Slumps, a Couple Projects and Joy

I've been in a slump these last couple weeks. I can't seem to get out of it. There's the weather. My worries over the cats (who both are having surgery this week -- Quin on his teeth, Pepper on his ear). A list of to-dos that just isn't getting done (or at least not getting any shorter)...

And then I had a couple realizations. That I don't like my new sketchbook and have been avoiding working in it. And that I haven't been doing enough painting lately.

I can't change the weather, but I can make a point of working in my sketchbook as soon as I finish this post. And I can take the time to sit down and mix some paint for a new painting, too.

What about you? Are there some easy fixes you can make to help shift your mood?

Although I haven't been working on a new painting, I have been doing some painting and sketching for a couple other projects.

Last week I mentioned MATS Assignment Bootcamp. I really enjoyed creating my piece for the first assignment.

MATS Bootcamp, Make Art That Sells, backpack design, product design, surface pattern design, watercolor, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

We had to design a backpack using abstract or geometric designs. The assignment specifically stated that we weren't supposed to use "pictures of things like flowers" in our design, which at first bummed me out a bit. My art is all about pictures of things like flowers. But it was good to challenge myself. I like what I came up with.

I created another non-flowery piece for Spoonflower's Hexagons Design Challenge.

fabric design, hexagons, honeycomb, tile, blues, Spoonflower, surface pattern design, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

This went through so many different variations, one of which I'd still like to come back to some day. Sometimes, though, I just need to let go and stop messing with a project. Voting is going on now on the Spoonflower site. You can vote for as many designs as you like. I'd love to have your vote!

That's all my news for now.

How about a Joy List?

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

Today's list:

  • enjoying thoughts of last week's perfect birthday celebrations (and dreaming about the last cupcake waiting for me in the fridge)
  • orchid flowers
  • a visit with my brother
  • birthday surprises in the mail
  • all the snow melted from the ground and signs of life in the garden
  • Kim Harrison's newest book
  • wearing some of my new birthday socks
  • roasted sweet potatoes
  • making progress, finally, on my next Skillshare class
What's bringing you joy today?

Mississippi River, Wisconsin, Minnesota, bridges, La Crosse, Anne Butera My Giant Strawberry


  1. I'm sorry you've had a slump Anne and sorry that both cats require surgery. I like your abstract backpack design very much especially the colours that you used. I also like the Twilight Hexagon design and have voted for you on Spoonflower's website. I am glad you have a long joy list despite your recent setback. Have a lovely week. :)

    1. Hi, Simone. Thanks for your commiseration. I'm feeling better today. We had a taste of spring yesterday and it was wonderful! The first kitty surgery went well and Quin is feeling good. I sure have gotten attached to these guys.

      Thanks so much for the the vote on Spoonflower and for your kind comments about the backpack design.

      Enjoy the rest of your week!

  2. Anne, you got my vote! I also love your backpack design--so cheerful!

  3. Voted for you, Anne. There were some very interesting designs in this challenge. I love your backpack picnic. Gorgeous colors. Slumps are common to all of us, I think. Sounds like you have a plan to move through yours. That's good. xo

    1. Thanks so much for the vote, Nancy. I agree. I voted for quite a few myself.

      You're right about slumps. Ups and downs are just part of life.

      Have a lovely rest of your week!

  4. I gave you a vote. I absolutely love your backpack.

    1. Hi, Leone! Thanks so much for the vote! So glad you like the backpack. It was such fun to do!

      Enjoy the rest of your week!

  5. Hi Anne,
    I love the backpack.
    Think Spring,

    1. Thanks so much, Carla!

      Think spring, indeed! It was a lovely, spring-like day here yesterday and it felt amazing. It was like I was coming alive again, just like all the trees and flowers. :)

      Have a great rest of your week!


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