So I didn't blog much this year.
I have to admit that my reasons for blogging got confused in my head, and I thought I might automatically pick up friends & deeper relationships than ultimately happened. That was foolish of me, and a good lesson--even if a somewhat sad one--that I need to blog for *me*, not some imaginary audience. Same with my art.
I did some good things this year that I am pleased with. Also, I learned some things about myself that I don't like so much but that I need to learn to deal with--mainly, that while I may used to have been organized pre-children and possibly pre-marriage, it ain't that way now! Facing facts, I realize that I have become very adept at passing time but lost the ability to use it to my advantage. I have lost the ability to plan because I don't have any confidence that I will actually be able to carry out a plan. Those days are gone, though, now that my children are older, and I ought to be able to regain that skill. But as my holiday card making endeavors showed me this season, it is going to take some serious work on my part.
That, I guess, would raise the question, is that work I really want to do? And the answer is yes.
I *like* doing things. I like having something to point to that says, this is how I spent my time. But I have got to learn what I need to do in order to stop just "passing time".
I will think about that more later. For now I am just going to say to myself that this blog will be a chronicle for me and me alone about what I am working on (or just completed!) and what I thought about the process and the outcome.
This year I started packing a "kit" (really a roller-cart full of just about everything) to take along to my children's taekwondo classes, which can stretch to 2-1/2 hours at a local community center that is just a little too far to drive back home to . . . plus my husband would be there so I wouldn't get anything done anyway :-). I did a journal spread on found poetry based on something from Quinn McDonald's new book, and it was a lot of fun. The words were taken from a New Yorker review of a play.
I also found that my favorite thing to do on my holiday cards that I sold this year were the monoprints with alcohol inks on glossy white paper overstamped with trees embossed with marcasite and hematite EPs. I could do those all day long.
Doing the holiday cards was deeply rewarding, and not only because I got paid for them :-). I also enjoyed packaging up the orders and including a gift for the customer inside (gift tags, bookmarks) as a thank-you.
At the beginning of December, with some of the money I had already received from the holiday cards and with the help of a fantastic Thanksgiving sale, I was able to purchase a Cinch 2 machine, and I took time out from helping my 7-yr-old daughter with a rainforest diorama to put together a quick book for myself using cardboard packaging that I'd been keeping on hand for just such a purpose.
And as one of my holiday presents, I got to sign up for the online workshop Texture Town, by Julie Prichard and Chris Cozen. Having already taken Complex Collage and Super Nova Journaling, I know this one is going to be a lot of fun and great inspiration.
But all these ideas floating--rather, flying around madly--in my head mean that I have got to get a plan together about what I want to do and how I am going to accomplish it. Otherwise the summer will come along and I will have dibbled in this and dabbled in that but not done much of anything. In some cases that would be okay, but it is no longer what I want.
Being able to say that definitively makes all the difference in the world.
So I am going to list the things I want to do, figure out which times I could do which things (during the day when kids are in school/husband is at work, while waiting during ballet, while waiting during taekwondo, after kids' bedtimes), and then figure out a plan for each.
I do think that knowing what I am going to do when I wake up in the morning is a good idea, because it is hard for me to get stuck in to stuff in the mornings (after getting kids off to school) when I don't have a clearly defined objective, particularly since I am NOT a morning person. But once I get started, I'm good--getting started is the hard part for sure.