Odds and Ends

18 in 18

A little behind with reviewing last year, but as they say better late……

A quick recap ~ the concept behind 18 in 18 was to choose 18 categories for 2018, then decide how many of those things you will try to complete during the year. I am surprised that I didn’t finish many of the categories, even some of the ones I thought I was getting on with. Here’s the final tally:

Write 18 letters ~ I wrote 13, and ground to a halt in September.

Sketch outdoors 17 times ~ again, I did this 13 times, and again ground to a halt in September

Visit 16 different places ~ I wanted to have this on the list to encourage me to explore a bit wider. I went to 14 new places, including places I went to while in Brisbane with Mum.

Upload 15 paintings to Etsy ~ Only 10, which at least means I created 10 things of a standard to put into the shop! [Want to see what I have been creating this year? Sign up for the letter from my studio. Or ask me in the comments to add your email address. The first one for 2019 comes out this Friday.]

Walk in 14 different places ~ and yes, I did walk in 14 places I hadn’t walked in before. Yay!

Go to 13 movies ~ I over achieved on this one! I am not sure of the final total, but it was more than 13. The reason was that I found Kanopy, a free online movie site, accessible through my library membership. Check it out.

Visit 12 galleries ~ 9 galleries, but I did visit a couple that I have filed away as possible places for an exhibition of my own.

Plant 11 native plants ~ oh dear, only 2 got planted, and they are not looking healthy at the moment πŸ˜”

Read 10 biographies or memoirs ~ I read 6. I thought I would read more about the golden age of exploration and botanic art, a period that fascinates me. As it turns out, my non-fiction interest last year was with creativity and the brain instead. Just chose the wrong topic! [Next post I am going to write about the books I read in 2018, and a mention of some of the fabulous books I have already read this year. I am off to a flying start.]

Find 9 different styles or pieces of music ~ I wanted to encourage myself to listen to more music. While I have only recorded 7 (sorry about the pun), I know that I challenged myself, and went to more live music events. So I count that one as a success.

Bake 8 cakes or biscuits ~ another poor choice, with only 3 baking sessions. It coincided with an attempt to limit the amount of sugar we eat, so my body appreciated not completing this one.

Paint with other people 7 times ~ oh dear, only twice. It was another category that I hoped would move me out of my comfort zone.

Clean out 6 cupboards and drawers ~ Yes! 6 sorted, and I feel lighter for getting rid of some of the tangles in the house.

Make 5 things for other people ~ I am pleased to say that I did this. My last one was a top that I made for my Mum. I was inspired to make it for her after the success of my blue dress.

Have 4 short trips away ~ Lorne, Ballarat, Somers x 2. Done!

Make 3 garments ~ my blue linen dress, Mum’s top and a knitted top for me. Yay!

Go for 2 long trips ~ Brisbane and Menindee. Yay again!

Work towards one exhibition ~ well, I changed this as the year progressed (my list = my rules!) to creating the website, which I did. It is still a work in progress, as you will see below, but I count that category as a success too.

I feel fine about the year. I know I was creative, engaged, interested and curious throughout the year. 2018 just panned out differently. Will I do 19 in 19? No. Many of my categories would stay the same as I want to continue to see movies, listen to music and walk in interesting places. I don’t need the challenge to do that ~ or so I hope.

I am not one to choose a word for the year, but this year a couple have chosen me ~ Completion and it’s friend Consolidation. There are too many things hanging over me, things that require completion or that need consolidation.

The website is one of these. It’s not right, especially the display of photos, and Β requires thinking about ~ new theme? tweak what I have? new site? Then there is a lot of behind the scenes stuff that baffles me. I need to get to grip with that. So consolidation of my knowledge and skills is needed, to create something that showcases my work. (Any suggestions most welcome.)

Work around the house is another. Finishing the hallway, putting on solar panels, renovating parts of the garden, clearing out more cupboards. Completing jobs.

So 2019 will be a(nother) busy year. What plans do you have?


And just before I go……

It is the 10th anniversary of the Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria. My thoughts are with those of you who experienced the horror of those fires, especially if you lost things very dear to your heart. May a gentle breeze blow through your life.


By anne54

Botanic artist

22 replies on “18 in 18”

Well I’d be impressed if I had had a list and was knocking them off at that rate. Well done you! I’ve already gotten sidetracked from my plans for this week by deciding to declutter and rezone my kitchen cupboards and counters with the help of the lovely Alys – what a marvelous amount of stuff I am sending off for new beginnings. πŸ™‚


Clearing out the Kitchen Clutter ~ Well done you! It is such a liberating feeling, isn’t it, to have clear surfaces and tidy cupboards. I think it really helps to have someone looking over your shoulder (and who better than the lovely Alys?) when you do these things. I get mired in the “I might use this one day” syndrome. Someone else says “Chuck it”!

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I tend to regard lists like this as Hope Lists rather than To Do lists, in that I hope to achieve the results but refuse to beat myself up if I don’t. And there again, I tend not to make lists like that because I know perfectly well that life and other people will intervene πŸ™‚ One thing I do Hope to achieve is catching up with friends I haven’t seen for a while. To that end, I’m looking forward to seeing you in Melbourne on Saturday 9th!


Our catch up will be great! I am hoping that the elusive Fella will be there too. I think He will have lots to talk to John about. I like your description of Hope Lists!


One of my goals last year (early 2018) was sort up the “tin shed” storage of stuff, mostly textiles but also a previous life semi-business. I didn’t get on to it at all, except to apparently take more things out there!

So the goal (2019) was to have a big sort/sift up during January.About week 3, I thought I had done enough, although the stuff I was gifting hadn’t left on their new journey… and the thrift shop stuff was still here & it’s still here, but a good reason why.

So this week is about tying up the “loose ends” righting the shed, where I removed things; making a few other things disappear – either into the now 2nd large thrift bag or as it turned out the garbage bin.

And in midst of all it all, started making small collages – with either/or fabric, threads, paper, beads & embellishments…and for some reason that has been very good idea. Much of that is because now this in 2019, I don’t have anything VIP/deadlines on my plate…I’m free to “explore” – that’s my word for this year!


Oh, I know the feeling of having things move from one area to the next. It’s the Staging Post idea of getting things out of the house ~ one step at a time.
I like that your word is ‘explore’. You certainly do that with your artistic work, as well as the world around you.


Well done, Anne! I wouldn’t even attempt a list of any sort because my life flows along and I follow where my attention goes. It brought me to Australia 35 years ago, so I’m keeping faith in that method! All the best for 2019, will follow your endeavours with interest.


I had hoped that my list in 2018 would encourage me just to meander a little. Going to different places, seeing what is there, walking and paying attention; it’s still there in my mind for this year. So maybe I will have some tiny adventures to tell you about! I hope this year is a good one for you too, and that your foot allows you to walk more freely.

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I think you’ve done great! I’ve never done a list like that–I know myself well enough to know that, if I didn’t do everything I set out to, I’d kick myself around as a failure–and who needs that?! Here’s to a happy, productive, creative 2019!


Lists can dominate your life, although I don’t beat myself up if I don’t cross off everything. In fact when I had holidays when working full time, I would make the list and then take great delight in choosing not to do things on it! I hope your year is a creative and happy one too.


Thank you Margaret. I think that’s how I look at it too ~ what I achieved rather than what I didn’t. I am looking forward to seeing your 19 for 19 list. (It would have been easier 10 years ago ~ 9 for 9…..we missed the boat there!)


I rather enjoyed my 17 for 2017 list as well as reading other people’s similar attempts. What I think is particularly interesting is seeing what other people choose to list and what they manage to achieve. I’m wondering whether I do more if I have a list… I didn’t have one last year and it was a bit of wash-out.


Interesting question….although it could have been other factors that affected your year. I think the advantage of this form of list making/goals is that you decide to do things that are a little bit of a challenge, that extend you in areas that you are already interested in. There is more self-motivation, because the targets have some from within and are already intrinsically appealing.


I admire how you had your eye on the list but enjoyed some flexibility & creavity in its execution. I like rounding up to-do’s in a loose time frame, and the sense of accomplishment ticking them off. I read very few novels last year, getting stuck on a long one I hated but perservered with until I deleted it unfinished in the dying days of 2018 and went on a reading binge. I ticked off some domestic goddess stuff… sorting clothes & paperwork, cleaning, etc. We did one and plan to do more daytrip to local places of interest and took a short roadtrip to start the year. I need to spend more time working on my Sketchbook project, and thanks to your tip about Kanopy I’ll be watching better movies… we have Netflix but you know…


We all have things we want to do more of, so I guess this concept of 18 in 18/19 in 19 etc formalises those ‘goals’ I love your idea of exploring the local area more, especially as it is such a beautiful area. And, yes, get into that sketchbook! Having said that, mine is languishing…..Kanopy is a great resource. i don’t have Netflix, but I think there would be a bigger range than Kanopy, but it’s free!


Well done, Anne! I think most of us makes wish-lists and call them something else like challenges or to-do-lists but deep down we all know it won’t be conplete. Mostly because the expectations are unrealistic. This is why I don’t do challenges like yours, I always feel like failing. And I am truely amazed with those who actually succeed! What I started this year is more like a ten-year challenge: I’m going zero waste. Many people do it within a year or two but managing a family of five made me realize it wouldn’t be fair to make this to them and myself so quickly and I would probably just fail again. Insted I give myself a LOT more time and concentrate on baby steps. So, I promise to give you an update on my challenge in ten years! πŸ˜‰


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