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!