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Is it really just 3 more Fridays 'til summer?!! Omygosh I love the sound of that!!!

It's been a year! New teaching position, new responsibilities and a steep learning curve in this new job...I've been stretched this year for sure. Plans are already underway for next school year, but before we dive in to that fully, summer will be here and I'll have time to take a nice long break and hopefully, recalibrate.

We are taking a 5 week family trip this summer, to Japan. The one thing I am most looking forward to during this trip is swaths and oodles of time with my boys. Now, I get them in drips--they are so busy with their own lives--so it will be excellent to have them 24/7 for several weeks on end! I don't know if they're looking forward to this as much as I am, but I am one happy mama!

  • Writer's pictureJan Avellana

In between work and home life, I am an explorer of the world--at least my own inner world. Lately I've been thinking about joy and how to reside in joy as an act of being. It's not easy for me--joy comes for brief visits then leaves me in my natural melancholy state, usually.

But sometimes it peeks through. I caught it on paper last night, playing in my new sketchbook, smooshing around gouache and letting myself explore abstract art. It's really growing on me!

Perhaps this will grow into a body or work? Or maybe it's all just play and won't be seen again? That's the beauty of my sketchbook--no hard and fast rules. Just play. Just try out things on a whim, new ideas, new color combinations, the what ifs. It's a refreshing break from all of the adult responsibilities that tug at my hem. What are you doing to play today?

  • Writer's pictureJan Avellana

There are 30 more sleeps until we go to Japan for our annual (or not so annual, lately!) family summer trip! Otherwise known to the teenagers as FORCED FAMILY TIME in Japan! :D

We have great fun planned, meet ups with friends old and new, sleepy, slow days and new places to explore! One of the things I'd like to do this time is scout out some new coffee shops and cafes and do some writing and dreaming for the future. Another thing I am looking at doing is making art in Japan--not sure what yet--but if not actively making art, definitely looking out for new supplies and yummies.

Mostly, I just like BEING there in Japan. The sights. The sounds. The people. The perspectives. The old and ancient contrasting with the new and modern.

There are also some new to me flea markets that are catching my eye and I hope to go wandering about and gather up some treasures. I'll be sure to take you along with me, with nearly daily posts, especially on Instagram--so follow me there if you haven't yet! :) Just 30 more sleeps!

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