2013 was a good year

2013 was a very good year for me creatively.  I settled into some comfort levels with my artistic endeavors; I tried new techniques and solidified some old stand-bys.  A few days ago I read Hanna's list of accomplishments and why she thought it important to write them down.  Then I read Karen's.  Then Tammy's. All busy, talented ladies who convinced me that there's value to tracking where you've been so you can figure out where you're going.

Hanna even wrote a list of 10 reasons why you should list your accomplishments.....the reasons that spoke to me from her list are:  list making is fun (!), document the positive, and being grateful.

As I started my list in my Documented Life notebook, I found I wasn't able to remember much.  So I browsed back through my blog posts, photos I took last year, I looked through my card 'journal', I looked at my mail art, reading and movie lists. I played off the lists of those other women to help me remember some of my own accomplishments.  So here goes.......

My biggest goal for the year was to make 365 collages, which I did.  Woohoo! I experimented with composition, size, color, and material (even made some from wood veneer).

I sent out 375 pieces of mail art.

I participated in 25 MMSA mail art swaps (Karen hosted 45) and a hand full of Swap Bot swaps.
MMSA bird swap

I turned a spare bedroom into my own personal art space and love having the space to gather hoard materials and work in my own messy space!  I love that I have a sewing "zone", painting "zone", collage "zone" and plenty of room to stack books and papers.

Participated in Hanna's spring postcard swap and Kat's Liberate Your Art postcard swap.

I completed Tammy's summer ICAD challenge for the third year (don't think I finished the first year).

Read 49 books and saw 124 movies (mostly Netflix.....only 7 in a theater).

I took a glass blowing class (a Christmas gift from my son last year).

I painted a few canvases that I like well enough to hang in the house.  I created my first "art series" - four 6x6 mixed media pieces.

I sent naked pumpkins through the mail to friends and family for Thanksgiving.  Picked up the pumpkins at the $1 store, decorated them and sent them - everyone was VERY surprised to receive them.

I created a book for Dan for his 60th birthday.  I contacted friends and family and asked for a written memory to share, typed them up on digitally enhanced pages and made a book.  I was trying for 60 memories but think I ended up with a little over 50.....pretty good!

I had one of my ALAW projects selected for a gallery show.  It was exciting to bundle it up and send it off but unfortunately the show was in Australia so I didn't get to go.

Though my goal was two, I did finish one ALAW project in 2013.

I created a photo book commemorating our trip to China a couple years ago with Dan's siblings and spouses.  I created the 100 page books digitally and when Winkflash had their sale, I ordered them for Christmas gifts.

When we went on vacation (cruise and a week in Florida) I actually planned ahead and took a small bin of art supplies so that I could draw and sort of keep up with my collage challenge.  I discovered it's fun to have art supplies on hand when I'm home in the evenings with my tired feet up.  Won't ever travel again without SOME kind of art supplies with me.

I participated in my first ever round robin event with five other ladies.  Though a little intimidating working in someone else's journal, I got over it and found it was really fun.  This was a great group of women who mailed on time and kept everyone's journal safe. AND filled the journals with beautiful work!

I broke down and bought a gelli plate which gave me hours of pleasure and experimentation and created stacks of collage fodder.

I sold some of my photos through my ETSY shop.  I added new photos and changed my shop to allow the photos to be downloaded or ordered as a photo print.  (it's a virtual frame)

I worked on improving my lettering styles and skills.

From the round robin journals

I've started exploring Instagram and though I don't use it a ton yet, I will use it more in 2014.

So, I guess my year was more productive than I thought.  Plus all these activities were satisfying, rewarding, enriching, and most of all, FUN!

What did you accomplish last year?


week four of 365

Remember my 365 is just to do something creative every day so here's what I managed this week:

Finished my pages for the round robin journal and got it in the mail
painted with watercolors - I'm a little rusty, but this was FUN!

I've come across several ladies who are participating in The Documented Life and as I read about it and gave it some thought and decided to join in.  My version will be tailored to me of course......most of the other ones I saw used tip in pages into a daytimer type journal for their weekly prompts.  I really don't journal (as in writing about my life/feelings, etc.) so I'm going to work the prompts and use the journal for lists (my fave) and art notes and whatever comes to me.  I'm playing catch up for the first few weeks:

Week One - my front door
I love taking pics of doors and windows - I don't know that I have any deep, thoughtful reason like "window to my soul" or "door of opportunity" or anything.  More I think I'm just fascinated with the architecture and composition challenges. On the left I have a few notes about things that happened that week.

Week Two - selfie
I digitally altered a photo of me and on the other page I wrote words that describe me.

Week Three - junk mail envelope

I used a UPS envelope, I made a tag writing what I like about making lists and one the other side I have a list of my 2013 accomplishments.  Then I started a list of 2014 goals......

Mail art - still lovin' mail art and completed a couple of MMSA themes.  If you didn't find time to join in the mail swaps last year, please try to join when you can this year - the rewards are many AND it's just plain fun to get all that creativity in your mailbox.

MMSA orange / aqua swap

MMSA ATC stamp head swap below

Then I found a link on MMSA promoting a request for Valentine's Day postcards for kids in the hospital.  I made a few cards (below).  If you'd like to make some cards, please send to:
Star 106.5
Valentine Cards
5345 Madison Ave.
Sacramento, CA  95841
Or, maybe your own community is having a similar giveaway.

So that's my peek into my creative week...... still playing a bit of catch up on the Documented Life and the 365 since it took me a week or so to figure out my plan but I hope to totally catch up this week.

How are you feeling creative this week?


365 project wk 3

I need a schedule. I need a mental commitment to post my 365 project on a regular basis to keep me focused. So, I'm arbitrarily picking Mondays for my sharing day.  You'll get a taste of what I've been up to and what I've tried during the week.

Week 3:

I've got a sketchbook that I started two (TWO!) years ago that I'm going back to this year.  I played with doodling some different flower styles.

I worked on the round robin journal with my watercolor paints...... (not done yet)

Some mail art for the MMSA horse exchange

Some bird doodles.......


my new 365

After much thought about whether or not to commit to a 365 project again this year, I've decided YES - the benefits to me are well worth the effort.  Having that mental commitment keeps me on track and moving forward with my artistic endeavors.  The question then became how I would structure my own personal challenge.

Although I absolutely enjoyed focusing on collages last year, I did feel like other artistic explorations suffered cuz I just didn't have the time.  So this year my goal is:  art every day.  Every. Day.  I want to continue my growth in collages but widen my scope to return to working in my art journal, bookmaking, ALAW, painting, mail art, etc.

So, I'm excited about this broader goal and here's a little of what I've done so far the first couple weeks of the year:
A start on my last Round Robin journal page:

Round robin journal work - collage, inktense pencils and watercolor houses.....

I have a moleskin journal that I want to get back to.....this week is all about football playoffs and the Seahawks won!  woohoo!

I spent some time adding a few tuck-ins and putting washi tape here and there so I'm not looking at a bunch of blank pages.

I have a number of pages in my art journal where I cleaned off my brayer.  Here I'm toying with the idea that ended up in the round robin journal.

I made some mail art:

And I did a bunch of pages in my restraint journal.... (still love working in this - it's my second one and almost full of inspiration and simple collage/compositions):

I wonder what this new week will bring???