This past snowy Kentucky weekend I couldn't take down the outside Christmas decorations, my garage shop was cold to work in, and Beth was off at CHA so I found myself staring at the idiot box and puttering with my notes for work on Monday. As I sat there drifting off into a zombie-like state I felt compelled to do something artistic. Recently I had been looking at a lot of blogs related to bullet journaling, a system I am trying out to improve my organization at work and home, and a lot of them have made some truly functional and beautiful books full of sketches, fancy lettering, and other drawn adornments. When the artistic bug hit me, my brain jumped to those journal articles and a book that Beth had recently ordered ("The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering" by Valerie McKeehan) and I decided to do some lettering/handwriting practice.
Let's admit it, we all have areas of our lives and craft we wish we could improve. For me my handwriting and drawing are terrible. I am lucky if I can read my notes, and I am certain that Beth has never been able to read one of my notes without me there to interpret. As for my drawings, lets just say that my skills rival those of your average kindergartner. This made it really hard to do some concept sketches for a top secret new project Beth and I are working on.
Many of my favorite woodworking role models frequently advocate that the only way you will get better at something is to practice. Yeah, yeah we all learned this as kids but how many of us still put it in to practice as adults? My moment of self realization came after I took that handplane class in Washington. Following that class I made a conscious effort to put my handtools to work at least a couple times a week(why else do you think I finally made progress on the kayak) and found that I got faster and more confident with them. I also found that working on something creative gave me inspiration and ideas for projects and not just for woodworking projects.
No I don't have a grand plan for New Year's resolutions. I just wanted to share an idea I had and hopefully pass along the spark of inspiration that came to me this weekend. So pick up your pen, brush or tool of your choosing and get to work practicing on something old or new.