Day 392

I listened to a healing meditation as I drifted off last night. It was very relaxing. I got about 6 hours sleep which isn’t terrible. I really felt like starting art the second I woke up but instead I enjoyed a coffee and watched some short food videos on Youtube with hubby.

Once hubby had gone to work I started work on a meal plan for the rest of the week. I found some great keto recipes (at least they sound great) and I’ve planned to have one that we ate last week. It was just so delicious.

Thurs: Shop / Chicken Kiev + Salad
Fri: Chicken Coconut Curry with Broccoli Rice
Sat: Bacon Cheeseburger + Coleslaw
Sun: Keto Stuffed Cabbage
Mon / Tues: Keto Shepherd’s Pie

Before I started Puddling I decided to do some random art with prompts from ‘Jazza’s Arty Games.’ I found the environment challenges the most fun. I struggled with the ‘character’ challenges and most attempts found their way to the bin. I only set 10 minute timers for each drawing but they all took longer.

I started with the floating city. I didn’t write the prompt down and just had to guess at what it said when I’d finished drawing. I drew it in pencil and ended up lining it in ink to make it look a little bit more dynamic.

With the second one I wrote the entire prompt down and then drew it. I drew an ink outline, used fine liners to colour some of it and pencil to finish it off.

Then I decided to try a ‘copying’ challenge. I once again only set it for 10 minutes and this was no where near enough time. I got it roughly sketched then I ran out of time and the original picture disappeared. I wasn’t sure how to finish the bottom part of the body, so I didn’t worry about it and got to colouring. I used pencil.

I stopped the art-ing for lunch but quickly returned to it in the early afternoon. I got two Puddles completed today. I’m feeling the art!!!!

In today’s Adventures of Arthur Puddles we find him celebrating Read a Road Map Day. Because of the lockdown Arthur can’t go anywhere but he had a great time imagining he was out in his penguin-yellow car.

In today’s Adventures of Arthur Puddles we find him and Douglas dog having a pillow fight for International Pillow Fight Day. They had fun for hours and Douglas won more matches than you would think.

By the late afternoon I really wanted a nap but normal day things just kept happening. I feel so normal. I’m like a real human person today. I got a quick French and Norwegian lesson in and contemplated knitting. I’m close.

I hope you’ve had a fantastic day of smiles, brightness, creativity and relaxing. Keep your chin up and stay strong. This too shall pass. Stay safe and stay at home. Take care.


Day 232

I had the same overwhelming dread that the last few weeks worth of mornings have induced. My inner child wants to spend the day doing carefree, self indulgent, easy things. My inner adult knows it should send that child to the naughty corner until the work gets done. Thankfully, my inner adult keeps winning and I push myself to be a functioning human.

After a delicious coffee and about an hour of random staring, an equally uninspired hubby dawdled off to work. That’s like the starting gun to my day, so I worked out. I was almost going to skip it and get straight to art but seeing I actually enjoy it when I get going, I got going. 30 minutes later, my arms ached and going back to bed was appealing. I pushed on.

I got straight into French. L’ordinateur est sur la table cafe. Hooray. I remembered a word from the ‘At work’ set of words. Three days down on this new topic and…I remembered one word.

I wasn’t feeling overly arty but I did want to do something creative (and something on my Happy List) so I sang. I spent about 40 minutes doing that and got pretty close to recording something I like. I know it will happen one day.

Once I was done singing, I searched for some inspiration for art-ing. I wasn’t even sure which medium I wanted to work with but after the ease of the charcoal drawing yesterday, I figured that would be my best option.

I chose a photo of Anthony Bourdain. He was one of my favourite TV chefs. I loved his sense of humour, his passion for food and he just seemed like someone I’d enjoy hanging out with.

There are a couple of things I would change about this portrait, if I could. The lips should have been a little higher and there is a fingerprint on his forehead that I just could not get rid of. It happened very early in the process (and I don’t remember doing it). I tried to erase it, colour over it, smudge it and it is still proudly there. I’m just going to pretend it was Anthony’s fingerprint of approval.

I spent the evening hanging with a friend and it was the perfect end to a really good day. I am smiling and it feels nice. I hope your day has been filled with smiles, joy, creativity and something delicious.


Day 231

I woke at 6.30 am and started the day. By that, I mean I sat around half awake, sipping coffee until hubby left for work. Once he had, it was time to work out. I was looking forward to working out today and probably pushed a little too hard. My shoulder has been a little sore all afternoon.

For art today I used charcoal for the first time (after a suggestion from MJ Seal). I searched Youtube for a ‘how to’ tutorial and found what I thought would be something fairly easy; How to Draw a Bird Head. I used a charcoal stick not a charcoal pencil. I blended with my finger and a blending stick for the line work. It was fun and messy.

I also attempted another portrait sketch in pencil. I know I want to practice face features and I figure it’s the best way to make sure I’m practising them evenly. I referenced another photo by Johan De Jager of a man wearing a hat. I used a paintbrush to blend today. It was a little nicer than using my finger.

I had a hard time getting a good photo of this sketch. The light kept reflecting off the lead because it was so light. I started with a 5H pencil and planned on finishing with other leads but I just didn’t finish it. I put it in an editing program, worked the contrast more than I should but came up with something that I rather liked. It’s very grainy but I felt that gave it more character.

I had a really good French practice but weirdly, I still can’t remember any of the words. Le portable? Something about … e-mail? A few more days and I’ll have a better grasp on these new words.

I remember when I first started doing French, I’d feel so frustrated not knowing the words or not remembering the words. Now I know it’ll happen, it just takes time. I’m not stressed or worried about this aspect of my journey. Slowly but surely I will learn French. I’m growing!!!

I could have got more packed into my day but I have enjoyed the things I’ve done and I have a smile on my face. I hope that your day, whether full or relaxed, was one that made you smile.


Day 230

When I woke up my first thought was; ‘Ugh’. Another day was starting and it was a day I didn’t want to participate in. I also knew this was completely silly and probably just my mood lingering from yesterday. I sipped coffee and waited for hubby to leave.

Soon as he’d whisked off to work, I worked out. YES! I actually did what I was supposed to. It wasn’t a particularly good workout but I felt proud that I’d got it done.

That was the motivation I needed to start a new topic in French. This is a group of ‘At Work’ words. I don’t remember any of them. I do remember that I was able to say them easily and knew what a lot of them meant without having to check first. A week of practice and I should have them.

I usually add to watch a ‘world movie’ on my Happy List. I’m not much of a movie fan in the first place but I enjoy watching something French or as I’m coming to learn, Norwegian movies. Today I watched The Ash Lad: In the Hall of the Mountain King. It was made in 2017. The landscape is breathtaking and the effects were believable. Seeing I read it, I can’t really comment on the acting. It was a nice little trip into Norwegian folklore. I really enjoyed this movie.

There were three art projects that I wanted to work on today. A watercolour, a portrait sketch and something for a friends birthday.

For my watercolour, I wanted to try something very simple and spend more time building layers of colour, so I wouldn’t feel the need to use ink. I used this opened window photo as my reference.

Yesterday I did a search on Unsplash for Ho Chi Minh City. I scrolled through pages of photos and found some amazing and inspiring cityscape shots. Then I saw this photo of an older man. His face had so much character, I knew I wanted to try and sketch it.

This was a rough sketch with one pencil. I played around with the contrast in an editing program so that it was easier to see. I have such a hard time getting the right ‘natural light’ for photos.

The last art that I worked on today was a penguin sketch for my friends birthday. I wish I could have done more for him. He has been a very shiny light in my world and I’m not sure a penguin adequately expresses just how much I appreciate him.

Today is new Happy List day. It’s mostly a to do list, with a handful of self care. I already got a few things done, so it feels like I’ve had a great start to the week.

  1. Workout, 5 days
  2. Drink 2 bottles of water, 5 days
  3. Art, 5 days
  4. Do 3 art lesson/’how to’
  5. French, 6 days
  6. Smile for 10 minutes, for no reason, 5 days
  7. Sing, 2 days
  8. Watch 1 world movie
  9. Massage legs, 2 days
  10. Nap

I have just spent the last 10 minutes smiling for no reason and it’s made me feel pretty good. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

I hope you’re in good spirits and good health. Have a fantastic week.