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Hello! Well it’s been awhile. I’ve had some trouble keeping up with this blog, as must be obvious. Truth to be told? I’m… TIRED. My job has taken a lot of out of me these last couple months, particularly on the emotional front. I am learning how to be a manager, which has inevitably led to learning how to lay down boundaries with people. This is something I have never been all that confident in, but if I want to achieve a sensible work-life balance, it’s something I need to be confident in. Otherwise, consider my life over, done. Consider my life similar to these last few months: myself too tired to update my poor blog.

Thankfully, things have taken a turn for the better these last two weeks as I’ve become more intentional about taking care of myself. I’ve treated myself to long walks, delicious meals, draw-a-thons. I’ve napped on my lunch breaks, cuddled with my cat, practiced my Finnish. I’ve devised plans on how I can get back to how I used to feel, when I wasn’t so tired, when I felt a “spark” about life. Lately, I haven’t felt any “spark” I’ve just felt a bit weighed down, at least most the time.

“Flowers and Florence” (graphite, 9 x 12 inches)

I’ve been doing my best to draw every single night, no matter what my energy level, and I’ve been able to complete this Family Drawing as a result. The last drawing I completed was of one of my maternal great-grandmothers, Evelyn Kozirok. This drawing above is of my other maternal great-grandmother, Florence Rassat. πŸ™‚

I never met Florence. I’ve been told she was quite ornery in her old age and so was a bit unpleasant to be around. She lived to be 103, which I find insane. Also, she married at a very young age. For this drawing, I referenced a photograph of her from her wedding day. She was only 18 or 19 years of age.

Also, on the subject of Florence, I find it absolutely necessary I share this extremely adorable picture of her and her sister when they were little. Florence is on the left, and her sister on the right.

This is the only picture I have of Florence when she was little, and it makes me smile every time I look at it. It’s ridiculously wholesome, she almost looks like a doll.

Now I am looking ahead to what I am going to draw next. I’ve really wanted to do more drawings of family members from my dad’s side, but I unfortunately have very few pictures to choose from. I have one picture of my paternal grandmother, Edna, in her older age during Christmas, and I have a scrapbook of many pictures of my dad, but that’s about it… Either way, I do feel it’s time I do a drawing of my dad, especially when at this point I have already drawn my mom 8 times! Here is the photograph I am thinking of using as my reference:

He is about 26 years old here and has a little Pekingese pup in his hands. In Photoshop, I manipulated this photograph so it is black and white, cropped into a square, and much more moody and shadowy. However, as I look at this photograph, I find myself loving the color scheme so much that I am wondering if I should try to do a more expressive colored pencil drawing instead. I guess I haven’t quite decided yet…

Anyway, yeah. I’m gonna go now!

Feel free to enjoy this lovely music below while I am gone πŸ™‚


Hello! It’s been a minute. I’ve spent the last four months adjusting to a new work position, as well as becoming enamored with a number of other personal interests. Making art hasn’t taken a total back seat, but the amount of time I’ve been devoting to it each day has been less than the usual.

To get this blog up to speed, here’s a summary of my last four months:

While I’ve never aspired to be a manager, I’ve somehow randomly ended up as a manager at the company I’ve been working at for the last 6 years. I can’t say manager duties are my ultimate passion, but I do enjoy working with people and resolving interpersonal conflicts, so overall the job has been satisfying. It’s also been a bit more demanding intellectually and emotionally, and I feel like I’m still learning how to balance those demands with the demands of my personal life.

If there’s one thing I know I enjoy doing, it’s a bit of amateur “detective” work. Starting last fall, I got really (like REALLY) into genealogy and spent god knows how many hours researching my family roots. It’s been a fun rollercoaster ride. I am especially proud of myself for finding my most elusive Finnish paternal great-grandmother, Marion. It took researching many records and family trees of ancestors, but I finally discovered her to be from the Torne River Valley region along the Sweden-Finland border in Lapland. My other paternal great-grandmother, Helen, was also from the Lapland region (SodankylΓ€), so it was very cool to see how much Lapland there is on my dad’s side.

Disclaimer: I’ve always been a bit into Finland. My dad’s side is almost entirely Finnish. Back in 2015, when I first learned I had this much Finnish heritage, I became nearly obsessed with the country, and I tried to teach myself the Finnish language. I learned how to roll my Rs and a few words here and there, but eventually gave up. Over the years, I’ve revisited learning this language, and recently I’ve reached a newfound level of commitment and momentum. I’ve been practicing every day these last four months, and I have signed up for a Finnish class, which will start late March. πŸ™‚ I am SOOO excited!

In addition to researching my dad’s side, I’ve also looked more deeply into my mom’s side. There isn’t much, if any, research left to do on my mom’s side, but during these last four months, I discovered a bunch of photographs of family members that I have never seen before. These family photographs inspired me so much that I ended up returning to work on my Family Drawings series and completed a new drawing for it. Posted below is a drawing I did of one of my maternal great-grandmothers, Evelyn Carrie Kozirok, who by all accounts I’ve learned was a lovely person and an excellent seamstress. πŸ™‚

“Evelyn Arriving (or Leaving)” (graphite, 8 x 10 inches)

LASTLY, I completed the two cat dolls and the boreal owl drawing for my Taiga Series I’d been working on. Posted below are those dolls and that drawing in completed form:

“Owl Music” (graphite, 9.5 x 6.5 inches)

Phew, well I think that’s all I have to share for now. I am hoping I’ll have more to show soon. I am currently in the process of sketching for another Taiga Series drawing and another Family Drawings drawing. So, my next finished piece will be for one of those series.

See ya soon!

So, hello. I don’t even know what to say. My brain is scrambled, has been scrambled. I can’t seem to focus on one thing for too long. I’m just like a fly, flitting around.

I don’t know how it’s happened, but I’m currently working on cat dolls, drawings, and, now, I guess I’m writing a short story. Truly, I wish there was more time in a day. I feel so much desire to work on these things, and I do work on them, but I often feel like the time I need does not equal the time I have.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of what I’ve been up to.

I haven’t had a chance to do a proper photoshoot of the Unicorn Cat Princess, but here’s a snap shot of her in finished form. This picture does not quite do her justice. She is much more sparkly than pictured here. Her black fur glitters, as does her white collar and unicorn horn.

Unicorn Cat Princess with her friend, Royal Cat Princess, who is still very much a work in progress.

The sleeve pictured above is just a rough draft, definitely not the sleeve I’m going to go with. (If you haven’t already noticed, it’s pretty hacked up!) If I can manage it, I might make her sleeves a bit longer than this.

What remains of the Royal Cat Princess is her arms, hemming of her dress, and a few finishing touches on her dress and face. πŸ™‚

Here’s a snap shot of the drawing I’m doing of the boreal owl and mouse. I apologize for the fluroscent glare. I still have a bit of work left to do – this will likely take me another 1-2 weeks to complete.

I’ll be back sooner than later, I think. My brain feels filled up with a lot, like maybe it’d be good of me to write more, or something. I guess I’ll see.

I thought I’d be able to finish this cat doll I’ve been working on by the end of this weekend, but I’ve hit a wall unfortunately. I don’t have any idea how to attach her arms, and I’m unsure how exactly I am going to hem her dress. So I just gotta put her away for a day or two and let my brain mull over it.

I have decided she is a Unicorn Cat Princess and that she is descended from unicorns. Just today, I was thinking about how I was going to make her unicorn horn, and I decided the best course of action would be to hit the local thrift store and see if I could track down a stuffed animal that already has a unicorn horn I could use. I kept envisioning using one that looks similar to the one on that Beanie Baby, Mystic.

When I went to the thrift store, I had absolutely no inkling that I would literally find Mystic, but there she was! I was shocked! It was like finding a needle in a haystack. Just right there on the shelf, I found the exact Beanie Baby and unicorn horn I had in mind.

I felt pretty bad to maim her and take her horn, but I tried to remove it as humanely as possible so she could still live on as a Beanie Baby. Now she’s just a white horse, and that’s fine.

All that remains with this doll now is hemming her dress, attaching her arms, and sewing on a few white beads onto her arms. (I’m going to use the same beads on her arms as I did her forehead.). Hopefully I can make it work.

Hey there. My day job’s been busy, so I haven’t had much time to work on my drawing and dolls. I did however take a trip to the North Shore last weekend to visit my aunt, which has resulted in some photographs I would like to share!

So that pictured above is of Canada. I don’t have a passport, so my aunt took me as close to the border as possible – Grand Portage, MN – and we did a bit of hiking. She showed me this view of Canada from across the river.

A majestic waterfall. Pretty how the sunlight was hitting it on this day.

After hiking in Grand Portage, we started heading back south, and we stopped at Hollow Rock on the way. Interesting place. I loved walking along the shoreline and just admiring all the different kinds of rocks, brush, and flowers there were.

Here’s one snap shot of what the landscape looked like.

We ate dinner in Grand Marais, MN. We decided to stay in Grand Marais until it was dark so we could catch the sunset and see the stars come out. The sunset on this night was super pastel colored. It was gorgeous.

We were hoping we might be able to see the Milky Way on the way back to my aunt’s home, but we forgot it was a bright moon that night, so we weren’t able to see it. It wasn’t a problem, though, as the moon looked absolutely freaking beautiful on the water. The picture above does not do justice to how stunningly beautiful the moon was that night, I cannot even put into the words. Lake Superior was just shimmering with golden moonlight. It felt like something out of a storybook. And that little bright dot to the left of the moon? That is JUPITER! I forgot how bright and lovely jupiter is in the night sky.

Gosh it was such an amazing sight.

The next day, my aunt drove us to nearby Isabella, MN to show me the remains of the Greenwood Fire from 2021. It was a haunting, yet fascinating landscape of scorched trees.

The leaveless trees stacked side by side almost looked like skyscrapers.

I think this area was the one I found most fascinating. Although all the trees have been damaged, the rolling ground below was so green and flowerly and sweet. It was angelic…

I just love the North Shore so much. It’s inspiring. I saw so many beautiful things, and I wished I could have had more time to explore the forests and shorelines of the lake. I can’t wait for when I can return again.

Cat doll update!

After experimenting with it, I’m no longer really feeling the idea of a small ruffle dress with legs and shoes, so I think I am going to go this route and just give her a really long dress and add on some embellishments to the dress. (That little circle embellishment in the middle of her chest is actually a mirror! I found it in a fabric warehouse a couple weekends ago.)

I’m still debating on whether to give her arms…


I’m also going to sew her a little friend. A while back, I gathered fabrics together with the intent to figure out the color schemes I would go with for two separate cat dolls.

As you can see, on the right is the original idea I had for the cat doll I am making now. I think I will make the pink and purple cat next, and she will be in the same style as my current one where she’ll have a long flowing dress.

Hopefully this works out. I guess I’ll find out! It might be tricky getting the dress to drape the way I want to.

Hello. πŸ™‚

I have a lot of art projects in progress right now, and I’m kind of loving how that’s been feeling. I used to be someone who preferred to work on just one project at a time, but bouncing between different projects has felt more natural to me as of late. I like that each project requires a different energy. Some days I’m tired and all I want to do is draw. Other days I want to be more creative and sketch or teach myself something new. I like that I have a choice now.

This last week, I’ve spent a lot of time sewing and drawing.

I’m attempting to make a cat doll for a friend, as seen above. I can’t say this is the cat doll I will end up giving away – I have very little sewing experience, and I don’t discount the possibility that things might take a terrible turn as I continue to work on this. Either way, it’s been good practice. I definitely plan to make more dolls!

This is her after I sewed up her body. She ended up really skinny, which was not what I had planned on, but oh well. Her body is going to be hidden under a dress anyway.

This is her after I stuffed her face and part of her body. Her right ear still isn’t fully sewn on yet and also needs to be trimmed. I want to glue on little white beads to her forehead. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to glue them on yet, though. I’m also going to give her a little sparkly white collar and sew an A-line dress for her out of the summery flower fabric in the first picture. I want the dress to have ruffles in the area where it flares out, so that’s something I’m going to try to teach myself how to do. I also want to give her little boots and maybe mittens, too. ❀

Here’s a snap shot of where I’m at with my drawing of the boreal owl. I’ve made good progress on the owl, but the rest of the piece hasn’t been touched much.

Last Sunday, I went walking around Coldwater Spring with another friend and we came upon this one hidden area. It was situated below the rest of the park and was covered in rocks and grimy, greenish water filled with litter. There were sewage pipes and other worn structures covered in graffiti, as well as tangles of trees and branches with no leaves. The entire area had a real unsettling mood to it. It looked like something straight out of The Blair Witch Project. Above is a picture of the part of this area I found the most visually striking. I absolutely love the way the woman’s hair mimicks the waviness of the tree branches.

We also went through Minnehaha Dog Park and it was truly a magical wonderland. The entire park is like a normal walking trail, but with the added perk of having happy dogs bounding through the trails and playing with one another. We must have walked by 30-40 dogs, and we got to pet and play with a few. Omg, I already miss it, and I think I’ll need to go back some day just to see the dogs. It made me remember the special place I have in my heart for dogs.

Well that’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon, hopefully with a finished cat doll to show!


I think I figured out what the composition is going to look like, roughly speaking, for one of the boreal owls I want to draw.

I didn’t really like the face of the last owl I posted, so I gave it a different face. The white vertical lines are just place holders. I want to add vertical visuals of some kind, but I can’t decide what they will be. Maybe tree branches or just extra soft, translucent white lines…

I’m guessing I will have an easier time figuring things out once I start drawing this and see it come together!

Jeez, I wish I had more time to do art. I feel so motivated to be creative right now.

It’s nice and stormy today, so I don’t feel bad about staying inside all day and drawing and collaging and sketching and what not. πŸ™‚

I just have a couple things left to do with this fabric collage experiment. One, I’m thinking I’ll add a white pattern on top of the two green side borders. Two, I’m thinking I’ll sew the whole piece onto a larger piece of mint colored fabric. It’s going to be just like a little blanket, and I’ll lay it down somewhere for decoration.

I like how it sparkles a bit more in certain kinds of lighting. The last two pictures are from my room. The light was shining down on the piece more directly and gave the piece an extra sparkle.

I’m a bit of a sucker for sparkly fabric, I’ve found. Every time I’ve gone to the fabric store, I’ve walked out with a bunch of glittery stuff, haha.

Here’s a sketch I started, but never completed. Just did it for no reason. Though a part of me would love to make a stuffed animal of a creature who looks kind of like this. Maybe… The next thing I want to do is make a stuffed animal for a friend. Not quite sure what my subject matter is going to be yet, but I’m anticipating I will figure that out by the end of this weekend!

Also, have I ever mentioned how much I freaking love this cat? Just really appreciate this fluff ball. So much. He turned 2 years old in July! Little boy is all grown up.

I realize I closed my last blog entry with… “Will write again soon.”


Well, here I am writing now. I guess I have a lot to catch up on. All the beauty and love and fun and all kinds of other things I’d been feeling has since quieted down. Life is calm, still now just like water. And it feels familiar. Feels like what my life usually feels like this time of year.

I’ve been doing my best to keep myself busy, to fill the calm of my life with some creative projects.

Randomly I made this puppy. I made her out of fabric and she lays adorably in my hand.

Then I dressed her up and put her in a little handsewn scene made up of other fabrics and materials I had.

And this is where I am at with the scene now. I’m still not done. Some parts still need to be sewn down, and I’m not sure how I feel about the teal colored columns on the sides. I’ll probably take them out and replace them with something else…

This dancing cat is who I want to make out of fabric next. I probably won’t start her until I finish the scene I’m currently working on, though.

I also started a couple digital collages that will serve as references for graphite drawings I’m going to do for the taiga series. (Both these collages are still in their infancy and so might change dramatically in the coming days.) As you can see, the next animal I am including in the series is the boreal owl! Love these cute little dudes.

I think that’s all I have to share for now. πŸ™‚