Friday, May 8, 2015

Traces of Me

For whatever reason Pax found himself looking at my artwork on my website and naturally followed the "not-so-subtle trail of blogs by Drea". He ended up at an old blog which I used to keep faithfully before and after we were newly married. I was quite surprised that this blog had survived my all or nothing habit of deleting a blog when I no longer used it. I'm glad it did, though, because I have always ended up regretting deleting content from the past. No matter how embarrassing.

So, I curiously followed his path and found myself reading through the archives of this blog. The words aren't so bad, but nearly all the art I posted there is cringe-worthy on a high level. I'm just grateful people continued to encourage me through all of it. ;)

By far the most fascinating thing I found was a list I made March 10, 2011 of things I wanted to accomplish in five years.

Here it is with commentary from today. ;)

01. Start a great story
(I have started a lot of stories, but I don't think I've started a "great" one yet.)

02. And finish it
(This is still something I haven't done, even with my mediocre stories.)

03. Have a baby
(I find this particularly comical/snarky because when I wrote this list, I would have recently learned that I was pregnant with our first child who would be born in October. Also, I have not only had one baby in five years, but two.)

04.  Finish 5 books from the library

05. Read 12 books or more in 365 days
(I have definitely done this. Almost every year.)

06. Dance like a wild woman in a downpour
(I still think this is a great goal and I still have a year to do it.)

07. Sew something that I can wear
(YES! I have done this.)

08. Learn to cook 5 great meals that my family will beg for
(I have learned to cook a lot of things, but probably only two that my family "begs" for. Although, that's an exaggeration.)

09. Play the cello
(Yes, I have played my cello, but not nearly enough.)

10.  Paint a picture on a canvas that is bigger than me (wall maybe?)
(Sadly, no. Those canvases are expensive. And where the heck would I put something that big? We'll see.)

11. Leave the country
(Not yet. :c )

12. Go a week without cell phone/internet
(I'm not sure on this one. Probably not since the original post in 2011, though. Something to consider.)

13. Paint portraits of all of my loved ones
(I love that I made this resolution. I have nearly done it, but I'd like to start again.)

14. Go to Disneyland

15. Fill a home with love and color
(We're almost there.)

16. Have an art studio with blue walls
(I do not have an art studio yet and when I do, the walls won't be blue.)

17. Learn how to make Hawaiian pizza

18. Cut video game out of my life completely
(I have almost done this one. I have certainly cut out the destructive ones from my own life and only play VERY occasionally. I'm very proud of this. I find it extremely fascinating that I posted this four years ago because since then I have had periods of time when I have played A LOT of video games.)

19. Sell 5 things I’ve made
(This felt like a HUGE leap for me at the time, and it's very strange to think how MANY things I've sold to people since.)

20.  Try Yoga.
(I love yoga!)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Free Fall Printable: Articulated Paper Dolls Halloweenies

Last October I designed these cute articulated paper dolls for my Etsy shop, Galactytes
This year I'm offering them as a free download. They are super fun for Halloweenies of any age. 
Just print the pages out, color them, cut your parts out, and with a little hole punched here and there you can insert tiny brads (which I'm sure you can find at the craft store). 

They're fun and my son loved having the little trick-or-treaters hanging on his wall last year. We need to do it again this year.

Download the PDF from Dropbox.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

5 Tips: Make FamilySearch Indexing More Enjoyable

I was thinking today about how much I love to index and have found a few tricks to make it a little easier and a lot more fun. To those of you who are already indexers, I salute you! But stick around.

What is Indexing?
This is a great explanation of indexing on the LDS website: Getting into Indexing

Basically, FamilySearch indexing gives you the opportunity to help find valuable information in old documents and enter it into a database which can be accessed by people around the world who are looking for important details about their ancestors. (Things like birth dates, death dates, where a person lived or how they died.)

I know what you’re thinking. Sounds like genealogy. Sigh. That overwhelming task which is perceived to be a boring “someday” sort of thing reserved for old-folk. And indexing is another branch of family history, but I have found it to be really fun and not at all boring. (Also, I don’t actually think genealogy is boring and I am anxious to learn more about it, but like I mentioned, it’s… overwhelming.)

Here are some tips that have made indexing more fun for me personally.

#1. Understand Indexing

This is a no-brainer, but it will save you a lot of trouble to simply go through the interactive tutorial and skim over the Frequently Asked Questions. And don’t be afraid to revisit this information if you have long periods of time between indexing sessions. If you come upon a record and you just can’t figure out what the third letter in one of the namse is, it really is a huge relief to know that you can simply put a “?” in its place and spell out the rest of the name.

#2. Take Advantage of Tools Available to You
One of my favorite parts of indexing is that I feel like I get to solve tiny mysteries from time to time. Occasionally, you will get a name, the name of a city or county, or even an entire record that is really hard to read. The beautifully handwritten words are fun to look at, but sometimes very difficult to decipher. I ran into this with the very first record I indexed. The problem was a county name and one or a couple of the letters were smeared or for whatever reason impossible to make out. I could figure out most of the letters and if it had been a state I had been more familiar with, like Utah, I probably would have known right away which county it was. I think in this case it was a California county. How did I solve this problem?

Well, I knew the year this record was made from the other data on the record, I knew it was a county in California, and I knew the letter it started with, along with several other letters in the name. So, I googled it. A quick hop to a wikipedia page with a list of the counties in California and I was able to figure out what it was. (And the wikipedia pages include the dates the counties were established so you can be extra sure it even existed when your record was made.)

#3. Get Comfortable
Indexing is a very calming, therapeutic activity for me. I love to post up in my office chair with a cozy blanket and a big glass of ice water (my favorite drink). Indexing doesn't have to be a big deal or a long time commitment, but I love to get comfortable so that there’s nothing keeping me from starting another batch. :)

#4. Make it Social
My first experience with indexing was right after I got married. My husband and I decided to try it together and I have loved doing it this way ever since. We work on separate batches, but it’s nice to have someone right there who you can have look at a tricky name when you’re second guessing yourself.

I also think it could be a lot of fun to have an indexing party and get together with friends and family to index. It’s fun to talk about names you see and discuss what their life might have been like or the fact that they had 5 sons who all had the first name John. (I’ve talked to my best friend about doing an indexing party over Skype because she lives far away.)

#5. Just Start and Enjoy Indexing
I love indexing and have found it to be very fulfilling. After reading significant dates and details of their lives, I find myself feeling deeply connected to the people whose name I index. I also just think that the old records are fascinating and beautiful. Just try it. There is no pressure and I’m pretty sure it’s good exercise for your brain, too.

I hope someone out there found this helpful and encouraging.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Sometimes it feels like we spend all of our time on our knees, asking the Lord for guidance and forgiveness.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Vintage Mineral Prints Tackled

I bought these two vintage mineral prints from a great Etsy shop (Pine and Main) back in 2012. They are actually pages from a book and are a unique size. I was worried I wouldn't be able to find a good frame to display the whole illustration, so after spending a few months hanging on binder clips on the wall they basically floated around my house for a year and a half. 

Every time these prints surfaced after one of my office purges I would tell myself, I'm going to come up with a brilliant way to display these. Well, I finally found a solution that I am very happy with. 

Yesterday, my sister-in-law and I went gift shopping for a baby birthday party. We were working our way to the check-out when I spotted just the frame for my mineral prints. A large attractive floating picture frame with an even more attractive price tag.

Are there any other slow decorators out there? I've lived in my house three years and my walls are still unorganized and mostly bare. And sadly, I've got several other things floating around just waiting to be framed.

Friday, March 7, 2014

// Flowers in her hair

I had to take a break from working to draw this absurd thing:

Here's a detail shot, because that crap's fun, right?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014