From my book SUMO COLORS – I was thinking of my parents when painting Mt. Fuji, which is in the Shizuoka prefecture where they live
A while ago I had mentioned that if all goes well, I will be traveling to Japan this summer. Unfortunately, all has not gone well and the trip won’t be happening. The reasons are innumerable, and I won’t bore you with the details. I’m disappointed, but we’re tentatively looking into going during winter break. Has anyone traveled to Japan during the holiday season? Will it be too cold for a wimpy west coaster like me? My parents live in a village at the tippy top of a mountain in Shizuoka (not on Mount Fuji) and the single lane road sounds like it might be icy and treacherous in December. Sigh…we’ll figure something out.
I have a summer ahead of me with virtually no deadlines. I worked diligently during spring and I can see the finish line for my next book (out in April of 2024!). Any changes to the book should be minimal at this point. Plus, I submitted all the preparations required for Creativebug for the time being (I’ll have some fun updates on that front next month! If you want to try out Creativebug for 2 free months and get 50% off for life, click here). Furthermore, I’m in limbo for some other projects and don’t have to think about them until the fall.
It feels weird.
But also marvelous. I’ve been intentional about creating a lighter workload for summers and winters and even though it’s difficult, I decline a lot of opportunities to avoid over-scheduling myself. I’m plagued by FOMO, but it’s worth it because I feel like I’m taking care of my future self. Slowly, slowly and with much experimentation (and mistakes) over the years, I’ve managed to structure my deadlines in a way that feels sane. I have only one more year left with K before she goes off to college and I’m making the most of it. I don’t want to look back and lament that I was too busy to spend time with my beloveds.
With all this extra time, in addition to bonding with K, I plan on reading copiously. Book recommendations would be much appreciated! I’m an omnivorous reader and no genre is off-limits. I do tend to gravitate toward books described as “big-hearted” and “charming,” but I can get down with the grittiest of murder mysteries, the cringiest of self-help, the densest of sci-fi/fantasy tomes, the loftiest of literary fiction. Even kids’ books, graphic novels and mangas are fair game; we’re huge fans of Spy x Family in this household. Do tell if you’ve read a book that captivated you.
I’ve also decided that this is the summer when I finally make a significant dent in my fabric stash. I called it “Destashival” back in 2019 and I’m going to make good on it, my friends. Things went a little off-the-rails during COVID and two sewing books (Animal Friends to Sew and Sewing Love) turned out to be insufficient in terms of reducing the mountainous textiles that I own. In fact, I went a little crazy and added to the fabric supply as I progressed on the books…no bueno. Muy no bueno. Let’s not harp on past transgressions, however, and here are some sketches of things I’d like to stitch up:
I’m going to self-draft all of these:
– I sewed a jumpsuit a couple of years ago and though it’s somewhat see-through and wonky, I love it. In warmer months, I wear it all the time and want to fine-tune my pattern
– I really, really want a flirty, twirly summer dress with thin straps
– I adore hoodies and thought, why not make one in linen? After all, so much of what I wear is made from linen
– All of my wide-legged pants are tired-looking these days, so I need to replace them
– I’ve been resorting to wearing M’s t-shirts as nightwear, but want cute PJs with a matching top and bottom
– I’m going to focus on interesting details for tank tops
– Protecting my skin is a must! I wear hats every day and though I liked the Lotta Jansdotter ones I made, I’m going to tweak the pattern more.
Ever since I started sewing, my goal has been to be able to sew anything. I’m fairly confident that I can make most things, but there are still a giant number of techniques and things I haven’t tried or have only attempted once or twice. Maybe I’ll give zero-waste sewing a shot — is zero waste sewing even possible?
You know, there’s a side benefit to developing this skill: should the apocalypse that my prepper husband has been predicting ever come to pass, I’ll be ready. Sewing can come in handy in so many ways when the world is melting down, don’t you think? In a pinch I could whip up a backpack for survival items or a tent or some other apocalypse-friendly paraphernalia. Of course, there’s the conundrum of how I would lug my sewing machine and supplies if we have to scamper through the wilderness to escape zombies or what-have-you. I suppose I’ll have to whittle a needle out of wood and use my hair or vines to stitch…leaves?
I’m continuing to practice digital painting. Check out the flowers below — pretty much indistinguishable, right? Digital painting tools have come a long way since the first Photoshop brushes I sampled over 10 years ago. Procreate, in particular, is incredible and I’m having so much fun trying a myriad of brushes and making my own! Love, love, love.
Basically, I’m doing all the things I normally do, but for pure FUN. Summer is for play, and play I will!
Until next month take good care, my friends!
P.S. Happy Fourth of July to those in the U.S.!