May was a crazy month

What a crazy month it was…..

I was most impacted by my Fella being ill and then needing to be in hospital for 6 nights. He is on the mend, but recovery is slow.

He had deranged* blood tests as a result of a reaction to heart medication he had been on for a couple of years.

(* Deranged is the medical term! I love it.)

So you can see where a lot of my time has been spent — on caring and hospital visits. Extras like gardening and blogging have been way down the list of things to do. 😪 And even when I had time I found I didn’t have the mental and emotional energy. These times can be quite anxious.

Underlying these demands was knowing that my exhibition date (early August) was coming closer. I tried to find pockets of time to work on my collages. Then I was asked if I was still interested in exhibiting at my local library.

One collage in my current series of mangroves
Another in the mangroves series

Just to recap….at the end of 2019 I was asked by the Incinerator Art Gallery, a gallery run by our local council, if I was interested in putting my work in the Ascot Vale Library. Of course! Then 20bloody20 came along and the library was closed for many months. Add to the mix the liaison person left. I put the exhibition on the backburner.

It came off the backburner this month with a meeting with the new liaison person. She was wonderfully enthusiastic and wanted works to hang from mid-July to November. Fantastic, but now I really need to get going with my creations!

I have been given a little breathing space with another lockdown in Victoria. Today we found out that the lockdown has been extended from the original seven days for another seven. Not that I want this virus to be threatening us in this way, but it has given me time.

Another eventful happening was that the Fella and I got our first dose of the vaccine. I got a sticker and a lolly pop 🤗

Now it is just a matter of actually using the time…..

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 😔

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  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?

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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.