Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year and sharing some others creations

Hello and happy new year! We have managed to complete another year and that is reason enough to celebrate for me!! Our new year's eve was extremely low key.  We stayed at home and I made some of the family's favorite snacky foods.  We were all in bed shortly after midnight and my poor husband had to get up bright and early to go to work.  Quite the party animals aren't we?

If you have been following my blog since last new years, you know that I really dislike new years resolutions.  Not that I don't think I need to change things and improve myself, but too often the resolutions are made and then quickly forgotten and abandoned.  So I don't make resolutions as much as I do an inventory of my life and see what needs work.  Then I just make an effort to do the best I can. Yes, I know, that sounds a lot like a resolution, but it's usually a lot more than just one or two promises, and they are constantly changing throughout the year!

Last year, I really wanted to get more pictures scrapbooked and use up some of my much neglected supplies.  My Scrapbook Monday and Flashback Friday really helped me stay on track for a good part of the year.  I have used a lot of my older supplies (not that you can tell), and I am slowly but surely reducing my older stash!  Since scrapbooking is a never ending process, I can never truly say that I'm caught up (not that I'm even close to that), but I am very proud of the fact that I completed our Disney/Summer Vacation album in the same year as the trip!

So what is on my plate for 2013? I'm still hoping to make a bigger dent in my stash, so I'm sure the Flashback Fridays will continue to be a frequent part of my blog.  I am also continuing to work on recording all of those memories so scrapbook pages will also be regular projects, just not on any one specific day.  But my most important reflection for this year struck as I was sitting on the couch late one evening after everyone was in bed and I was semi-meditating while looking at the Christmas tree lights.  If you want to bypass my musing and view the handmade Christmas cards I received from others, feel free. I won't be offended in the least.  But, if you have ever been in a slump and wondered if all of this work was worth the effort, please read on...

I am a huge Warehouse 13 fan and after my little mental road trip I found myself relating to Claudia in one of the episodes.  For those who do not watch the show, Warehouse 13 is a super secret, hush-hush warehouse that secures the world's mystical artifacts, like Lizzy Borden's compact that makes anyone who looks in it want to hack the ones they love to bits...fun stuff!!  Claudia works at the warehouse, but before that, she and her brother had an encounter that left her feeling like she had lost her mind.  Since most people didn't know about the warehouse and the artifacts, everyone thought she needed some special help and she spent a lot of time in a hospital receiving treatment for her 'imaginary' encounter.  In one episode, she is affected by an artifact and has to face her hospital demons again, but this time she comes out on top a much stronger woman.    When everything was back to normal, she turns to her colleagues and says "Well, I wasn't expecting a catharsis today but that felt pretty good!" and quickly shrugs off the entire situation.   Now, moving on to how this relates to me...

I have been in a bit of a slump lately.  I managed to keep up with the things that I had to do, but the enjoyment of 'doing' just wasn't there.  Part of this is due to things going on at work and family obligations and just being overly busy.  But I kept finding myself thinking 'something needs to give'.  So I took a break from creating for fun and only worked on things that I 'had' to do.  So the other night as I sat and became one with the moment & the Christmas lights, my mind began to 'bunny trail' to all that I had done, what I needed to do, and what I wanted to do.  I also pondered blogging, leaving comments, and things I had read on others blogs.  While many of my thoughts didn't seem to go together, it was a bit of a revelation when I realized that my daydreaming had led me to a clearer understanding of who I am and what I need.

When I was in elementary school, I had the most wonderful art teacher.  I LOVED art class! I would love to say that I showed a lot of talent, but quite honestly, that was not the case, but I lived for those moments of playing with art supplies and seeing what happened.  I don't ever remember our teacher telling us she loved our work, but I do remember her offering thoughts and encouraging us to see what we could do.  Sadly, when I moved on to middle school, things changed. On reflection, it wasn't that the teacher wasn't qualified to teach.  As a matter of fact I have seen her work in our local gallery and she does the most wonderful watercolors.  But what was lacking was the element of fun.  I worked on projects, learned about technique, but my efforts never seemed to be what she was looking for.  I know now that she was encouraging those with talent to pursue their gifts, but I felt a bit slighted that my joy for creating was gone. So as soon as I wasn't required to take art, I stopped.  I went on to find that I loved singing and music in general and poured my soul into choir and theater, two things I still love today.  While this seems like a tale of woe and a strike at  my education, I actually found something very different upon reflecting.  Being honest, I did not have the natural talent to be a professional artist, and my middle school teacher made me see that.  I also know that while she didn't push me to continue, I was the one who let my love of creating for creations sake go.  I really wish I had been a bit more cheeky back then and stayed in the classes, even if it drove her crazy that I couldn't draw to save my life...  It reminded me of a quote by Picasso "Every child is born an artist, the challenge is to remain an artist as you grow up."   When I went to college, I was required to take an art class.  Thinking I didn't possess the skills it took for an actual hands on class, I safely chose Art History.  Imagine my surprise at learning that most of the Greats questioned their talent and wondered if they were good enough! Hmmm...  Guess who decided to start playing again!   I also realized that part of my decision to become a teacher was based on negative experiences and the conviction that I would not squash someone's joy based on my perceptions.

After that long trip down memory lane, I slowly became aware of two things.  The first is that I do have a God given gift  and desire to teach and regardless of what my future has in store, I will be teaching in some form. The second was that I had fallen back into the middle school trap of worrying about what others would think of my art and if it was good enough.  I decided that I really do enjoy the process of creating, regardless of the outcome, and I also enjoy my little spot in blogland.  If 500 people comment and love my work, great! If no one comments, no problem, because my art and my blog are the end result of the fun that I had while creating and that is what my soul really needs, not affirmation!  So what if it's cute, silly, messy, serious, slightly twisted, or even ugly!  These are the things that life are made of and in my opinion, the things that make life interesting.  How mundane would things be if we all made exactly the same thing, same style, same format? So if you happen by my blog and see something completely off the wall, don't be afraid, it's just me playing and feeding my soul!

If you have made it all the way down here, you either really love me or have some interest in psychology and are diagnosing me as you read. ;-)  and hopefully my musing was something you could relate to or gain insight.  

So as a reward, I will share with you, my beloved blog friends, the hand made Christmas cards that I received from some very special people!

made by my crafty sister, Christie

made by my blogging buddy, Heather
-my crappy photo does 
not show the sparkly beauty of this!!

made by my co-worker, Dawn

made by blogging buddy, Sherry

my by my crafty and slightly forgetful
sister, Christie (she gave me 2!)

made by my blogging buddy, and sister from
another mother, Lisa 
(the one who doesn't use air filters for 
her artwork, just ask her...)

I hope your 2013 is filled with peace, love, happiness, and health!  May your days be filled with crafty inspiration and fun!!  And thanks so much for stopping by and sharing the love in 2012!  While I don't thrive on feedback, it really is nice to read other's thoughts and opinions!


  1. Good on You Margaret for taking the tme to do a little self analyzing.
    I believe you have hit it in one - it is the process not the product which is quite the opposite in our material driven world.
    Funny that we both had those nay sayers and that we both have been able to use the negativity to make a positive. Have you heard a song - ancient - called Accentuate the Positive! The lyrics are so perfect when it all seems hard.
    I do think this time of the year encourages a little introspection - a good way for us to mentally houseclean! So I say "go for it" Do what you enjoy and most of all have fun!
    Looking forward to the "off the Wall" even "through the wall might be fun too!
    Written while a gaggle of Kookaburras have shrieked and cavorted out in the trees just near the house. Cheeky disrespectful birds they are!

  2. Happy New Year Margaret. I unfortunately do make resolutions so I can hold myself accountable throughout the new year. I am trying to decide what to do with all the lovely holiday cards I received this year and think I will somehow create a scrapbook with them.
    I am looking forward to 2013 to see what your inner art persona creates on this blog.

  3. HAPPY NEW YEAR ! Another wonderfully written post. You have such a gift for writing and sharing your thoughts that I always enjoy reading (and not diagnosing!). I'm looking forward to seeing more of your creations and musings over the next year =)

  4. Margaret,
    First of all.....yes, I read the entire post - and must tell you it was so inspiring. A beautiful post. I've been in a MAJOR slump and trying to re-evaluate everything that I've been doing and got great insight from your post today. Thank you!
    Even though I've never thought of myself as a "quitter", I've come so close to just throwing in the towel on all this crafting and trying to find other things in my life. And yes, I've asked myself several times why I'm even doing this. Guess it's just something I enjoy.
    I'm going back now and re-reading your wonderful post!


  5. Margaret, I whole-heartedly agree with all that has been said in the other comments, and your post has touched a sore spot in my heart.
    I know that I am not naturally gifted with creativity....it's something I have to work at....but, I do know that I enjoy the process and sometimes am pleased with the results.
    A little introspection is good for the soul....I've also been doing a little musing, and, although I don't really make resolutions, I have made a commitment that I intend to keep, and I know that it will all work out.
    Your creativity is something that inspires and encourages me, and I am blessed to "know" you.

  6. Well I also read the entire post and found it most inspiring and insightful for myself, I've been doing a lot of making just because I needed to and not for fun anymore as well, and I've also decided I need to get back to having fun, or not do it, and I really can't see me giving it up any time soon. email me your address please, as I would have liked to have sent you a card myself, as I find seeing your work and checking on your happenings whenever they arise is great for the soul.

  7. Hello Margaret Happy New Year , I can just see you now, staring into your fairy lights going off on a bunny trail .
    You do make me smile !
    I too had a very low key New Year, but that's how My hubby and I like it too.
    All the best to you sweetie I hope your wishes come true.
    Hugs Elaine

  8. I have to agree with your post too and it seems many others are feeling the same "stress" of crafting, when we all started out it was our way to relax & find some pleasure in what we had made - why did it all change??? I have taken the decision to "cut back" & not feel "guilty" about keeping on top of my blog, I'm reducing my classes too as I don't have a huge attendance or sales from them so that should leave more time to craft for fun and I'm sure I can still stay as an active demo by cutting back and enjoying the products I have, many not used nearly enough. Let's all keep at it and make our crafting fun again!!
    Happy New Year Margaret xx

  9. I read this on my phone and for some reason it wouldn't let me leave a message on there, but I had to come back this morning and tell you that I love what you've written. I know you have a lot on your mind right now, but what I'm seeing here is joyously hopeful that your path will take you exactly where you need to be and that your creativity will know no bounds! Follow the song in your heart and you'll stay on track.
    OH and btw, I love Warehouse 13!! :D But right now I'm sort of oddly hooked on Amish Mafia and Moonshiners..LOL!
    I loved reading your thoughts from the first word to the last and I have always found you a creative, inspiring and thoughtful friend. I feel blessed to "gnome" you! ;)
    Big hugs to you my friend and here's to another year of unrestrained creativity and friendship!
    Your sis :)

  10. The cards you received were just lovely!!! I'm like you, I don't really do resolutions, but one thing I do hope to accomplish is to catch up on my scrapbooks...going to try and start on that today!! Hope you have a great year Margaret!!

  11. Sending Happy New Years wishes across the miles Margaret-I too gave up art class because I couldnt draw-and like you I have found my creative niche in card making-thanks for sharing your heart with us

  12. An amazing post to read, Margaret - so brave and open... and I'm so thrilled that the clarity you found means you will continue to share your creations and your love of creating with us here.... the more off the wall, the better! Even as someone who's only tapped this side of my creativity very recently, I couldn't bear to shut it off again. Can't wait to see where your creative journey takes you in 2013, and I'll certainly be along for the ride... Happy New Year!
    Alison xx

  13. Loved this.. the sharing really is helpful and inspiring...makes me think a lot about a lot of things....got some more thinkin' to do myself! So glad to have "met" you this year, and your comments are always so kind and very appreciated. happy new year!

  14. I thoughoughly enjoyed reading this post! You are an artist and a great one at that! It is because you create from your heart and it shines through with every project you do! I love your blog and your projects and your fun sense of humor!! Wishing you lots of mojo, love and luck for the upcoming year! So very happy that our lives have crossed paths! Big hug! :)

  15. Wow Margaret, love how you shared your thoughts with us and I'm with you on the New Year's resolution thing. I don't bother anymore but totally agree that it is better to stop and take stock of where you are and where you want to go. I hope everything you dream of achieving comes true and that 2013 is your best year ever. Big Hugs to you and so happy we are family. ;)


  16. Margaret, I don't know how I found your blog I was on a little blogland trip and came apon yours I have had a wonderfull look at a few of your blogs and the one about teachers gifts I loved. I am a full time nanny to two little girls and I always engorage them to make their presents. As li think they put a bit of themselves into it, Now I have to find how I arrived here Hazel


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