November News

I hope November is off to a good start for you, my friend. I fully expect this to be an exceptional month, mostly because I remembered to say "rabbit rabbit" on Thursday morning before I said anything else. This is pretty exciting because I rarely remember--how often do you wake up with enough of a brain to know the date?! (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Google it--I was introduced to this peculiar concept by my cousins years ago, and only recently learned it was actually a thing that other people do as well.)

Another reason this is an exciting month on my end: I finally, after many months of slow progress/busy-ness/procrastination, put some prints up on Etsy

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I'm drawing for 100 days.

Hi friends!

Happy April!

For me, the theme of this month seems to be commitment. Mostly, this has come up because I've been frustrated recently that I haven't been taking my art as seriously as I'd like. In an attempt to remedy this, I decided to participate in #the100dayproject, meaning I've committed to working on an illustration every day for 100 days. It's only been 6 days so far, and already I am thinking two thoughts: 1. I am already way too busy, why did I add this?! and 2. I love drawing and I've always known I love drawing--why wouldn't I make time for this every day?!

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Radishes, Penguins, and Pigs, Oh My!

Hey friends! It's February! Happy belated Groundhog Day! Happy early Valentine's/Galentine's/Anna Howard Shaw Day!

Speaking of that holiday that's coming up in a couple of weeks, my Valentine's Day card collection, which has been in the making for quite a while now, is on Etsy! It started out last year around this time, with this design that I finally had made into a card:

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Adventures in Sleeping, Part II

Last time I told you about some of the strategies I’ve used to get better at sleeping, and I promised I’d share some of the strange inner workings of my sleepy mind. Are you excited??

After I got kind of tired of reading when I was trying to get to sleep, I moved on to writing. I’m a big fan of journaling, of getting my thoughts out of my head and onto paper. Afterwards I often feel a sense of relief, like I’ve acknowledged and let go of these thoughts and can relax, so it has at times helped me in the sleeping department. Sometimes, the words that come out when I journal at strange hours of the night turn into poems. I wrote the following at approximately 4 in the morning sometime last year:

What choice have I, when sleep evades,
when thoughts won’t rest and daylight fades,
but sit in bed and ponder life
within the stillness of the night?

These thoughts that nightly come to me
keep me caught in reality
instead of sailing in silver shoes
to that place on a star where the fairies snooze.

Like: “I am hungry! Feed me now!
Are there eggs in the fridge? Should I buy a cow?
Or should I be an actor? A farmer’s not right!”
These are the things that come up in the night.

Dear Brain,
Please relieve me. Send those thoughts somewhere else!
Pack them up in a suitcase! Stack them up on a shelf!
These are thoughts that right now, I simply DON’T NEED.
So PLEASE get them out of my way, please, please, PLEASE.

So now I am begging. ‘Twas not my intent
but these last few hours tonight I have spent
trying to ask you more civilized-like—
after all, you’re my pal…so, turn out the lights?!

…FOCUS, Brain, and tell me please:
What are you trying to do with these
uninvited moonlit musings?
I find the concept rather confusing.

Do you think we’ll become closer friends?
Are you trying to take control of my hands?
Is it just too dull to sit up there and wait
in silence until I awake?

I apologize for being a bore
and a bit of a health nut too…
but it’s not only me who needs the sleep
…that’s right, Brain, I mean YOU!

I’m actually pretty impressed that my 4 in the morning brain made this much sense.  I really really like sleeping…but I guess my inability to do so resulted in some rather interesting creations, at least. Lest you think I am an exceptional middle-of-the-night genius, this is definitely my best moonlit, sleep-deprived poem. I have some others that are really rather terrible that I think I will not release into the internet.

If you loved this poem and are hoping for more glimpses of groggily-written masterpieces, you may be disappointed to hear that there haven’t recently been any gems like this one. I have been sticking to daytime writing and creating for the most part. But, I hope you will be pleased for my sake because that means I have actually been much better at sleeping recently! Without having to get up and write weird poems.

But I’ll let you know more about that in Part III.

Poetically,
Maria

Pineapples, Portraits, and Laughing at Myself

Let’s talk about fruit. I did name this blog Starfruit Salad, did I not? [my first blog was called Starfruit Salad...you may notice I've changed the name!]

…although I’m actually going to talk about pineapples today, not star fruit. If you were expecting that post about a salad with star fruit in it, I’m sorry to have dashed your hopes. Maybe next time. No promises, though.

I actually don’t really like pineapples. I used to LOVE pineapple on my pizza, back in my gluten-eating days, but other than that I am not crazy about it. I’m weird, I know. Oh well. I hope you will keep reading my blog anyway.

It turns out that even though I don’t like eating pineapples, I do quite like drawing pineapples. This became very clear a few days ago when I was drawing a self-portrait of myself as a pineapple.

I usually don’t look very much like a pineapple. (I don’t think I do, anyway. Feel free to chime in if you disagree.) There was this one time, though, a few weeks ago, after I had gone swimming…I had wrapped my towel around my head in such a way that I had a little tuft of hair sticking straight up, and I had my big polka dotted sunglasses on, and I looked kind of like this:

It was really hilarious. I kept looking at my reflection in my mom’s sunglasses and it CRACKED me up, every time. I think if I were looking in somebody else’s sunglasses rather than my mom’s, they would have quickly come to the conclusion that I was out of my mind.

But maybe being out of our minds can be a good thing. We get stuck in there a lot—I know I do, anyway—tangled up in thoughts about how we’re expected to behave and what other people might think, worries about the past, plans for the future…

Have you ever noticed how all of those thoughts disappear when you’re laughing really hard? When you’re not taking everything so seriously and you’re just thoroughly enjoying the moment?

There’s no room for anxiety and second-guessing when you’re filled with joy. And if that joy comes from realizing your own ridiculousness, well, I think that may be the best kind. Self-sufficiency!

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” – Charlie Chaplin

Wise words, Charlie.

May your day be full of laughter and juicy pineapples. Or star fruit. Or whatever your favorite fruit is. Obviously, mine is neither of those. My titles are very misleading.

Playfully,
Maria

p.s. you can now buy this drawing as a card here!