I am keeping my current project a secret because it is going to be an anniversary present for Rob. I used to laugh at the list of traditional gifts that should be given for anniversaries but I’ll admit, they have been a fun way to help me think outside of the box when picking out an anniversary present for Rob. Neither one of us want to receive random useless tchotchkes just because they fulfill that year’s theme, so we agreed that unless it really had meaning or usefulness, we wouldn’t give something just because. Traditionally the gift for the second year of marriage is cotton. Initially it seemed like this year’s theme would be one of the themes that we skipped, however, when I learned that canvases are made from cotton, I knew I wanted to paint Rob a picture for our second anniversary! Now for an update on the piece itself! I finished the sketch and started adding color on Tuesday. I was a nervous wreck all day. The anticipation of starting something new and not knowing what the outcome would be has always been anxiety-producing for me. On top of that, because it is a present for Rob, I was putting even more pressure on myself not to mess it up. I was upfront with my teacher about my hesitations and told her I wanted explicit instructions every step of the way. She explained how to load my brush, which direction to do my strokes, and where to apply color first. She corrected me when I needed it, but mostly built up my confidence by complimenting my progress. I’m impressed with how it is turning out and excited to see the final result. Hopefully I will be able to finish it next week!