Following Up On Promises To Myself

News flash!!! I finally sent my manuscript off to a publisher!!

I like to think of my manuscript as a precious Faberge egg. I have been sitting on the egg  for a while now, too terrified to send it off, editing and re-editing it, looking at it lovingly, and making up all sorts of reasons to keep it with me.

Now that I have finally sent it off, I feel vaguely shaky. The woman behind the counter at the post office could barely pry my fingers off the package to weigh it. “Take care of it”  I whimpered pathetically as she rolled her eyes at me and tossed it into a large bin of parcels. “Maybe I should take another look at page 14?”  I muttered to myself  insanely, as people at the post office started to move away from me.

The post office should offer a counselling and recovery service to people like me, or at the very least a hug and a cup of tea.

I brightened up a bit when I realized that I had accomplished Item 1 on my 2013 To-Do List.

Making a To-do List is the easy part

I posted my list online for all and sundry to read, because I knew that it would motivate me to actually work through the list faster.

So, how it is going? I feel you ask.

Not bad. I’m plowing through the items on my list. I have sent out the first copy of my newsletter, I have applied to a couple of markets for Spring, and I’m trying, really trying to be more professional and organized. I even have a folder for my receipts now!

As far as Item number 4 (Get back into teaching) is concerned. I have a couple of projects lined up. I’m considering running a summer camp this year – more on that later – and I’ve started teaching screen printing from home.
I may even, maybe, possibly, teach full time for a semester in the not-so-far-future.

My favorite is Item 5  (Learn a new craft).  I’m looking forward to that tomorrow, and the new craft will be ……………………………….drum roll……………….Book Making (no, no, not Book-keeping, I’m useless at that;I mean making hand-made books)!

I’ll keep you updated with photos of everything I make, and of course photos of the new and yummy t shirts I have been printing. Watch this space.

2013 To-do list

Making masks with my 6 year old. A highlight of 2012
Making masks with my 6 year old. A highlight of 2012

I have a feeling that this post may end up being extreeeemely boring to anyone who isn’t me. But I’m going to write it anyway, as a sort of self help exercise. So there.

I have been thinking and thinking about what I want to get accomplished in 2013, and the thoughts are so manifold, and big, and muddled up in my head, it is difficult to make any sense of them without writing them down. So I’m going to make a To-do list, and I’m going to let you all see it. That way I’ll be held accountable this year.


  1. Send that book off to a publisher!!!

    This is one I have actually made a start on! You may already know that I have been working on  a children’s picture book for a long, long time. After a lot of procrastination, and hand wringing, I have finally finished it, written a cover letter and am ready to embark on my long journey to being published.

  2. Start a newsletter

     Not  satisfied with blathering on about everything and anything on my blog, I have decided to create a newsletter. Why? Well it’s obvious isn’t it? I’m planning to accomplish so much in 2013 that I can’t possibly fit it into my blog. Hence the newsletter.

  3. Start booking spots on markets and fairs

    Last year was my first year of taking part in the local markets and fairs. Despite the early morning set ups, exposure to very angry weather, and long hours spent alone on my feet mumbling to myself, I’m going to do it again this year. I’ll be a veteran.

  4. Get back into teaching

    Aaahh teaching, how I have missed you. I miss the classroom atmosphere. I miss the playful banter with students. It’s about time I started incorporating some classes into my schedule, and got back to my first love.

  5. Learn a new Craft

    Not just any new craft. I’m going to make books. Beautiful handmade books….and then I’m going to draw on them….and then I’m going to sell them.

  6. Get professional

    Now I really mean business with this one. From photo shoots and copyrighting, to keeping accounts and setting up a proper work space, it’s time I acted like a grown up, sort of. Although sometimes it’s good not to be too professional. Trust me.


I’ll spare you all my personal goals such as ‘teaching the six year old to swim’; that would go against the grain of item number 5, and make this post far too long.

Told you it would be boring, didn’t I? But you went ahead and read it anyway. Thank you for that. I promise not to do it again.

Happy New Yarn/ Letting go

Photo Jan 04, 12 06 49 PM

Well I had really hoped to send out a blog on New Year’s day. You know the kind: full to the brim with good intentions, motivational, packed with resolutions, and maybe with a snappy pep talk included for the year ahead.

It never happened.


Well, New Year’s day turned out to be a little hectic, things were not quite running to my (uptight) schedule. One of my kids got sick towards the tail end of the day, the other one decided to swap his day with his night , and frankly, I was too tired to think about what I wanted to achieve for next year.

But time moves forward regardless, and here I am fully and happily embracing 2013.
The first lesson that I have learned is ‘Shit happens’. Yes, I know that seems cliched, but it is important to accept that sometimes things won’t run according to our plans. Kids get sick, printers break down, and snow days occur, these are things we cannot change, and there is no point in beating ourselves up about it. Which is why, instead of making a list of hard, unforgiving resolutions this year, I am embracing a new mantra :

Let it go


Sounds good doesn’t it?

Let’s be clear here, when I say ‘let it go’ I don’t mean forget about your deadlines, sit on the sofa eating bonbons, and refuse to accept responsibility for anything that happens (although that can sometimes have a certain allure to it).
I mean don’t waste time worrying about things that can’t be changed. Work around obstacles and find new ways to get things done.

One of my favorite designers, Milton Glaser said that ” We should always operate by interruption”. I like that quote, because we never work in a vacuum; interruption can benefit your work in surprising ways and shake it up a little bit. Operating by interruption, and getting things done, requires a certain type of spontaneous creativity.

On the other hand, most work requires some form of planning and I am looking forward to indulging in my favorite sort of planning – list making. Watch this space for new projects coming up in 2013.

Hope your year turns out to be wonderful!