30 July 2016

Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World

Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World36. Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World by Kelly Starrett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the one. I've been following Kelly's work for a few years now piecing together mobilizations from his site MobilityWOD.com and previous books Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance and Ready to Run: Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally, but Deskbound is the one aimed at my non-athlete self.

Even if you are an athlete, you should read this, particularly if you still spend a lot of your day sitting. Everybody who spends a lot of time sitting (which is most of us in the US) should read this to get on board with not just standing more, but moving more.

The book contains strategies and recommendations for developing good body mechanics (spinal stabilization) and how to transition to a standing desk. Their are also "prescriptions" in the back which are mobilizations (getting your joints into proper positions, making body tissues more pliable, a bit more than just stretching) to work out kinks and pains throughout your body and to keep it supple.

If you want to prevent injury and resolve pain, this is where you should look. If you've read Kelly's other books, there is overlap. I particularly like the photos and explanations in Deskbound which illustrate the mobilizations very clearly.

Highly recommended! I want a copy of this one.

11 years ago on TTaT: Chateau Trente-neuf and What's on now (I'm fond of both of these. :)

29 July 2016

Life of Art SitRep #337 Bring on the Badlands!

Most of the work I did this week was still behind the scenes but I was determined to have something new to show you.

Finished post-processing the photograph Blue Mesa Badlands Desert Mountains and added it to a poster:

Follow my business twitter @RocklawnArts to be first to see other new products as I add them.

Shot 7 photographs of my cowboy boots pajama boxers. I ditched 5 of them but posted one on twitter.

Painted 4 new backgrounds with gouache and watercolors and added more paint to one from last week. Scanned them all in though I'm going to rescan two of them to see if I can get cleaner images.

How was your week?

10 years ago on TTaT: A beginning is a very delicate time, Trip Prep

22 July 2016

Life of Art SitRep #336 About To Burst

I know, last week I said this week I'd hopefully be able to show you something new. I'm so close now! Of course, I keep creating new things which add to the queue of things to sort before posting, but it's coming along.

Started post-processing a blue mesa badlands photograph. That's what you're most likely to see up next.

Finished my second pass culling of what I've photographed so far in 2016 and deleted 3 more. (Pays to be brutal early on!)

Created two new patterns in Photoshop that I will pair with gouache and watercolor backgrounds I've started painting. Painted four so far.

Mom gave me an idea for another drawing I should do, based on something I've drawn many times, and I did a rough sketch.

Took 5 photos dressed up as Doc Holliday. Made mustache, soul patch, and side burns too!

Photoshopped one to take out background and correct color a bit.

Watched "ConvertKit Connect More by Doing Less: 8 automations you need today" Webinar.

Consolidated all animal tags in Lightroom under Animal, deleted repeats. Cleaned up a few other stray tags.

I realize this may not look like much, but I feel like I got quite a bit done. The amount of actual art-making I did this week feels good.

How was your week?

10 years ago on TTaT: Two no's

17 July 2016

Inspired by Wynonna Earp to Try Something New

I'm not a cosplayer. I'm not even someone who is gung ho to dress up for Halloween.


Something about Wynonna Earp and its wonderful, funny, creative fandom inspired me to ask myself:
Which character could I look most like with what I have on hand?
The women I love from the show, Wynonna, Waverly, Nicole, all have hair for days which I do not. Nor do I dress remotely like any of them.


My hair is dark and about the same length as Doc's though much curlier. If I pull it back with a barrette to dry, it looks a bit straighter when I remove the hair clip.

So what does Doc wear that I have?
Vest: check
Long dark coat: check
Black stetson: check
Various button down shirts: check
Dark pants: check
Huh, go figure.

Of course, Doc is not Doc without his mustache, soul patch, and side burns. I cut those out of a small piece of black cardboard I found while looking for dark brown or black felt. No stubble for simplicity's sake.

Et voilĂ ! Claire as Doc Holliday:

If I were to shoot it again, I'd skip the coat so the vest would show up more and maybe change to my blue linen shirt.

11 years ago on TTaT: Shot through the heart

15 July 2016

Life of Art SitRep #335 Pushing Against the Flood Gates

So many designs and photographs I'm excited to share with you that will be ready soon. Getting so close now. Next week, I hope!

Shot 82 photographs and ditched 52.

Created 5 new patterns and finished a watercolor painting repeat pattern.

Scanned a drawing in progress. Fingers crossed I won't botch it when I go to ink it. Clearly I'm concerned about that as it's been on my to do list for 3 days and I've yet to start.
Deuparth gwaith ei ddechrau. —Welsh Proverb
(Beginning is two-thirds of the work.)
Added some more photographs to my personal project's collection.

Making good headway through my second pass of photographs shot in 2016. Culled 23, made a new panorama, and I'm up to late June.

Created New Airy Light Blue and White Gift Wrapping Supplies Collection featuring coordinated geometric patterns on wrapping paper, tissue paper, and ribbon:

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Airy Light Blue and White Gift Wrapping Supplies Collection. (It will be up next Tuesday.)

How was your week?

10 years ago on TTaT: Bring on da meme

14 July 2016

Thanksgiving in July

Storms rolled through so it got a bit cooler this evening. I'm grateful because it lead to a scaled down Thanksgiving dinner:

Roasted turkey breast from the store
Mashed potatoes and gravy
A warmed baguette, sliced, and served with olive oil and sea salt for dipping
Cranberry sauce
Superfood salad, also from the store, a mix of kale, blueberries, shredded carrots, dried cranberries, red onion (which I pick out), lentils maybe?, and walnuts with a sweet fruity dressing.

So tasty!

10 years ago on TTaT: Chair hazard

08 July 2016

Life of Art SitRep #334 Troubleshooting and Culling

Another week of less visible but key work behind the scenes.

Shot 55 photographs and 12 videos. Culled 33 photos and 2 videos.

The last 5 videos I shot came out small for some reason, so I shot a few more photos and videos to troubleshoot, ultimately consulting the manual. There is an irksome "compact video" mode which is not hard to activate by mistake. At least I know what the icon looks like and how to switch it back to standard now.

Culled 81 photographs and 2 videos from earlier shoots in 2016. I'm up to May now and it does seem to be going faster than my overhaul of last years photographs. As I've gotten more brutal in my culling, there are less decisions to make.

Caught up on some other archive work.

Discovered how to record a new step in a Photoshop action to replace an old step. You can record a new step within your existing steps, and it will show up below the step that is selected once you hit record. If it's in the wrong place, you can always drag and drop it.

Created a first draft of a new pattern in Photoshop, not happy with it yet.

Finished working on a red gouache painting scan to make it repeat properly.

Very nearly done with a watercolor painting collage pattern.

Deleted 20 zigzag products from my shop.

Updated some presets in Lightroom.

Made monthly backups. Have you backed up lately?

11 years ago on TTaT: Somewhat better in retrospect

03 July 2016

The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time

The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time34. The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was already on board with the idea that sleep is important, but the effects of sleep deprivation are so much worse than I'd realized. And sleeping pills are bad news. If nothing else, this book got me to start really prioritizing sleep even before I'd finished it.

If you want suggestions to improve your sleep right off, skip to the chapter "What to Do, What Not to Do." I was a little disappointed there weren't more suggestions I hadn't already come across elsewhere though.

Different chapters will resonate with different people based on your circumstances. E.g., if you travel a lot or need a new bed, check out the appendices for suggestions.

I enjoyed the chapter on enhancing sports performance with sleep as it conveyed the idea that the more active you are, the more sleep you need. So it's not a zero sum game of always needing the same amount of sleep each night.

My biggest takeaway is an attitude shift towards sleep. I am willing to sacrifice conscious time by sleeping more so that the time I'm awake is better quality.

Having made this mental shift, am I now getting 8 or more quality hours of sleep a night? No, but I'm working on it, trying various suggestions but mostly focusing on how to wind down at night to set myself up for restorative sleep.

10 years ago on TTaT: Endorphins, O my! (It's curious looking back to a time when I didn't at least do a low key work out everyday.)

02 July 2016

A Recent Lottery Exchange

"I don't think we got any of these numbers in the lottery."

"Argh. Did somebody win?"


"Well, that's OK then. We'll get 'em next time."

10 years ago on TTaT: Part of the family

01 July 2016

Life of Art SitRep #333 That seems like a fortuitous number

With any luck tomorrow will be the last our street sees of the tree cutters, at least for a while. They will be back to grind stumps, but they also did a lot of work across the street so the neighbors may have them back to grind their stumps at some point. I'm looking forward to the weekend in any case.

Slightly less sleep deprived this week, so I feel like I got a bit more done. Let's see.

Shot 300 photographs and 30 videos of the tree mayhem outside. Ditched 128 photos and 14 videos.

In exciting news, to me at least, I finished culling my photographs from 2015! HUZZAH! Overall, I weeded out over 1200 or so. Worth doing.

I started doing another pass on my 2016 photographs and culled 39. Fingers crossed this will go progressively faster as I've gotten more ruthless with my initial edits.

Did some additional archival work for photographs and art scans.

Finished one and made progress on 2 digital scans of watercolor and gouache paintings. I'm massaging those so they will repeat correctly.

Also created two new collections for my shop:

Sleek Black and White Wrapping Paper collection:

and Checkered Pattern Gift Wrapping Supplies:

Rocklawn Arts blogged New Sleek Black and White Wrapping Paper Collection and New Checkered Pattern Gift Wrapping Supplies Collection.

How was your week?

10 years ago on TTaT: Just like Pinocchio...sort of