If I make some silly rhymes
If I post at different times
If I add a trending tag
Will I have it in the bag?
Will I make it to the top
If my tweeting doesn’t stop?
Will I finally get success?
Will I stop at nothing less?
Will that fill this empty void?
Will my haters be annoyed?
Am I happy and fulfilled?
Am I meaningfully skilled?
Does it matter, oh who cares
As long as I get stranger’s stares
If they follow and subscribe
If they choose to join the tribe
I’ll have love and I’ll have fame
And I will crush this fucking game.
Recently I bought four new plants for my house: basil, aloe, rosemary, and a Janet Craig Dracaena (seen here. mine looks most like the ‘compacta’ one at the end of the article.)
Picking these out and repotting them reminded me of a time in my childhood when I would answer the question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” with the answer “gardener” and the question of “what’s your favorite color?” with the answer “yellow, because the sun is yellow.”
(side note: For a while during a similar period of my life my answers instead were “artist” and “white, because you can draw any color on it.” (Yes, my answers always seemed to have some sort of logical reasoning behind them…))
Anyway, back to my new plants…
I have killed many a plant in my life… not including the gardens my dad and I attempted over and over again in elementary school, I have also said farewell to a cactus in high school, a basil plant a few years ago, and a rosemary plant this past fall. My saying has become: I am great with babies, awful with plants. (I mean, babies also make it pretty dang apparent when they are unhappy… Perhaps if my plants cried audibly… Though not looking to grow any Mandrakes anytime soon…) Needless to say, my dreams of becoming a gardener have gone unfulfilled.
However, there is always hope, and that’s why I am trying again. And this time hopefully I will actually pay attention to their individual light, water, and temperature needs.
Here are some helpful references I have discovered along the way:
(Basically what I have learned in reading these is that I have been over-watering every single one. And that is probably part of how I killed my last rosemary plant. Also I have a feeling I replanted the Janet Craig in exactly the WRONG type of potting soil… CRAP. Well, at least I have gained many insights into why I have destroyed so many plants. I assumed they just needed water, soil, and sun… But little did I know, that the levels and types of all of those things matter way more than they ever taught me in elementary school!)
Aloe Vera: DO NOT OVERWATER. Use well-draining soil meant for succulents. Needs pretty high sun exposure.
Rosemary: Needs good air circulation and 6 – 8 hours of full sunlight. (eek! that’s a lot of sun for a plant I currently have indoors!)
Basil: Prune for more leaves and a bushy plant
Janet Craig Dracaena: Low-light plant, but grows best in filtered sunlight. Needs well-draining soil. Stay away from perlite.
General: Make sure to repot when necessary!
Questions for You
Do you have any indoor plants? Or an outdoor garden? Which are your most resilient plants? Or the most delicate? (I have heard that orchids are remarkably difficult to care for!) Do you grow anything that is edible? Have any helpful resources to share? I look forward to reading any comments below. :)
Happy Thanksgiving!! I know the holidays can be a difficult time for some, ranging from the normal stress and pressure associated with travel/plans or more intense emotions (grief, loneliness..). So I hope wherever you are today, whoever you are with, that it is as restful as possible.
I just wanted to share a few of the things I am thankful for this year and then share one new art-related technique I attempted recently.
As for things that I am thankful for… there are so many in this season of life right now that it’ll be hard to list. And I am thankful for feeling like I can even write that. As some of you know, I have struggled on and off with depression since middle school and there have been quite a few thanksgivings that I haven’t felt so thankful. Sometimes it is just so difficult, when you’re in the darkness, to see any light at all. Especially when there is additional social pressure because of a holiday. Or when your brain says, “you really should be happy, you have nothing to be so depressed about, what is wrong with you, look at all the people in the world who are so much worse off than you.” Comparison, though it may seem logical, is not beneficial in those moments. But I digress…
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my family, both biological and in-laws. I am thankful for their love for me and each other.
I am thankful for how much effort my parents have put into their marriage throughout the last year. Coming back from the brink of divorce is no small thing and I am so grateful.
I am thankful for my husband who works so hard for our family and who cares so deeply for those he loves.
I am thankful for the time I got to spend with the family who hired me to nanny for them. I can honestly say that I can think of no other way I would have rather spent that time and I can think of no other family who would have been more loving, more wonderful than they are. (Love you Caro!) See you again so soon!
I am thankful for my part-time architectural drafting work and for the free time to pursue art/design/collage/sewing/baking/knitting/children’s book writing. It really has been such a life-giving combination so far.
I am thankful for our new apartment, for no rats, for privacy (and no topless neighbors on the roof outside of my kitchen window), for a guest room I am not embarrassed to have guests stay in, for a washer and dryer in our apartment (!!! goodbye laundromat!)
I am thankful for friends and moments together and laughter and phone calls (even though they definitely aren’t the same as hanging out in person).
I am thankful for the freedom I feel to explore my beliefs and express myself and be who I am.
And I think I can also honestly say in this moment, that I am thankful for the lows… They make the good times so much sweeter, they help me empathize, they provide creative inspiration. But I am also SO thankful that that’s not where I am right now.
What are you thankful for?
And a final little aside: I have been working on developing a children’s book recently and, even if it only ends up on my shelf and the shelf of my beloved little friend, it has been a really awesome experience. This week I attempted to digitally add some color to a couple of the layouts I had drawn during inktober:
These were just quick digital sketches designed to help me plan how I want to physically paint them with watercolors and it was really satisfying to get to interlace analog and digital methods so seamlessly!
A project that I have been working on here and there for a while. (one spread is still in the works and not shown here.) A repurposed children’s bedtime book that I got from a thrift store. No longer for children.
A while ago I bought this book from a thrift store for two dollars. It looked promising, but I had no idea how much fun I would end up having with it! It has served as a place to get out emotions, to play around with song lyrics stuck in my head*, to make a mess, to be punny… Still so many pages to go (and so many dinosaurs!) but these are some of the ones I have collaged so far. Enjoy and let me know your thoughts!