April: “Refresh”

April Refresh - hand carved stamps, printmaking, and other art inspiration

How can it be that it's already April?

As I ponder a new theme for this month, the word Refresh kept coming up. And, it's probably just right too.

Refresh one's focus. Be more refreshed physically, mentally, emotionally... Find a refreshing point of view with my work, my projects, my art...

When stuck in the middle of web browsing, we refresh. So, to avoid getting stuck, I too am refreshing right now.

That's why I thought that I would make some changes with some of the things that I am doing and/or have decided to do lately. Starting with this Focus Project, for one.

In the last three months, I have been focussing on one word as a theme of the month, with a week-by-week sub-theme. While I found the week-by-week sub-themes helpful in some ways, I also found that I was not really giving the words much time. So, they become just that: words.

So I decided that from this month onwards, I will do away with the week-by-week sub-themes. I can choose some other words to support my focus word of the month, but I would like to focus on just one main word. This way, I can really make that focus word a part of me for that month. And perhaps, if I do things right, its positive effects will linger for much longer than that.

Another aspect that I am reviewing is the daily blog. While it was helpful to have some place to store all my 365s in one blog, I am currently finding it too taxing to maintain. I probably should have known that anyway. But, I can be stubborn and I told myself that I could manage a blog with very little actual blogging. Of course I can't. So, I'm putting that on hiatus for now.

I am still doing my Project 365 and 52 Weeks Project, though. But, I am just maintaining it via my Flickr account. So, if you wish to continue following these projects, please connect with me on Flickr or follow the RSS feed for the specific set that you wish to follow.

The 365 Hand Lettering Project is also something that I am rethinking. I am still doing it on and off, but not really sharing my efforts online at this stage. Partly because I have decided to try doing this the old school, analog way (with pen, paper, ink, paint, etc). And partly because I don't scan or photograph all my hand lettering efforts. So, I'm not sure where this will go at this stage.

Apart from reviewing and refreshing some of these projects, I am also looking at the following things, as I continue to think about "refresh" this month:

  • Going to a long-delayed spa treatment (courtesy of hubby, which was a gift a few months back).
  • Reviewing my blog and my general blogging practices. I do this on a regular basis, so I thought now is a good time as any, especially as I consider some new ideas and strategies.
  • Finding other ways to feel refreshed - perhaps, horror of horrors, I might try going for walks... And even doing less of some things that I find toxic (ie, stop following some people that trigger negativity in me, etc).
  • Giving myself more space to play and to explore.

Some of these things also make me think of "support words" for this month, to help me "refresh" things, including: Patience. Whimsy. Personal Vision.

What about you? What do you do to become more refreshed? Are there areas in your life that needs refreshing right now?

Note on Photo:

What you see in the photo is a hand-carved stamp I made (April) + samples of other stamps I made (lips, house, buildings, etc) + sketches with gelli printing and mixed media (houses + cityscape).

About the Author Shai Coggins

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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