Monday, July 30, 2012

Finally, a room of my own.

I'm back. Still haven't managed to unpack too much, but at least I now have a semblance of a room. It looks something like this, though:



Not very exciting, but I'm thinking things will look a lot better once I've had time to go shopping. For example: The bottom picture is of the corner where my antique writing desk will stand. Can't wait!

Will share photos once I'm done!

Anyone else redecorating?

Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm moving!

No, the blog is staying in place, but my home isn't. Unfortunately, that means that I still have packing and all sorts of stuff to do.

It also means I get to go shopping today, since I no longer have my own bedding and curtains.

In the meantime, though, things might be a bit unsettled until about Wednesday. I'll show you what my new room looks like then. ^_^

Have a great weekend!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Singing update


It's been a while since I posted anything about my singing, so I thought I'd do a quick update today. The main reason why I've been so quiet on the topic is the fact that until recently, we had winter break. Coupled with that, my instructor has some big projects that he's preparing to stage, so my singing classes fell by the wayside.

They will, however, continue on Friday, which is great for me, because I have to say I missed them. Also, I'd really love to get in a lot of practices, because I my instructor and my church's organist have "volunteered" me to sing for a church charity event. NOT looking forward to it when I haven't stretched my vocal chords in weeks.

Church choir-wise, we reconvened last Tuesday and we're starting to prepare for the Christmas Service. I'm looking forward to that quite alot, although I still can't say I enjoy most of my choir-mates. Attitudes still haven't improved much since the last time I complained. Now I just try my best to ignore them. And laugh at them. Sorry. That might sound mean, but if I don't laugh, I'd be a lot meaner. I have to find humor in their attitudes and actions. If I didn't, I'd probably crack.

Anyway. On a happier note, the other choir I belong to also reconvened and we're doing something I'm seriously excited about. Basically, it's a pastiche on opera, with singing, melodrama and lots of ham. Casting will apparently be sorted out tonight, so fingers crossed that I get a fun role. Will let you know.

So yeah. That's me and my singing. What hobbies/activities are you taking part in? How's it going?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Efficiency: Too much of a good thing?

This definitely isn't what I was going to write about, but now I'm thinking.

Is there something like being too efficient?

See... I realized that I need to stretch my writing. So to do that, I entered my first writing competition in about a year. Except I have no inspiration.

All of my focus went into writing Doorways, which is why I want to stretch in the first place. But now I realize it isn't my only problem. I'm so focused on getting things done. On having something to show for what I've done, that I forget to take a minute and just breathe.

And that is quite damaging to my inspiration. My story ideas come from everywhere. Riding in a car and letting my thoughts wander. Going somewhere new. Trying something new.

Watching t.v.


Just sitting and doing nothing.

Where I don't get inspired: when I am in fact busy writing, stressing and focusing on doing something. Those are times I use my inspiration. Not when I generate it.

And I haven't really given my mind time to wander in a long time. So... that leaves me wondering. Should I maybe veg out in front of the t.v. every now and then? How much focusing is too much?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Diet and Exercise

I briefly mentioned last week that I went on a diet, because it was the reason why I had zero energy to do anything but mope. 

It's not even the fact that I'm eating too little. I'm never hungry after my meals. It's just that I've been so used to eating refined foods that when I stopped feeding my body with it, it didn't know how to deal. 

So I tried to drink as much water as possible and waited it out. 

And it worked. I'm already starting to feel a lot more energetic than before, because the foods I eat keep me satisfied for longer and don't drop my blood-sugar in a matter of minutes. 

The only thing is that I'm supposed to eat 6 times a day, and that catches me sometimes. On Monday I forgot to snack before I went gymming. Made it through the session, but took a fruit bar and three hours for me to recover. Not doing that again. 

As for the type of diet I'm on, I decided to go for my tried and true method: calorie control. The specific eating plan belongs to Curves, the gym franchise I now belong to. And it's really REALLY good. Main reason: it's flexible. I get to plan my own foods as long as I stay within some really easy to follow guidelines.

It's a bit slower than some of the other diets  I've followed, since it works in month long cycles. One month I diet, one month I eat healthily but a lot more. One month diet etc. Reason being that my body gets some rest from the calorie control so that it doesn't think it's starving. Because that just kills any effort at losing weight. 

And of course, I'm trying to exercise at least three times a week. 

But although this might be slow, I'm happy to do it, since I don't really feel like I'm depriving myself of anything. Unlike something like Atkins, where I'm constantly craving carbs just because I know I'm not supposed to have any. And although Atkins loses me a lot of weight, I can't sustain a carb-free life-style. Not because I'm always addicted to carbs (although I sometimes am), but because too much protein has me eating way too little because I can't take another bite of it. The moment I go off the Atkins diet, I gain everything I worked so hard to lose. 

So I'd work much longer and lose much slower if: 1) I can continue to eat according to the diet without feeling bad, 2) the weight stays off, and apparently it does and 3) if it makes me feel good instead of miserable. 

The results are coming in, too. I lost approximately 3 pounds in the first week (without exercise). 

What about you? Dieting? Exercising? What are you doing? 

Monday, July 16, 2012

As Promised...

Hello! I'm finally back in the saddle, now that my body adapted to its change in diet.  So, as I promised, I took some pictures of the sketches I've done so far.

Only three, but I am planning to do more. Will probably get going because I have more energy now.

I did some editing of the photos, since the light has been very bad the past few days (cloudy with lots of rain). But I pretty much edited them to resemble the original sketches.


The first sketch I did is quite simple, because I just wanted to get my eye in, since I haven't seriously drawn anything from photos in years. She's actually one of the characters in Doorways, but I'll be drawing her again sometime when I'm better, because the sketch isn't quite right.

The next sketch I did was actually a planning for the third sketch that went wrong. So instead of throwing away the paper, I colored it in and erased out until I had an ostrich feather.

I picked this picture because it had so many textures and tones and I wanted to see what I could do with them. It took me three failed sketches before I had one that worked, then I went over to the real one. Drew like a woman possessed and finished it in under an hour.

And that's my journey with charcoal thus far. Really liking it, but wishing I could go on to oil painting. Can't though, because it's too risky to paint right before moving house.

Any of you paint or draw?

Friday, July 13, 2012

A short message

Hey all. I feel terrible about this, but I didn't post anything yesterday and will only be leaving this message today. Changed to a healthier diet and the lack of refined carbs is getting to me. Will be back on Monday. Promise.


Monday, July 9, 2012


Hey! So sorry. Wanted to put up pictures of the sketches I made, but I just never got to taking the pictures. Will definitely do it on Wednesday. X

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

In Which I Lose It

Warning: Rant to follow. 

So. Interesting questions. 

When you're unhappy because of the way that EVERYONE treats you. Have you thought about changing the way you act towards people in the first place? 

I'm not talking about abusive husbands and the like. 

I'm talking about the fact that you feel lonely because no one says more than a few words to you. 

You're miserable because people shut down the moment you speak. 

Do you think that it's a conspiracy aimed at making you miserable? 

Or at what stage do you think: "mmm... EVERYONE acts this way towards me. Doesn't that make me the common factor to all this? Doesn't that mean that I'm the agent of my own misery?" 

Because hell. I've had more than one person telling me that I'm the problem that I've been trying to change. I've tried to improve. I take all this advice and criticism and try to make something positive of it by trying to be a better person. 

But the first time these same people get pointed out once that they're also adding to some issues, they throw up their hands and say they're not even trying any more. 

Well I'm sorry. But if a person isn't even trying in the first place, what right have they to try to tell me how I should live my life? 

How dare anyone criticize me for reacting strongly to certain things that I'm perfectly within my rights to be upset about, but they get to sulk and punish and mope and be sullen with impunity. 

I know that I'm not an angel. But I'm not with everyone every time something is said or done to make someone miserable. So they should really stop trying to blame me and take a hard look at what they've been doing to provoke certain reactions. 

Because if someone shuts conversation down and complain about people not talking to them.

Or sit to one side and expect people to come after them for conversation. 

Or crack highly inappropriate jokes or make little comments "in jest" and then get angry because people don't "get it". 

Or snap at people and get mad because they snap back. 

Well then, those people have a huge problem, wouldn't you say? And it isn't me. I had nothing to do with it except maybe get caught in the wrong conversation at the wrong time. And yes, I said caught. Because when those people are "not talking to me" because they feel slighted, odds are that I don't want to talk to you either. 

And fact is: No one can blame me. 

Even if they do. 

Okay. Rant over. What are your thoughts? I promise I won't launch a massive attack or anything. This post was a LOOOOOOOONG time in coming. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Committing Time to You.

All people have things they want to do. Some things are easy. Some are really hard. But often, none of those things get done. Not even the easy ones.

When that happens, people seem to spend an incredibly huge amount to explain why bad luck was at blame. Or that the circumstances aren't favorable to start right now, but later. Except that the circumstances never seem to turn.
And then they look at the (VERY) few people who do in fact do what they want and are as a whole a lot happier than the people around them. And they wish. If only they could do what they wanted. If only they had that level of success.

And on and on and on.

Sad thing is this. The differences between the people who are going after what they want and people who wish they did can probably be brought down to one thing: commitment.

If you keep procrastinating and waiting for a better day to start, you never will. Because here's the fact: there is no such thing as an ideal day. There will always be little or big things that niggle. Especially in the beginning.  

If you focus on those niggles and let them keep you from starting, what you want will never happen. Things that make us truly happy never just fall into our laps by luck. We have to go after them with everything we've got.

So if you want to paint, find a way to take art classes. Maybe the ones in your area might be too expensive. Don't start looking for a class that is in your price range. Or if you want some time to be alone, try to make some.

If you keep making the things you want to do a priority, you'll do at least some of them. And sure, kids and family responsibilities can make things harder, but as I said, doing things you want to do depends on your level of commitment.

You might not be able to do as much of what you want as you'd like, or you might not do all of it, but just the fact that you spend some time at something you're passionate about will make a difference in your life.

The way I suggest for someone to take on something important to them: Start by committing a small block of time to it and make that time a priority. I've found that when I do things that I love, I automatically make more time for the things I truly enjoy.

For me it's come to the point where I hardly ever watch t.v. because those hours of staring at the t.v. just don't give me any particular joy. Nothing that compares to the thrill of finishing a piece of writing, or the relaxation of creating something with my hands.

So yeah... if you want to take charge of your life by focusing on something you love, start small and work your way up. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day.

If you could do anything in your life right now, what would it be? Do you think there's a possibility that you can fit it into your life, even if it isn't in the way you would ideally do it?