Discover more from Elyse’s Sabbatical
What Happened in August?
Ok, ok, I know it's been a while. Here's what I've been up to.
I waited a while to publish a new blog because I had a LOT! going on this month, including some job-hunting activities that I didn’t want to jinx. Such activities are still happening, so please enjoy this vague job search update + a fun life update!
I have fallen out of a structured, optimized schedule lately. Volunteering adds a bit of form to my week but otherwise, I don’t do anything with much regularity, and while I usually rely on exercise as well, that’s been spotty. As I enter September, I think I’ll get more of a system going to accommodate my new projects (and hopefully a job!). Right now, my priorities are volunteering, applying to jobs/interviewing, and painting.
Half-marathon training starts fresh again on September 12th, and that will help too! I’m so excited for fall, getting outside to run, and enjoying some cooler morning weather.
I’m intentionally being vague in this section because… I don’t know, I guess I don't want to jinx anything. Or speak too soon. I’ll probably go into a bit more detail about this process once I acquire a job, but for those on the edge of their seats, it’s going well! I’m applying and interviewing at a few places and I have a good flow with applications! Heck yeah! It is interesting to interview in person since I haven’t really done that before. (I was hired for my last job in early 2021, so in-person wasn’t an option.) Interviews are a good reason to dress up and get out of the house, so send them my way 🤠.
I’ve continued to volunteer at both the Botanical Garden and Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, lookin’ at birds and waterin’ plants. And ants. I stepped into some a few days after my last post and had to take a brief break from all volunteer activities 🐜. My ankles and toes do not get along well with ant bites, and I had to deal with some swelling and blisters. Not fun! But volunteering overall is fun and I continue to enjoy counting birds and tending to the plants.
Fall bird migration has begun, and I look forward to seeing some new birds soon. It’s still a little tricky and frustrating to identify birds since I am still a newbie, but I need to just go with the flow. I’ve been meaning to do some bird art, but I have been pretty preoccupied with drawing dogs this month.
As of yesterday, I am officially finished with Doggust 2023. I have referenced it in prior posts, but for anyone new, it is a challenge to draw a different dog breed every day in August. I enjoyed working on all of these and feel very accomplished now that they’re complete! During the process, I also found a bunch of new artists to follow, and I am excited to view all their work outside of dog drawings. You can find all of my dog drawings on my Instagram, @elyse_draws.
Besides Doggust, I’ve started working on some commissions and projects. I’ve received two commissions for… more dog portraits 🐶! I’m thankful that I’ve been able to make a bit of money from these, and I would love to take on more — DM me on Instagram if you’re interested!
I’m currently preparing for a big art challenge called Alphabet Superset. It’s a very long project (around 30 weeks!) dedicated to developing a body of work. My project will be to do one acrylic painting a week for 26 weeks, focused on the theme of “I can just do that myself”. I have that thought a lot when it comes to expensive knitwear, bread, and plumbing repairs, and I’m excited to see what work I’ll generate from that concept. I’m ironing out the prompts today, but the challenge starts next week. Much to do!
I’ve done a bit of crochet this month — I tried and failed to make a very cute tank top following a very poorly written pattern. I ended up ripping out hours of work and deciding to go with a simpler pattern. Much better.
I’m also working on weaving in all the ends on a blanket I started in November. It is slow work, and I usually leave it on the couch between work sessions. Lulu has developed quite a fondness for it, so I am FORCED to make her a blankie too. She claims pretty much every blanket in the apartment for herself and loves stuff that smells like me or Nate, so I should have expected this. I’ll have your blanket ready soon, Lulu! Here’s the pattern.
I finished Braiding Sweetgrass a few weeks ago. It was my Botanical Garden volunteering audio of choice, and I think the audiobook is the way to go as I loved listening to the author narrate it.
I got about 250 pages through The Story of Art Without Men, and I loved it! Unfortunately, there were several holds on the one copy of the book at the library, and it was dangerously overdue, so I had to return it. I’ll be back for you! I might end up purchasing it, I loved it so much.
Sourdough shenanigans are going better since I found this recipe called Lazy Girl Sourdough, and I’ve stuck with it for the past few weeks. I want to try a traditional loaf again since I have yet to bake one successfully. I will share my results when I attempt it! I now also make sure to keep my apartment cooler on days that I feed my starter or make bread, and that seems to have made a difference in the success of the loaf.
I went to Whisky Business at the Witte Museum last week! Super fun- I particularly liked the food & hanging out with Kara.
Nate and I went on a spontaneous San Antonio Missions journey on Wednesday. After birding, since we were already in south San Antonio, we decided to stop by Mission Espada. We then made our way to Mission San Juan, Mission San Jose, Mission Concepción... then the Alamo! It was a long, hot day, but fun to do, especially when it wasn’t very crowded.
My new Botanical Garden volunteering audio of choice has been the A New History of Old Texas podcast, and I’d highly recommend you check it out if you’re interested in Texas or San Antonio history. It is so cool to learn about the history of where I live — a history that is much, much older, and more complex than just the Texas Revolution. I’d like to bike the mission trail in the fall, visit the Institute of Texan Cultures, and find new ways to learn about the history of the city!
Thanks so much for reading my blog, and I’ll see you in the next one. 😎