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Those of you who know me also know that I am a creative person. For me, I believe that having a hobby(ies) is just as important, even more so, than having a career. OK, both are important. Careers bring in the dough, but you know what? Hobbies can be lucrative, too. Some might say that I do too much, and yes, I juggle a lot (because I want and like to). Doing art isn’t just a hobby for me, it’s a lifestyle–a way of life. But we live in a world that demands time and money. In Milwaukee, the fifteen years I lived there, I managed a successful alterations business, which I plan to reopen in the Chicago area in 2020, once I get into a new apartment. Moving will take a few months as I’ve already moved twice this year.

Despite how challenging this year has been, I stayed true to my art and doing what I love. I went through a major life change and this transition allowed me to start doing my artwork the way I had done it ten years ago, just a little differently. I’m focusing on rebuilding and recreating my life the way I want it to be and on my terms.

It has blown my mind all that has changed for me this year. Something cosmic has surely been at work in my life. At first, I was terrified. I’ll admit. But every day, things are constantly changing. Having a strong mindset is crucial for smooth transitions and positive outcomes. You want to ensure that your thoughts about situations and matters are in the right place. Six months ago, I actually believed I’d lost so much. A mindset shift awakened me to this fact: those losses weren’t losses, they were gains. I gained new skills, more time to do the things I enjoy doing, and relocated to a place I’d always wanted to live; in the Chicago area.

Since I’d been back to my homeland, I’ve produced more than thirty mixed-media paintings, been sewing like crazy, and engaged in finishing my third mystery novel. I know what you’re thinking right now; “Does she have a social life?” And the answer is: “Yes, I do.” As humans, we’re always juggling a lot of stuff: work, friendships, relationships, hobbies, diet, and healthy lifestyle–ingredients that make up a full life. The old me used to get easily stressed out and overwhelmed trying to balance everything. These days, I thrive in a different way doing all of these things I love doing.

Time-blocking is a time-management skill everyone should consider implementing. I time-block my days so I can have enough room between the hours of 5 A.M. and 6 P.M to accomplish everything I need to. I use Excel Spreadsheets to highlight large blocks of time where I focus on one creative job or task. This beneficial approach will force you to honor your time and use it more wisely. Time-blocking will also prevent you from overworking or spending too many hours on one project or task. People always ask me how I’m able to get $#it done and have time for everything else. Well, here’s how. Below, you’ll see (a rough example) of how I use Excel Spreadsheets to manage my work life and make sure everything is effortlessly balanced out.

On your spreadsheet, you can log in everything, including health and work stuff how I did. Or, you can create a time-blocking spreadsheet solely for work. But, it helps me to see my whole day before it even starts. Creative people are always multi-tasking. Even though I’m good at multi-tasking, I don’t want to feel or be scattered. When you’re scattered, you’re more likely to mess something up or make a mistake, whether fatal or not. Time-blocking slows me down and allows me to fully engage in the task at hand.

Also, while I’m at it, I have some exciting announcements. One, I have just gotten a job and am so very excited about this! One of my favorite fabric stores, JoAnn Fabrics, hired me as a team member. I’d always envisioned myself working in the fashion/sewing realm and am so grateful for this opportunity. Sewing is surely a passion of mine and to work in an environment amid all kinds of inspiration is an honor. I would swim in their fabrics if I could. Being surrounded by likeminded people is amazing. I also believe you should love your job as much as your hobbies. I’ve been utilizing time-blocking each day and will do so when I’m working. Such a great tool for organizing and balancing your work and personal life.

Second piece of news: I’ve produced about, or maybe more than, thirty mixed-media paintings. Another thing I find enjoyable (but h-a-a-a-ard!) is stretching and making your own canvases. I stretched a three-and-a-half by five-foot canvas, and wow, was that rough on my hands, but worth the destruction to them! I’m in the process of painting stunning organic and natural forms, challenging myself to be abstract. Little did I know, abstract art has turned out to be my thing. I’m hoping to land some gallery exhibitions as well.

The image below shows not even half of the work I produced in these last few weeks. I’ve been a busy little beaver in this studio. Art is life and life is art, ya’all. My studio even looks like a gallery, which I would like to open to the public (I won’t really do that, sorry).

Thank you a ton for stopping by. I hope the time-blocking technique I shared with you helps and let me know if you try it out. You’ll see how much of a life-saver it is, even if you’re not a creative person. If you’re reading this blog, chances are, you are a creative person. Awesome! Let’s connect on social media. I’m on Facebook, Twitter and showcase my work on Instagram. Feel free to reach out and follow along! Check back often for updates on projects.

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