100 Days 2.0 – 100 Days of Bike

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After a bit of debate, I would like to announce that I am in for the 100 Day Project this year. If you are not quite sure what this is, check out the project site HERE..it is a great motivator for creatives to work on a project consistently.

For a hundred days, I will be exploring biking. Yep, biking. Getting away a bit from farm life, and it might start circling around that way again once the season starts up again.

After a bit of a tough winter with a knee injury, I have chosen to explore my city by bike, both for the joy of it, but also for a bit of rehab on my knee. To my surprise, the best part of the bike so far (after about two weeks in), is exploring my world. Other bikes zipping past, families with small ones on bikes with training wheels, elder couples holding hands walking, millennials chatting dramatically on phones, and consistently a squirrel tempting his/her fate by darting in front of my tire. Life! The bike path has been an awesome way to explore all of this.

My morning work bike commute is a beautiful path mostly along the Centennial Trail of Spokane, to my workplace about 6.5 miles away. I am in about 2 weeks, but I am happy to gain strength in my knee, fresh air in my lungs, and also creative material to digest,  which my soul craves dearly.

This, my friends, is what I hope to offer in my blog revival. A creative outlet to share, connect, and inspire. Thanks for reading if you made it this far! If you did, please reach out and say hi with a comment. I am listening in this ever busy and loud world.

Cheers,

Missy Jean

Inktober 7/31 : Blackberry Bush

IMG_0970 (5)Do you ever notice that the act of both giving AND recieveing nourishes your soul? It is as if you can feel it puff up with joy.

The describes the feeling that went with the discovery of a blackberry bush on our front porch last weekend. A sweet note was also left, weighted down with a simple stone.  The couple and toddler who left it are some of my favorite people, and they consistently show gratitude. Sometimes I wonder…do I do enough to show gratitude in my life?

The awesome thing about gratitude is this:

Gratitude is contagious!  The more you give, the more you seem receive.

The fall season always makes me fill up with a warm fuzzy feeling, but this one in particular has been a blessing. Although I don’t delve too much into my personal world here, my work ( the world of teaching!) has been a bit stressful these last few weeks, with sketching and my community (this amazing community included!) have really been a place of comfort and strength.

What I’m trying to say is….

I am grateful for YOU!

Thanks for following along on this wild, wonderful, and sometimes topsy-turvy ride we call life with me here.

Melissa

 

 

 

 

Inktober 6/31 – Chicken Glam Shot

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Chickens intimidate the heck out of me to sketch! So many textures, lines, and quirky dinosaur-like features… and they move quick.

Sitting in the sunshine on an upside down feed bucket, I sketched the girls.  They circled around a bit, gazing at me curiously and sideways, like chickens do.

They are a good subject, and I need to ignore my fear and just sketch them more.

Happy Thursday, friends!

Inktober 5/31 Chicken or the Egg?

 

IMG_0964 (3).JPGWhich came first….the chicken or the egg?

In this case, it was the egg.  I sat in the warm autumn sunshine with our chickens to do this sketch. Sitting on the plastic feed bucket (lid on, of course!), I set myself up for a lovely sketch session. This interested the chickens for a few minutes, and they circled around me, beady eyes peering at me sideways as chickens do.

Then, the mostly forgot about me!

The resulting chicken sketch is actually a combination of two  chickens as models, who managed to stay still long enough for me to get a good look.

And I was reminded how dinosaur-like they are!  Strange scaly feet! And red skin around their eyes! And legs that just look like sticks shoved into a fluffy body.

But they sure are cute! I enjoyed doing this so much, and reminded how lucky I feel that we have animals to care for.

 

Inktober 4/31 Three Eggs

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Another indication of the fall season upon us….fewer eggs!

Chickens are sensitive to the waning daylight hours, and as the days get shorter, the daily eggs gathered from our coop declines.  Oh how I love fresh eggs!

This sketch was done sitting on our front steps, and it made me think of three things:

  •  I love natural variations of eggs colors. Don’t they look like Easter eggs?
  •  Cable sweater patterns are really tricky to sketch, but I love the practice!
  •  I still have a goal to crochet a sweater …maybe this fall and winter is the magic moment!

What seasonal changes are you noticing in your part of the world?

May your day be inspired.

MElissa

 

 

Inktober 3/31 Late Blooms

 

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A few sunflowers, California poppies, and blanket flowers hang on into early fall here in our perennial bed.  They always seem to hold the memories of sunshine and warmth well into the next season.

Ink drawings are really making me feel a bit self-conscience of my tendency to hurry through a drawing.  There is something to be said about sketching first impressions, and it gives it a aura of vibrancy that sometimes a well-planned page does not have. Funny how that happens,  right?

And so is life….sometimes the unplanned events and coincidences are really the juicy storylines that stick in our minds long after the moment has past.  A little bit like summer flowers fading into the fall.

Happy Thursday, friends! Make it a good one.

 

Melissa

 

#Inktober 2/31: Part-Time Goat Herder

These autumn days are crisp and full of signs of the new season. Yesterday I squeezed in sketchtime while watching our goats graze. We open their gate, and our beloved four-leggers as Adam, call them, come frolicking out playfully, excited to find good stuff to munch on.

This spread is a collage of what I saw in my world. Sally and Maple (see how she has grown!) in the background, and small collected treasures left behind by my sweet friend Kate, a curious 2 year old who came to visit Sunday.

 

My beginnings in sketching started more with pages like this. At times, we get tossed a tangled in the frantic pace of the word, and forget what magic and small wonders we have in front of us everyday.

Do you have ways you stop to celebrate the everyday?

 

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Journal page done while watch our goats graze. Micron ink. 2017

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#Inktober 1/31: Pumpkin

Welcome to October!

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons, and it seemed fitting to direct my Inktober project towards the everyday scenes. If you missed my post on Inktober, check it out here. I will be sketching in ink (no color – which is so hard for me!) to stretch my creative muscle in a different way.

To kick it off, I visited the pumpkin patch out my door, which is part of the farm I live on.

Enjoy!

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Micron Ink Sketch. 2017

 

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Pumpkin patch!

Hello, friends.

I stepped away from sketching after my 100 Days of Dozens Project ended in late August to recharge. Thank you so much for everyone who followed along! I will be posting an update on the full completed project soon.

A new teaching job, the hustle and bustle of summer, as well as a budding soapmaking business left me admittedly a bit burnt out. Now that I am settling into a new rhythm, I am reminded that sketching really IS my daily recharge.  It feels good on my brain.  I would like to share more of that in the weeks to come.

This month, I will be participating in Inktober, which is a month-long world movement that an aims to create in ink daily each day in October. Challenges are good for me, and I put sketching aside long enough to remember that it is good for my soul.

For the month, I will be doing ink-only sketches of everyday scenes right out my door. As a creative, often times I am hard on myself, and strive to get things “just right”.  No more! Process, not perfection I say.

In an act of bravery, I started the day off with the one sketch that pushes me out of my comfort zone….. the self portrait!

Here’s to the creative spirit, and the fall season. Make it a great one.

Cheers,

Melissa

 

 

 

 

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Goodbye to Sweet Sophie Goat

This past weekend, we said goodbye to Sophie Goat, part of the sister trio with Mickey and Zephora.  This sweetheart is the first goat we have lost, and it has led me to reflect on the many lessons animals pass onto us to live with compassion, connection, and care for each other.

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Sophie stuck out in the herd.  Being  cream colored with caramel spots, she was a gorgeous goat among our predominately black and tan herd.  However, she did NOT like to interact with humans and was a bit stand-offish.  While the other goats would walk up to you for a scratch, she would hang in the background with indifference.

With other creatures, big and small, she was delightfully curious in contrast!

One of my favorite memories was when she walked slowly right up to a bird, nearly nose-to-beak, and merely gazed at it. She would do the same with the resident cat on the property, although the cat was visibly suspicious as to why this large non-cat was getting so close.  Sophie remained for a minute or so, until the cat darted off into the thick green grass. Somehow she seem to have a deep connection to life outside the herd that was noticeably different from the other goats.

With a soft heart, she also unfortunately was the bottom of the dominance ladder.  Goats establish dominance quickly by nature, and when Sophie isolated herself a while back, we knew something was wrong.  Multiple trips to the vet, two -rounds of antibiotics, and precious moments of hand-fed treats of willow branches, milk thistle, and sweet feed (grain with molasses – yum!) didn’t do the trick, unfortunately.

Bittersweet is one of my favorite words in the English language. Part bitter, part sweet, like much of life.  We have been blessed with the joy and adventure of caring for our Nubian goat herd, and the passing of sweet Sophie reminds me gently of the bitter part of it all. In order to appreciate the sweet, you must endure the bitter as well.

Life is a cycle, and we must appreciate each and every member of our community (human and non-human alike!).

Thank you Sophie for allowing us to care for you these past few years. You were loved and will be missed by your entire herd.

May your day today and every day be filled with sweet moments.

Cheers,

Melissa

 

 

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