Joy List Monday and a New Venture

This past week has flown by and I've been awhirl working on a new project that's stretched me (way) beyond my comfort zone.

If you're on Instagram you may have an idea of what I'm talking about. I posted this photo of my studio this past week.

studio, My Giant Strawberry, Skillshare, Anne Butera

Sadly, that big impressive camera (more than a few years old and hand-me-down) didn't take high enough quality footage for me to use. Which I only discovered after having spent several long days filming.

Ah, well, that's the way these things go sometimes. Definitely a learning experience. At least I had a plan b (my out of service few years old iPhone, which didn't give me as many options and required a bit of creative thinking in lieu of a tripod, but which got the job done).

You might be wondering just what it is that I've been filming. It's my first class on Skillshare (if this one doesn't do me in I hope to have a series of them) and it's all about beginning a botanical sketchbook. Here's the intro/trailer video I've been working on. I'm still struggling with the sound and the feedback I've gotten so far is that it's too long, but it will give you an idea of what I have in mind.

I feel a little funny writing about this project before it's finished. I have lots more filming (and editing!) to go, but as I posted my intro on YouTube as part of today's assignment I thought I may as well share it here. Maybe writing about it will help keep me from getting cold feet and putting off or abandoning the project.

sketchbook, Getting Started in a Botanical Sketchbook, Skillshare, botanical sketchbook, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

(I sketched and filmed four versions of that viola flower while working on my video).

I feel as if I've been on the go so much this past week that I've barely had time to slow down enough to savor joy. The news headlines haven't helped with that, either. But if we don't take the time to notice, savor and be thankful for life's beauty and magic, no one else will do it for us.

roses, therese bugnet, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Joy List Monday: 

a weekly ritual
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day

birds, birdnest, bird's nest, nature, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I hope you'll be inspired to write your own Joy List.

garden, cosmos, summer flowers, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Here's mine:

  • greyhound antics and the way my boys get along with Matthias' father's dog while he (and my FIL) have been here visiting during Matthias' recovery
  • an empty bird's nest I found beneath our maple tree created with all sorts of bits from grasses to insulation to plastic wrappers
  • nighttime thunderstorms followed by days of clear blue skies
  • a treat of a bottle of a special beer from a local(ish) brewery
  • flower firsts for the summer: cosmos, oriental lilies, nasturtiums
  • overcoming fears and trying new things
  • emails from the Sketchbook Conversations participants with their stories and photos of their sketchbooks (come back on Wednesday to meet the first artist!)
  • eating pea pods (and cherry tomatoes and gooseberries) right from the plants in the garden
  • harvesting garlic
garlic, radio flyer, harvest, gardening, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry


  1. This post has given me a lot of joy today Anne! I have just subscribed to your YouTube channel!!! I think your trailer is very professional and your voice is so lovely to listen to. Thank you also for introducing me to the Skillshare website. I never realised there were so many online courses I could do! Well - that's me set up for a summer of learning new skills and techniques.
    Today's joy list:
    Hearing Anne's lovely voice and seeing her pretty face
    Finding out about Skillshare website (what fun!)
    Getting to the shops early in the morning to avoid the heatwave
    Spending time with my teenage son
    Looking forward to a new reality TV programme about people castaway for a year
    Lovely cold snacks in the fridge
    A bottle of Limoncello in the freezer that I had forgotten about!

    1. Oh, Simone, you are so sweet! Thanks so much for your kind, kind words.

      I'm so glad to see your full Joy List. I hope the week continues to be joyful for you!

      I look forward to seeing what new adventures you embark upon if you take some more online courses. :)

  2. What a wonderful and ambitious project you've started! You look so professional on your video and I love your hair :) No doubt this project requires a lot of set up and work, so may you find joy in the editing as well as the creating of your class.

    1. Thanks so much, Sharon, for your kind, encouraging words! It was hard for me to put this video "out there" for all to see. My blog readers are such an easy audience. :)

      It is and has been a tremendous amount of work, but I've been learning so much and I'm glad I decided to tackle something that stretched me so much.

      Your comment about my hair made me laugh. You have no idea how much I fretted over it and other silly things like what to wear and the huge bruise on the front of my arm. :)

  3. Looking forward to your Skillshare class!!!

    1. Thank you, Kaz! So sweet of you to stop by and comment! I really appreciate it! I do hope you will join my class when it's done. :)

  4. It's GREAT!! You're a natural Anne. I loved getting to hear the voice behind the blog. It's going to be a great class. You make it look easy, the video making and art, which I know it isn't. So excited for you!

    1. Oh, sweet Dana, thank you for the kind words of encouragement!

      I'm glad that I come across as making it look easy. You're right, it's not, but I'm so glad that I'm stretching myself and learning something new. I have so many ideas and I wish my skills were a little more developed, but that's how we begin with anything, isn't it?

  5. Well done! I love the video.
    A special Joy list too.
    xx oo

    1. Thank you, Carla! You're such a sweet cheerleader to have on my side.

      I hope you are having a joyful week. And I just realized that I still need to pop by and check out your Joy List from last week. I'm so behind.

  6. Anne, congrats. Brilliant video and so nice to see you! you achieved so much, inspiring art journey. Thank you for many inspirations

    1. Thank you so much, Aga! You are such a sweet cheerleader!

      You always inspire me, too, my lovely friend!


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