I have been in that strange in-between fuzzy space where life, work, and play have dissolved into a hot, soupy mess.
Those few days between Christmas, and the new year, are always hazy and insubstantial. I feel I should really do some work, but I also feel floppy, disoriented and overly affected by the kids being on break. My morning routine has crumbled, along with any resolve to not take another stab at that puzzle/ read a book in my pyjamas/ start my annual end of year decluttering (Yes, that is a thing, don’t judge me!). I mean, 2019 is just around the corner, shouldn’t we leave all serious pursuits until then? Fresh starts, new beginnings, and so on and so forth, ahem.
I have been so preoccupied with my upcoming fresh start that I have had to remember not to completely write off the little bit of 2018 that is still remaining, or forget about the much larger bit of the year that has passed! This is a good time to look back, and review my year, and get motivated about 2019. So let’s go …
This was the year that...
- I finally collaborated with another teacher at my Summer Camp
After being very uptight and Gollum like about my precious summer baby, I finally decided to partner with another art teacher this year. The decision was mostly fueled by a desire to include younger siblings in the camps, and slightly by the need to talk to another adult at lunchtime. My fellow teacher, Steve Loya of Splotch Monster Island fame, turned out to be the perfect collaborator. The younger campers absolutely adored him, and my fears of letting another teacher teach at my precious Noctiluna camp have been allayed. I have high hopes for the 2019 session.
- I got the go ahead to build my studio
I have been waiting a VERY long time for this. I have paid my dues, working in a room the size of a closet, printing on my dining table, painting on my bedroom floor, and washing screens in the kitchen. I don’t think my house or family can take any more of this chaos. This project was supposed to kick off in October, but a thousand niggly little things kept putting it off, so it will happen in 2019 now. Deep breath….it will happen.
- I fell deeply in love…with Denmark
This summer, we chose Copenhagen as our dream destination. My twelve year old loves Danish architecture and pastries, and the whole trip was her idea. It was the best vacation I have been on in a long time, and a great place to take kids. I fell absolutely head over heels with the place, and the people, and the culture, and the coffee. I have been insufferable ever since. My daughter has banned me from using the word hygge, and doesn’t want to hear any quotes from my stack of books about Denmark. All I have to say is this: it was a very happy place, and I have been marked by it.
- I finally bought a heat press
Okay, I know this doesn’t sound super exciting, but for me it has been life changing. I was getting worried that my right arm was getting bigger than my left from ironing shirts so much. Also, the press has drastically reduced the time I spend heat setting products. So, more time for creative endeavours, less time for Buffy reruns while ironing. You can’t win them all.
- I won an Arts Fairfax Residency
Weird story. I applied for an artist in residence grant on the day of the application deadline, just because I thought it would be good practice for future applications. I had no idea that I would actually get it! In February, I will be spending a few weeks teaching a printmaking and graphic design project to a few unsuspecting students at Glasgow Middle School, poor lambs. I’m both excited and nervous in equal measures.
- I spent a weekend alone!!!!!!!
At the start of 2018, I went to New York to check out Playtime NY, a show for children’s brands. Believe it or not, this was actually my FIRST overnight trip away from my family (my daughter is twelve years old!!!). I have friends who travel for work regularly, and friends who go on vacation alone, but I had done neither until this year. It was only one night, barely two days, but it was sheer bliss! Even the bus ride was bliss – uninterrupted reading, not having to share snacks or take a child to the bathroom. I visited galleries and museums, and walked the streets of Manhattan until my feet fell off, and I had to buy brand new feet. I’m definitely doing this again in 2019.
- I got my products into two shops
Looking back, it has actually been a pretty eventful year. I went on marches and protests, visited old friends, went to England to see my parents, worked really hard, printed more shirts than usual, did more shows than usual, got really into yoga, became the mom of a middle schooler, filled a couple of sketchbooks, wrote a lot of lesson plans, went to a few teaching workshops, listened to a lot of NPR, read a lot of books, and drank a lot of tea, and that’s only a fraction of it. I look forward to 2019, but first…..
…time to declutter.
Yes, I am a weirdo.