Wednesday, April 20

True Confessions + Sketchbook Inspiration + a Challenge



#1: True confessions: 

I've been binging on Fixer Upper on Netflix
and all I want are some chickens and shiplap and 
a 100 year old house in Waco, Texas.
And Jojo's thighs. I'd like to have her 
thighs-that-don't-touch, while I'm at it.
You too?

Seriously. There's nothing like looking at 
other people's stuff to make me feel 
like what I have is not enough.. 


Here's the thing...
I have a beautiful home.
In a beautiful place.
With a beautiful family.
I am blessed far beyond 
and I know this in my head, 
but Jojo makes me discontent with it all.

Okay, so maybe it's not entirely Jojo's fault. It's not just Fixer Upper. 
It's time in front of the computer overdosing on beautiful things, 
but not making anything in real life.
It's empty calories. Toxic. 

I have to repeat to myself over and over: 
It's not real life. It's all pretend. 
This is NOT what you were made for.

This is one of my favorite posts of all time from Glennon.
She always says it so well.



And our real life is the beauty.
The lego creations and dishes in the sink mean we live real life here.
We hunt down every single plastic toy we own and create an enormous... um... creation in the middle of the living room because cousin Chloe is coming from Texas and this is the only way to truly express our love explosion for her. 

This is the beautiful, REAL life that I get to live.
What in the world? How did I win the lottery?
I was meant for this real life, full of mess and interruption
because it is REAL. and real is messy. and real is mine.
Thank you Lord. 


#2: The Challenge

You know what helps me see the beauty 
in the real life that's right in front of my face?
Play and paint and making in the midst of the mess.
Time to make. I always come back to this. 

Playing and doodling whatever I feeling like doodling
with no purpose at all makes me feel like me. 
It turns my resentment into gratitude for 
this life I have created for myself.
And it's free. 

So I have vowed to turn off the TV and 
set a little playdate with my sketchbook.
And I feel better. You might too.

 I found this fun challenge on instagram this morning.

#the100dayproject

Wanna join me?


Just post your doodles or knitting or gardening 
or whatever it is you do to feel like you.

My goal: Notice the beauty that 
surrounds me every single day.

My hashtag: #100daysofnoticingbeauty

Noticing beauty around me. 
Finding little things that make me happy. 
Plants and food and dishes and textures and color combinations 
that make my heart sing. 

Day 1:

What you need 

Watercolor paper

A really thin brush

Speedball ink 

Water jar

Watercolors of any kind

Paper towels






Step 1: Find beauty around you. 

In your kitchen. In your closet. 
In your yard. In your laundry pile.
Notice it. Study it. 
*Record it. *




Step 2: Doodle it.

Dip the thinnest brush you have into 
this luscious ink and start doodling. 

***Remember: This is all about the process.***. 
Put on some headphones and music you love
and play and play and play. 
with line and shape.ink and paper. water and color.

Buy cheap paper. Fill it up. 
Then do it again. and again. and again. 
This is not about perfection. 
It's not even about product. 

This is about showing up for your creative self.
This is about playing, experimenting, and making mistakes.
Big, beautiful mistakes. All over the place. 

It is in the freedom of making mistakes
{lots of little mistakes
big messy mistakes} 
that you will find freedom.
space. passion. 
life. 

There is no life under the tyranny of perfection, 
only paralysis. 
But I digress... 

My whole point is this: 
Doodle your beauty.


Step 3: Color it.

(Wait until the ink dries.)
Use whatever you have. 
I used a combination of inexpensive cake watercolor sets
in order to get the colors I wanted. 

Here are some easy, inexpensive options:

Crayola (yes, Crayola!)
These are so juicy and vibrant.

Loew Cornell
There are 40 colors in this little gem of a set.

Sakura Field Sketch Set 
I love this compact little travel set 

and this is the set I am saving my pennies to get this set:

Kuretake Gansai Tambi 36 Color Set
I have heard great things about these 
& they have gold! so fun.









Step 4: Share it

Remember: It's not about perfection 
{or even competence!}
This is about feeding your creative self 
and sharing it with us. 
Because when you do that, 
you inspire us to do the same.

And we say, 
"Oh. If she did that, maybe I can do that, too. 
Or maybe I can make time to do this other creative thing 
I've wanted to do for so long that will feed my creative soul. " 

As I said up there at the top
I'll be sharing here on my IG account
with the hashtag 

#100daysofnoticingbeauty

and joining everyone else with the hashtag

#the100dayproject

See you there!

19 comments:

  1. I love it all: Your insight, your awareness, your humor, Your talent and sketch, too.

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    1. Hi Susan, Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement!!! I haven't blogged in so long that I get so nervous about what to write. Thank you!

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  2. I love it all: Your insight, your awareness, your humor, Your talent and sketch, too.

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  3. Hi Erin, I am glad you joined the challenge and I love yours, I've always been inspired by your art and I decided to make mine #100daysofTeachingKidsArt :)

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    1. Hi Clemencia, Yay! I'm so glad you joined!!! I don't know if I'll make it every single day, but it can't hurt to try & I think the process will be fun. I can't wait to see your #Teachingkidsart! So fun.

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  4. So glad to see you BACK! Love this post and so can relate .... thanks for posting!!

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    1. Hi Kim! Thanks! I'm glad to be back! I've missed this space and I plan to post 1-2 a week. But we'll see how that goes. Thank you for noticing!

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  5. This is so good! Especially the thighs part... no really - the challenge is PERFECT!

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    1. Hi Cris, You're so sweet!!! Thanks so much for your encouragement. After I don't post for a while I get SO nervous about what to say and how to say it. I'm going to try to post more often just so I can stay in the groove of getting my thoughts down and not over analyzing. xo, e

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  6. Thank you so much for the reminder to slow down and really LIVE. I am so glad you are back!��

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    1. Hi Beth, I think it's hard, isn't it? I'm glad it resonated with you. Thanks so much for noticing I was gone. :) I hope to be blogging more frequently. We'll see what I can really do... take care!
      Erin

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  7. Thank you so much for the reminder to slow down and really LIVE. I am so glad you are back!��

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  8. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive and you probably didn't mean it literally, but you lost me when you damned Joanna Gaines.

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    1. Hi Melissa, Thanks so much for commenting. No, you're not being overly sensitive. I need to tone it down and I appreciate you pointing that out. I get a little worked up. I took the damning part out. Thanks again for pointing that out. Erin Leigh

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  9. I needed to read this today. I'm surrounded by beauty all day, I work in a floral dept. I don't always get to just enjoy the beauty around me because I'm stressed and overwhelmed to get other things done.Thank you for this reminder. Today I will create with a happy heart.

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    1. Hi Jen, I'm so glad that you connected with this!!! Isn't it strange how an abundance of beauty {or whatever for that matter} makes it harder to notice and be thankful for? Just a single flower {out of the hundreds you work with each day} in a heap of trash would be much easier to notice as beautiful than in a gorgeous bouquet... I'm praying that your burden would be light today and that your heart would be filled with joy. xo e


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  10. I needed to read this today. I'm surrounded by beauty all day, I work in a floral dept. I don't always get to just enjoy the beauty around me because I'm stressed and overwhelmed to get other things done.Thank you for this reminder. Today I will create with a happy heart.

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  11. I love you drawing! I am not talented in that direction, but I'm going to give this some thought and see what I can do. =)

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    1. Hi Susan, Go for it! I really, really think it's less about product and more about the process that breathes life into our souls! Play experiment and have fun! xoxoxo erin

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