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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Look back at 2011

I don't do New Year's resolutions. I find them to be little more than yet another excuse to beat ones self up over failures that were never going to be anything more than failures to start with. There are some things I would like to do next year, but I will make no resolutions to do them, I will either get to them in the next year, or I won't. Either way I'll end up doing whatever I have the time and motivation for at the moment, and that's about as good as I can hope for.

What I have been doing for the past several years is making a list during the last week of December of my major accomplishments for that year. I find this to be much more fulfilling and inspiring than making resolutions ever could be for me. So as I look back upon 2011 with fondness and despair, join me for a look at all that I have done! Actually that would be impossible, there is no way to list all of the accomplishments for the past year, it would take years just to type out the list! So we will just be focusing on what I consider my major accomplishments for 2011.

Mother is a quilter. First and foremost, I love to make quilts. Nothing in the world is more enjoyable to me (besides my husband and kids of course!) than taking big pieces of fabrics, cutting them up into little pieces of fabrics, and then sewing them all back together again to make something new and beautiful. There is such a peacefulness, such love and pure joy that comes over me, that I just cannot do enough of it. And this year I found a whole new layer to explore in this all-consuming hobby of mine, dyeing and embellishing my own fabrics. And all of the possibilities that have come from this one simple base layer are just mind numbing in their scope for me.

So most of what I consider to be my major accomplishments revolve around my quilting, no surprise there. But this year I added a whole new “hobby” into the mix, as well with creation of “Mother”.

So I have counted 8 completed quilts (made start to finish during 2011) :

“Nine by Four” 

  “No Fences in the Jungle”

“Forever Wild and Free”

 “A Trip Around the USA”

"Waves of Happy"
“Breaking the Chains in High-Heels”

“Running Wild and Free”
Plus 1 more utility quilt I made that I don't have a picture of or a name for, it is a simple strippy scrap quilt that I actually gave to the dog when I finished it.  He loves to "help" me quilt, unfortunately he is not as helpful as he thinks he is.  So I gave him his own quilt to lay on while I work on new ones, it seems to have helped a little.

And I still have two quilts pinned and ready for quilting:

“Oriental Dreams”
  “Jungles Stones”

And I have three more quilt tops which are in progress, a scrap quilt made of my hand dyed fabrics and a landscape quilt in progress, along with this one below...

“The Journey Back Home”

 And 1 quilt top just waiting to be pinned and quilted:

“Baubles, Beads & Butterflies”
In the completion of the above mentioned quilts I have also completed my tribute to my Grandmother that I started 2 ½ years ago by making the last of the quilts for her Great-Great-Grandchildren, at least in my Mother's line of the family, which was all I ever intended to do. The ones I shipped off this year before Christmas will be the last quilts I ever give away for free to relatives (except to my own children and grand-children).

In June I started learning about the art of hand dyeing fabrics, and all of the possibilities that lie therein. Over the course of the Summer I dyed over 100 yards of fabric, mostly a ¼ yard at a time, in a rainbow of colors. I played with making batik fabrics, which was lots of fun, until it came time to get the wax back out! I am hoping my experiments next year with soy wax will alleviate at least part of that hassle. I played with the Shiva paintstiks and some dye sticks, and hope to do a lot more with them next year. 

I also started learning about the process of screen printing and hope to put some of that knowledge to work next year as well. The only problem I have is that all of these things have to be done outside. Our home is not conducive to messy or smelly projects, carpet in every room doesn't help either. Whoever thought that carpet belongs in kitchens or bathrooms obviously never lived with it for very long! Now where I live, for me there are about 4-6 months of the year that I can handle being outside for more than a couple of minutes, so needless to say my time with these pursuits is quite limited at this point. But I have been using the winter weather to learn as much as I can so that I have an even better starting point when the weather does warm up enough.

And in August, “Mother” was created. Since then I have created almost 1,000 silly pictures, and started this blog to rant at the world. I have “met” thousands of new Facebook people, and made people giggle from here to Timbuktu, and back again. I have laughed and cried and gained both inspiration and self-confidence from all of the Love I have found on Facebook.

Last Spring I reconnected with some old friends and this Fall I closed the door on the family members who care more about what strangers think than they do about the people they claim to love. I stood up for myself to them for the first time in my life, and it felt awesome! I just can't see ever going back to sitting in the corner biting my tongue, while the people who say they love me proceed to tell me how I am unworthy to even live much less have a home of my own or even raise my own children because I don't care about money as much as they do. Fuck that shit! So growing a backbone is another of my accomplishments for 2011.

What else did I do this year? Well, there was the anxiety attack that sent me to the hospital for two days, I eventually overcame that, and survived. So I call that an accomplishment. And there are all the hours I spent editing products and listings for my business and my husband's business.  I know I don't spend enough time on “work” but I did get a lot of things done this year for it.   And there is the kids, and while we probably didn't do everything we should have done this year, we did a lot.  We learned a lot, we had a lot of fun, and we are even better prepared for more fun and learning next year!

While I didn't finish as many quilts this year as I might have liked, I did spend the vast majority of my time constructively in one way or another, so I will call 2011 a year well spent.  I am certainly glad it is coming to an end, and I am hoping that 2012 will be a kinder, gentler year for everyone ...

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!