I did not manage to paint or draw everyday, but I did see a dramatic improvement in time and quality of my work. At first I was thinking that the subject was an easy one, or that I was simply having a good day. Thankfully the progress I have made in those two areas are for the most part sticking.

Just when I was really clicking along with all of these activities my body failed me. Towards the end of September (just getting ready to wrap up the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge) I was put into the ICU for 4 days and spent another 4 days in the hospital. I had a large kidney stone that would not pass. Since it was my first stone I stayed home and tried to push through the pain. Unfortunately I went into septic shock. Thankfully great doctors and nurses were there for me along with prayers from my church, family and friends. I am still have some issues-mostly impatience with getting back to 'normal'. It is a vicious cycle of needing to be active and not having the energy to do so. Being mentally tired is also a new thing to me. I have a lot of empathy now for people with this problem~it just sucks. The whole incident reminded me of riding my skateboard back in the 70's. Getting the hang of balancing oneself on the board and kicking along to get speed. All it took was one little pebble to launch oneself into the air- no helmet or pads...most of the time wearing tank tops, shorts and being barefoot (hang ten).

I am looking forward to the challenges of 2016. I need to find a better balance of taking care of business and the business of taking care of me.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful~Happy New year! :)