Completed Ballerina Bunny Illustrations

I finished my ballerina bunnies! I am so enamored with their cuteness. I left them fairly undetailed because they are going to be shrunk to about two inches each for the fabric design I have them planned for, but I think they are kind of charming in their sketchiness, and I hope that you agree with me!

The black and white one is inspired (but not an exact copy) by the rabbit we adopted this summer. She is named Spotticus, or Spotty for short, and she is quite a love.

You can see some of my other fabric designs at Spoonflower. I’m trying to do one or two new releases per month, which will hopefully mean more art coming this way.

Ballerina Bunnies

Working on some fun new art this week, the first time in a while. I’m hoping to use these as a new fabric design over at my Originals By Katharine Tracy and Spoonflower shop next month, but even if they turn out unusable, it’s been fun designing and drawing them out. Tonight I will start to color them.

Four pencil sketches of ballerina bunnies in various poses.


I’ve honestly had a very difficult time tapping into my creativity lately. Having an idea that is super cute and literal fluff has been a relief. I don’t know what the future brings, but I can’t shoulder the collective burden as much as I have been this past year.

Playing with Oil Paints

My husband gave me my first ever set of oil paints for Christmas this year, and we finally took them out and played with them this weekend. This is what I started.

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It is maybe not the easiest choice to start in on a human with zero reference photos, but I had the image of Spring as a goddess in my head and this is what came out. Hopefully as I add details, it will be less garish.

Overall, lots of fun! I love the way the paints layer. It will be good to experiment. I get a little nervous about the kids or the cat accessing the painting since it takes so long to dry but we shall see how it goes.

Grieving Takes Many Forms

This has been a rough couple of weeks. By the end of both weeks of homeschooling, I was feeling drained, anxious for the kids, sad that I won’t be able to see some family before they move from a 1.5 hour drive away to fifteen hours away. My husband’s one job has him out but his part-time job is considered essential business (and oh how I shake my head at cigarettes and beer and lotto being essential) so he is still out and about more than he should because we need the financial security right now. I feel like I am overburdened carrying the emotional weight of my entire family on my shoulders.

So I had to give myself time to grieve. Grieve for the loss of innocence my son will definitely have of all this. Grieve for my family I don’t get to hug goodbye. Grieve for myself and my sense of timing for my online bespoke clothing and costume shop I was finally ready to pull together this spring, because I can’t afford the start up nor does it seem a wise business venture when so many don’t know how they will be paying their rent or mortgage. Grieve for my friends in the entertainment industry who are unemployed and considered expendable by much of the population. Grieve for those dying alone in hospitals and for their families unable to say goodbye.. Grieve for this country and this species and this planet. It’s a lot to process. And it will be ongoing for the duration.

But letting my grief out let me move forward and cut myself some slack, something I always have to do. And I am doing what I can. Getting moving as much as possible. Creating little bits of art. Making masks that I’ve been donating to local medical facilities. I’m dipping my toes back into writing and making music again.

Today, I painted this tree in blossom on a paper plate while my 3yo daughter experimented on some plates of her own. She insisted on adding the black strip on the edge for me.

Pink blossoming tree painted on a paper plate

I still feel some hope for the future. That this will be the wake up call we need as a species. But I also know that so many people are still not ready. Still, these are interesting times to be alive. Sometimes I wish it was a little less interesting.

Social Distancing Ideas for Keeping Yourself Sane, Sharp, and Stimulated

I am creating this list both to share with all of you and to remind myself in the long days ahead when having everyone at home will start getting overwhelming.

  • If you live with others, take this time to truly enjoy the company. I have the feeling that this is a make or break time for a lot of relationships. Keep the communication flowing, let the little things go, and find the humor whenever possible.
  • Keep moving. Get fresh air if you are able to, get some kind of exercise routine going for you and your family, if you have one. I like putting music on and dancing like a fool and doing workouts at home anyway. My son’s karate is live streaming his classes and he has P.E. recommendations that I participated in with both kids tonight.
  • Get done those organizational or cleaning or yard projects that you have been putting off. Today I realized that light fixtures in the bathroom aren’t actually frosted like I thought… oops.
  • Consume media that you wouldn’t normally do. Project Gutenberg is a great resource for free books (though throw them a donation if you can).  Try to learn something you’ve never learned before.
  • Create as much as you can, in any way as you can. The creative process keeps you happy and healthy.
  • Take the time to get to know yourself as you currently are. As you can handle this, of course. There is so much opportunity to really grow through all of this.
  • Stay connected to other loved ones as much as possible through phone calls and video chats. Check on people. This is tough when you have kids you are trying to manage through school work and not destroying your home, doubly so if you are trying to work at home on top of it, but even if it’s just a couple people a day, it will make a difference to both you and them.
  • Stay connected in your community if you can, and help those that you can as opportunities present itself.
  • Do something kind for yourself every day, and do a teeny random act of kindness for each person in your household.

I am a creature of action, and I refuse to allow this time of social distancing to bring me to my knees. I know many people are trying to cocoon themselves, and by all means, do what you must for your well being. But we owe it to ourselves and each other not to succumb to apathy and neglect. Take care of you, take care of your loved ones, and let love win over fear.

Do any of you have big projects you are tackling or tricks to keeping yourself sane in this time? Please share them with me!

Finally, some creative progress!

I know I have mentioned before how the autumn is really my time to get my butt kicked into high gear and work on all the things, and that is how it has been feeling. Several projects are finally culminating into their final swing, some serious personal development has been going on, and I am excited to continue sharing here everything that I can. That being said, I wanted to give a little bit of a run down of where I’m at on things, partially to give me something to look back on in a month when I am reflecting on the year overall.

Writing: 

  • I am currently compiling my second poetry collection and really hope to have this out by the end of the year.
  • I wrote a huge chunk in my post-apocalyptic short story and hope to actually start shopping it around along with a few others after the first of the year.
  • I’m making good progress on my Shakespeare poems and will start doing art pieces to go with those at some point next year.

Art:

  • I have scanned and am in the process of editing the illustrations for my poetry collection and am designing the book cover for said collection.
  • I am teaching myself to work on a tablet for digital designs in the hopes of eventually designing my own fabric prints to use in my sewing career.
  • I am designing my next two shows and committing the costumes to paper this week, which is always a little scary but exciting.

Music:

  • I finished writing another song last night! This is the one I scrapped and rewrote, and I need to edit it, but it feels good to have it done.
  • I have started getting my singing chops back again slowly after another break from it due to crazy parenting and gig schedule.
  • I’ve been playing my flute once or twice a week while my daughter is in preschool, even if I have other things I “should” be doing, and it’s felt great.

Now how much I can push forward will depend again on both my paying design gigs and also I am trying to open a custom clothing boutique online as we go into the new year. So we shall see how that goes. But it feels good to be creating right now.