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18 in 18

I’ve enjoyed this challenge because it has made me move out of the usual rut; it has brought options to the front of my mind. Having said that, I was surprised at the progress I have made in some areas. So, this is what I have been up to:

Write 18 letters

I am up to 13. Only 5 more to the end of the year. Should be able to manage that.

Sketch Outdoors 17 times

Another 13. Luckily I got outdoors to sketch during the recent trip to Menindee, in the Grampians, at Balranald and at the camping ground in Copi Hollow. I must remember to pack my sketchbook next time I am out and about….and then take it out and sketch!

Visit 16 different places

This hasn’t pushed me in the way that I thought it would. I wanted to extend myself to move away from the usual. I can tick off 12, and most of the recent ones are from the trip to Brisbane (Brisbane Museum, the Town Hall) and the Balranald Discovery Centre (there’s a good coffee shop there too). I haven’t pushed myself in Melbourne. So the next few months need to be full of interesting adventures. The most interesting of the recent crop was to visit General McArthur’s suite of offices in Brisbane. It was his headquarters in WW2, and full of fascinating information about him, and Brisbane during the war. Worth a visit if you are headed that way.

Upload 15 paintings to Etsy

I was in a hiatus for quite a while with listing new things in the shop. I was making decisions about the website, and wondering whether I was going to keep the shop or sell via the website. There wasn’t a lot of activity, and so I wasn’t motivated to list. Of course we all know that activity begets activity, so not listing helped that spiral. But that’s a thought for another day. I made the decision, which maybe only medium term, to keep the store and link from the website to the shop.

Recently I have listed

and there are more in the pipeline. That’s 8 for the year.

[If you would like to keep up with what I am putting into the shop, and sometimes being the first to know, you can simply sign up for the letter from my studio. It’s free, and you even get a feather drawing.]

Walked in 14 different places

I walk every day, and even the familiar walks are interesting and constantly showing me new things. However I enjoy walking in different places too. So far I have chalked up 11 different places.

One of these was a bit of a mistake. The Fella recently bought a new car, with all the bells and whistles, including a sat nav. Not something we have used before. We were heading off to walk in the Werribee Gorge, so I put the info into the sat nav and followed instructions. We were bemused when it took us out along the Ballarat Road to Bacchus Marsh, quite a few kilometres away from Werribee. I had plunged in ‘West Werribee Gorge’, not realising I had other options. Not to worry, we still had a nice walk in the bush, and I am still to walk in the Werribee Gorge!

Go to watch 13 movies 

Up to 11! Yay!

Since I last wrote I have seen:

  • I am Tonya
  • Finding their feet
  • Death of Stalin
  • Eulogy
  • The seagull
  • and watched Brooklyn on TV

Visited 12 galleries

7 galleries so far, with a couple of ones in Brisbane. Their art gallery is a very fine one. They have ranged from a quilt exhibition in Lilydale, way out to the east of me in Melbourne, through an inner suburban one showing John Wolseley’s sublime work, to a small gallery in West Footscray (much closer to me!) exhibiting Jessie Deane’s meticulous tapestries.

Plant 11 native plants

Languishing, I am afraid. Only two planted for the year. Maybe this spring…….

Read 10 biographies or memoirs

Another one that is languishing ~ only 4. It’s not that I don’t read, it’s that I haven’t been thinking about choosing memoirs from the library. The last one was Ann Patchett’s “This is the story of a happy marriage”.

Find 9 different styles/pieces of music

6 out of 9…not bad.

Two of the latest ones are from concerts organised by my sister. (I often mention the upcoming concerts in the letter from my studio. 😉) Michael Kieran Harvey played some wonderful piano music, including a piece composed by Eve Duncan. I was delighted by the compositions of Calvin Bowman (who is playing at the next concert), especially the ones of Walter de la Mare’s poems. They touched a chord!

Bake 8 cakes or biscuits

This wasn’t the best choice, as I have been trying to keep away from sugary things! Only 2 cakes. Not sure if that is a good or a bad result! I’m going to bake this weekend….and give it away ☺️.

Paint with other people 7 times

Still sitting on 2 too. Life gets so busy for all of us.

Clean out 6 cupboards or drawers

I am slowly working my way through the boxes of books I had in storage. It’s a slow process, as I want to reread many of them before I make the decision to keep or throw! But, aside from that, which I am not counting, I have cleaned the mantlepiece in the studio, sorted out and organised my paintings and sorted my summer clothes. Halfway there, but sooooo much more I could attack!

Make 5 things for other people

Tick off 4!! Since last time I have made beeswax wraps with Mary, crocheted a rug to give to the old folks’ home and crocheted a rug for Gerry. I may even over-achieve on this one!

Have 4 short trips away

3 out of 4, so on track, but nothing since I wrote last.

Make 3 garments

1 out of the 3. In May I knitted a tunic top for myself. I was so determined to make it work that I pulled it out and reknitted it. Can I count it as two garments 😄 ?

And I have some material to make up a dress, which I am looking forward to creating next week. So next time I write I will have two made…..well, if all goes according to plan.

Go for 2 long trips

✔️ Big tick for this one, as I have been on two, to Brisbane with my Mum in August, and caravanning with the Fella over September. Go Me!!

Have one Exhibition Create a website

Yep, I changed this one. Both are designed to showcase my art, and to sell, of course. It made sense to me to change.

The website has been up and running for a month or two now. Jump over and check it out. Or jump over to let the Google bots know there is activity on the site 😘. The more clicks and searches the better. I am blogging there as well as here, but the posts are different. I’ll explain more in another post.

It’s a work in progress, and always be. Static sites are not good. But I can proclaim it as something that I have achieved this year.

What’s your biggest achievement so far?

So, overall scorecard? Going well, with a few more adventures to come over the next few months.

Remember, to find out more about my art work, sign up for the letter from my studio.


By anne54

Botanic artist

16 replies on “18 in 18”

Thank you Judy 😘 Put me down for the exhibition, as you know I’d love to go. I have just remembered the Wonderland exhibition. How could I have forgotten that? It was so well curated.


What a great year you have had! I wouldn’t worry too much about the ones you are languishing on, you’ve certainly made up for it on others! I feel like everything creative is languishing with me at the moment, this whole back to work thing is a real struggle! Maybe I should try for 19 in 19 to give me a push!


I admire anyone who works full time and manages to do even small amounts of creative work. It is exhausting, not only physically, but mentally. So just do what you can. xxx I’d recommend 19 in 19 if you could include and extend things you already do, otherwise it could get to be too much on top of working.


It is a cool challenge, and I like that it can be done over the year. And of course I like that nobody is monitoring it except me! As for the 3 garments, well, I have yet to make the dress. However, I have told so many people about it, including my Mum, that they will keep me up to the mark! The added factor is that I have some expensive linen sitting, waiting for me.
Thanks’ for visiting the website. As you know, every visit helps.

Liked by 1 person

Perhaps I should start up a “Feed the Bots” campaign! Thanks for helping to keep the little fellas happy. as for 19 in 19….I think so. I think the trick is not to take on a whole range of very new activities. I would be happy to have these again, with perhaps a little tweaking.


It certainly does give a little direction, a little push, to the year. I also like that these challenges are mine, not directed by someone else’s list. So I can make them to suit my life. If they don’t suit, like the baking one, then I can not worry about it.
And yes, the year has flown by again!


I think you’re doing great, I’ve really enjoyed 18 for 18, it encourages me but I don’t beat myself up if I don’t achieve it 🙂 I think it helps to realise just how much you achieve in a year too. Looking forward to 19 for 19!!


That sums if up perfectly, Margaret. I enjoy the challenge, but if I don’t do all on the list then I know that I have got lots of other things done. And yes, I will probably do 19 in 19 too 😋


I had selected I think mid year a couple of arty challenges, which didn’t get off the ground because I didn’t know I was going to need surgery…but my biggest challenge right now, is have a darn good sort up of “what/where/how/why” with all kinds of things…not just art!


What a nice reflection back on your year, Anne. I must say that’s a pretty ambitious list. I feel like a complete slouch. 😉 You live life to the fullest, at least from my perspective, enjoying literature, art, the outdoors, including walks and gardening. You had a good clear out this year, too which surely feels good. I for one am grateful for a certain wonderful pumpkin so I’m glad that made it on to your blog/newsletter/shop.


There is nothing of the slouch about you, Alys! Just look at those fantastic Halloween costumes you created, and everything else you do ☺️ The thing about my list is that it is made up of all the things I love to do, and want to do more of, just with a bit of direction.


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