June was one of those months with a lot of favorites. I kept thinking, “Oh, I need to stop and write that down so I don’t forget to share it!” I sort of love these favorites posts for that reason. It makes me take note of the things I’m enjoying and I take some amount of pleasure in sharing them with others (and sometimes even getting feedback from people who enjoyed them as well.) A theme that keeps popping up in early July for me is things are meant to be shared. So, I hope you enjoy my favorites as I share them with you and I hope you’ll take some time to share a few of your favorites with me.
Jeff and I started watching Clarkson’s Farm (available on Amazon Prime) on a whim and we absolutely loved it. It’s funny, it’s heart-warming, it’s informative, and it’s beautiful to watch. It’s the kind of show where you fall in love with the people, the scenery, and the story and you’re sad when it ends. You wish you could hang out in that world just a little bit more. If you need a good belly laugh, which, who doesn’t, this is a great show to check out.
The trailer and the show both have language in it, just as a warning. I think the 16+ rating is very accurate and a good guide for parents.
biggest little farm
This movie, The Biggest Little Farm, was suggested to me by Shaunna. She knows me well, so when she recommends something, I take note. Jeff and I were on a farm kick after enjoying Clarkson’s Farm so thoroughly, so watching this documentary seemed like a natural next choice. Oh man, this was so good! It’s honest and engaging. It’s both heart-breaking and heart-warming. It really is a beautiful documentary that had me crying unexpected happy and sad tears at certain points. I mean, who cries during a farm documentary?! But, this one is special and definitely worth watching.
the current war
Jeff has been reading about Tesla, so we picked the movie The Current War to watch to learn more about that time of innovation and the main players involved. While this movie does tell a bit of Tesla’s story, the main characters are Edison and Westinghouse. I found this movie fascinating (it sort of turns what we generally think of Edison on its head) and also inspiring. There are so many lessons in it about learning, innovation, creativity, partnership, and entrepreneurship.
I also loved the stylistic choices of the director, the costumes, and set design.
I’ve been on a bit of an art-book-buying-bender lately, but I suppose there are worse vices in life. The shelves in my studio are at critical mass, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping me. I have slowed the pace a bit, so I can have a chance to read everything I’ve bought! For some reason, I get a little anxious that the book will suddenly skyrocket in price, especially if it’s out of print. There are a few books on my wishlist that are over $900! (And we’re talking about an art book from the 1990s, not a leather-bound book from the 1400s with vellum pages.) So, they’ll be sitting on my wishlist until sanity is restored.
The book is based on Werner’s Nomenclature, which I learned about when I read the book Color: A Visual History from Newton to Modern Color Matching, which is also a great book for my fellow color nerds. I was smitten with the little squares of color and the corresponding color names based on the natural world. Nature’s Palette takes those little squares and runs with them in this book that is an absolute feast for the design and artistic eye.
It is a history lesson, information about natural pigments, a color study, and a study of nature all spread on the pages of one book. It’s so, so good and one of my recent favorite purchases.
the story of painting
I honestly didn’t expect to love The Story of Painting as much as I did. It has the feel and layout of a textbook, so I was expecting it to be a little dry, but a good resource book to have in my library. I was actually reading it while I was waiting after a music practice at church and someone asked me what I was studying. It looks that much like a school textbook!
But, don’t let the scholastic visual of this book fool you. It is fascinating if you’re interested in art.
First of all, it has beautiful paintings in it and introduced me to some artists I didn’t yet know. It’s also a very interesting tour through the history of art, painting, painting techniques, mediums, pigments, and styles.
I learned so many things that I didn’t know and it gave me a lot of ideas and inspiration as well as an appreciation for the creativity, ingenuity, and audacity of the artists who have come before me. It was a surprisingly good read.
If you have watched me on Instagram Stories over the years, you may have noticed that I have a “uniform” during my workdays. You’ll almost always see me in the same heather gray or heather navy t-shirts or hoodies, all designs that I sold a few years ago to promote my blog and MMS Milk Paint. The nice thing about designing your own t-shirts and sweatshirts is that you can pick the shirt blanks that fit you the best. So, this wardrobe of t-shirts and hoodies has been very well-worn and well-loved. Almost all of them have at least one spot of paint on them and have been washed so many times the fabric is slowly thinning and wearing away.
It was time to get some new t-shirts! We are planning to come out with some with The Creative Exponent, but we’ve run into a few hitches. So, while I’m waiting, I bought some shirts off of Etsy and I just love them! They are the Bella + Canvas unisex tri-blend tee and I love the fit. It’s soft, it washes well, they aren’t see-through, they are long enough for my torso, and they are comfy. (Several of these sellers carry a women’s cut if you prefer that sort of fit.)
It’s a good day to make some art is my favorite one (I ordered it in two colors), but they are all really cute shirts and it’s given my uniform a little much-needed update. I did question ordering an “artist” t-shirt, but I’m going to claim the label and not overthink things!
(The shirts are all linked below. I ordered most of them in navy or heathered navy, but I did get one in the heathered mauve to mix it up!)
I also needed to address my jeans. I had a lot of them, but many of them were ill-fitting. Too tight, too big, too big at the waist, too small at the thighs, too long, or just not flattering. I keep them thinking, “Well, they’ll fit when…” Fill that in with whatever the rationalization is of the day. When I lose weight, when I find the right shirt to wear with them, when I exercise more. I’ve been following some great people on Instagram who preach (for lack of a better word) body positivity. I think there can be a fine line between being content with being unhealthy and being content with a healthy body that just doesn’t look like the fashion industry’s idea of beauty. I’m somewhere in the middle. I am working on moving more and being healthier and fit, but I don’t have to strive for something that, quite honestly, I’m not ever going to achieve.
All of this deep talk to say that I needed to get rid of jeans that didn’t fit or I didn’t feel great in and only keep/buy ones that are “heck-yes” jeans. They look good, they are comfortable, and I feel good in them. Guess what, when I have a few pairs that fit that description, I’ll wear them a lot more than I’ll wear baggy, paint splatter sweatpants!
So, I did that. I tried on every single pair and only kept the ones that were awesome. (It was just a few pairs.) And I found some jeans at Target that fit me very well. I can either wear the larger sizes in the regular jeans or the smallest size in the plus jeans. I’ve learned to try on both because one might be cut better to fit my shape than the other. I’m really working on not worrying about what it says on the label, but how they feel and look.
I cuff the first pair of cropped jeans so they don’t look so boxy, but they are cute and comfy with a t-shirt.
And lastly, while it’s a challenge trying to work with the boys being home from school, I really enjoy the more relaxed pace of our summer schedule. There are no lunches to pack, uniforms to wash, or homework to do. We all sleep in a little bit and stay up a little later (except Jeff who is an early bird.) The boys stay out until it’s dark, playing with the neighborhood kids. I look forward to the structure and quiet, uninterrupted days of the school year, but I’m also relishing this sweet time.
What were some of your favorites in June?