Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year: Accountability and my word for 2017

The handsome Bleubeard, the energetic Squiggles, and I hope you are enjoying an art filled, safe, and beautiful New Year's Day.

It's once again time for my annual accountability post.  This is the one where I see how well I did the previous year, and how well I think I might do in the coming year.  If you want to see my Art 2016 wrap-up, please go here.  To see my 2016 calendar pages go here, please.

Let's begin with my word for 2016, which was Experiment.

It became especially relevant when I joined Craft Barn's alpha dictionary challenges, since I framed it to resemble how you would find it in the dictionary.

Once again, I thought long and hard to find a word that would sum up my art intentions for 2017.  And based on my accountability (or lack thereof as you will soon read), I have decided my word for this year is

I found many definitions for focus, but the ones I decided to use were:

foh-kuh s  

as a noun
1. The central point or one of attention.

  as a verb
1. To concentrate on something in particular.

2. To bring into view.

This is the first year I have created my word of the year from a photo I took along with digital letters.  It gives me hope that I can move out of the world of actual cut and paste to virtual cut and paste.  And of course, the photo is the black-nosed handsome gray guy who is the face of "our" blog.

As for accountability, let's see my accountability intentions I made on January 1, 2016, and how well I did:

1. Continue to make art that I hope some will find meaningful and show the process along the way. 
That's a no-brainer.  I've been documenting my process and products used for so long, it's habit.

Again, that's a no-brainer.  I've been documenting my process and products used for so long, it's habit.

2. Create at least one tutorial each month.
Since I'm no longer playing in several weekly challenges, I'm setting up a once monthly tutorial that I'll call Second Thursday Tutorial.  That way, I can look back on each month and make sure I've created at least ONE tutorial each month.   Don't worry.  I'm sure there will be more than that, but this way I have accountability for them, as well as a way to count them.

I was able to create 11 of the 12 Second Thursday tutorials this year.  I got so far behind creating giftable art this year, I simply didn't have time to create a dedicated tutorial in December.  But, looking back on all the tutorials I created, especially in April and November, I feel this was something I will continue in 2017.

3.  Interview one artist every three months.
This actually seems more doable to me.  That means I might be asking YOU if I can interview you sometime this year.

I admit this intention fell by the wayside, primarily because I don't have standard questions, like some interviewers.  Each person I interview gets questions specifically designed for them.  I can only say I didn't allow myself time to interview more than one person in 2016, because I hosted a six person International tip-in swap.  Although I would LOVE to host another swap in 2017, I think my best bet would be to interview four people and leave the swap for 2018.

4. Find new and better ways to integrate fabric and paper together. 
The more I expand my knowledge of both, I hope to find new and unique ways to integrate the two.

I'm not sure I found new and better ways to integrate fabric and paper, but I did a lot of sewing on paper this year.  I also made a few quiltlets for Christmas and laughingly tried my hand ONCE at free motion stitching without feed dogs that drop.

5. Dye fabric in my own different and unique way at least once each and every month.
I actually like dyeing fabric better than working with it, so I intend to create new dyed fabric each month.  If the dyed fabric inspires me, I'll even use it in an art project.  By the end of the year, I hope to have at least 12 new dyed (or painted) fabric tutorials (or at least 12 techniques) under my belt.

I seem to be batting a fat zero in my intentions.  Although I dyed fabric several times this year, including finding a way to sun dye fabric using my fluid acrylics, and dyeing using kitchen ingredients like black beans and grape juice, I didn't create 12 tutorials or dye fabric once each month.

6. Stay on top of organizing by setting one day aside each month to show at least one, probably more, organized areas, drawers, shelves, or bins.
Sharing an organized area may be just what I need once a month for What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday (WOYWW).

So what happened here, you ask?  After all, aren't you an organized person?  Well, a flood that ravaged my basement is what happened.  I was so busy trying to pick up everything before it molded, I didn't have time to share any organizing tips.  Instead, I was busy working in the entire basement, including helping to install a brand new hot water heater because the other one died due to (in my opinion) the flood.  Incidentally, I'm still working down there, going through everything to make sure there is no mold left in any of the rooms, including the walls, closets, and floor.

7.  Create at least four abstracts this year.
These actually seem doable to me.

To be honest, I completely forgot about this.  I got wrapped up in other interests, including experimenting, that this got lost in my muddled mind.

This is obviously my worst year yet.  Instead of putting a monthly pressure on me, like one dye experiment each month, I may dye two or three times in the summer, but none in the spring, etc.  And, since I hope I don't have a flood I must clean up myself (the rule is, if the flood comes from inside the home, like a leaking toilet or broken pipe, the insurance company will pay for the cleanup.  If it comes from outside the home, like the flood that ravaged the basement this year, the cleanup is my own problem), I hope to be able to devote more time to art and less time to solving home related problems.

 So let's see what I'm shooting for in 2017:

 1. Continue to make art that I hope some will find meaningful and show the process along the way.
Old habits die hard, so this one I think will be successfully accomplished.

2. Create at least one tutorial each month.
I plan to continue my monthly tutorials on the second Thursday of each month.

3.  Interview one artist every four months.
That means I need to find three unsuspecting suckers artists who I trust and will allow me to interview them.

4. Dye fabric in my own different and unique way
No timetable here.  I'll share as I make it, but I won't put pressure on myself to dye or paint fabric just to fulfill an obligation.

5. Sort, sort, sort.  Be aggressive and donate items I know I will never use. 
I started that when I cleaned the basement and threw many bags of wonderful books away.  But, I have things I will never use, like yarn that others can use.  Since my focus has changed over the years, I now want to focus on assemblages, as well as paper and sewing interests.

6. Plant a real garden this year and use some of the herbs and plants in ecodyeing.
I plan to buy some flowers this year, and although I have focused on herbs only in the past, I look forward to seeing if I can actually grow some flowers that I can use in ecodyeing.
7. Create four abstracts. 
Let's hope I don't forget this one.

8. Create ONE Christmas gift a month and several during November for AEDM.
So I don't find myself in this same predicament I did in 2016, I want to create a monthly gift and wrap it.  That way, when Christmas gets here, I'll have all the gifts I need for everyone. 

Of course, you'll have to wait till January, 2018 to see how well I did in 2017.

As always, I appreciate your continued support of my projects.  You and your visits make this all worthwhile!  Here's to a creative and focused 2017.

20 thoughtful remarks:

CJ Kennedy said...

I'd venture to say you had a successful year. No doubt you'll be successful in 2017. So happy I found your blog. Look forward to hearing and seeing your creations. Happy New Year

Cindy McMath said...

I think you did great against your list! Great idea for the Xmas gifts. Good luck with your 2017 goals my friend. Your list is very inspiring.

Valerie-Jael said...

Your good intentions list is impressive - mine is non existent. I want to throw off some shackles to free up some time and energy, but no concrete plans. Whatever you do, may it be a good year for you, and am looking forward to seeing what you make. Have you looked at your mails lately?! Have a great 2017, hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen said...

You made wonderful and inspiring art and blogging in 2016 and I am sure you will continue doing this in 2017 Elizabeth!
Your list is impressive - I am sure you will have fun with it and it will help to go with your super word for 2017 !
Wishing you good luck with all you intend to do.

Thank you for being such a lovely blogfriend!
Best for the boys and you!

oxo Susi

Meggymay said...

That is an amazing list of aims for the year, I'm sure you will achieve them all and your art will inspire us all.
Happy New Year wishes Elizabeth and to Bleubeard and Squiggles as well.
Yvonne xx
p.s. Thank you for the info about Maya Angelou and the KS connection, It makes the world seem a smaller place when I read your reply.

voodoo vixen said...

Firstly... you have no need to apologise to me for anything! Your Christmas and Birthday cards arrived before the year ended! I know, how flippin' amazing is that? LOL Thank you E for thinking of me, it is so kind. My fingers are improving all the time... I can write for a little while now... Chris did the cards which is why there is huge gaps in my sent list!
Secondly, I admire your ability to set your mind and get in and do things... you just keep going, so I see no failures in your 2016 and I truly enjoyed the swap, it was a brilliant idea and got me making things. Now I just need to get the pain in the past and make something everything day... even if it is small.
Thirdly, hugs to Bleubeard and Squiggles from Tom-Tom and Pandora!!

chrissie said...

This is an amazing idea Elizabeth and I hope you acheive what you want in 2017.
Don't be hard on youself it is such a joy to visit your blog with something different around every corner of your life

Have a great year will Be kjoining in the tea gang again when my daughter goes back home

Love Chrissie xx

My name is Erika. said...

I think you have a great list for the new year Elizabeth. I wrote down a list in my new calendar journal but one thing I discovered is my list never really changes all that much from year to year. I haven't picked my word yet, but I have that feeling of what I want to really accomplish, but haven't found the right word for that. Maybe I am unsuccessful or maybe just boring. Ha-ha! Whatever you succeed at, I do look forward to seeing your art. Happy new year! Hugs-Erika

Jeanie said...

Happy New Year, Elizabeth. New starts and what terrific goals you have on your new list -- and I love FOCUS as well. I will look forward to seeing and following as you continue your course.

But let me say with all honesty, that I think you might be being a little bit hard on yourself in terms of your 2016. I look at the volume of work you do here and I am in awe that you are so organized, so targeted, so on-time with things. And yes, life happens and when it does, we roll with it, as you have. Your volume of work -- good work, I might add -- shows how we evolve over the course of time based on how time leads us. Things move to the front (like Christmas gifts, and by the way, doing one a month is a fabulous goal and I should take that one to heart myself!).

So let me say that discovering your blog has been a treat and one that has brought joy to me personally, as have all the wonderful and supportive comments you share on the Gypsy. I thank you for that and look forward to more interaction and inspiration in 2017!

Halle said...

It's funny to look back and realize how many things seemed attainable when you had a whole year ahead of you but time just keeps speeding up! Good luck on your goals.

Krisha said...

Well, you concurred ,most of your 2016 list and that is way better than I did....LOL since I didn't even bother with a list for that reason.
This year .....well, I've been thinking about a lot of things and a list just might be called for...but we will see.
I hear GKs so I better go attend the much for just a quick minute to myself......even with their parents on scene...LOL

Divers and Sundry said...

I'm especially looking forward to your garden project and your abstracts. You've been quite ambitious in goal-setting. I'm impressed! :)

Happy New Year!

Julia Dunnit said...

No 5. I will. I will. I have to, it's friving me mad. The rest hmm, I think that the fact that you continued to be inspired and produce art last year after the flood means that the ret of the list is a giant big old're quite hard on yourself with all the intent! I love the idea of a Christmas gift a month, but I'm perfectly sure I'd have a panic attack in December and decide that nothing was good enough, or worse...forget the safe place I stashed them...ahem!
Happy happy new year friend. xxx

Darla said...

Interesting read. I think you did a lot this year even though that "lot" might not have been the items on your list. I like your word. I haven't chosen a word this year but maybe it isn't too late. I'll give it some thought.

jinxxxygirl said...

Hi Elizabeth!!

I don't set intentions or resolutions OR pick a word for the year... instead i tell myself I'm just going to be the best me i can be.. the best version of myself... All the others just seem to set me up for failure and thats no fun to do year after year... Happy New Year!! Hugs! deb

Rita said...

Whoohoo! You go, Girl! :) :)

Carol said...

I like your word ♥ Instead of a word I went with a phrase this year.
We'll see how that works out for me.
You have quite a list going there for the year and I really like the Christmas gift a month idea a lot. Would sure take a lot of that last minute pressure off.

pearshapedcrafting said...

I think you certainly did very well considering the flood in your basement and the issues you had with your computer! I love to come to your blog and be inspired by your art and I don't think I credit you nearly enough for that! As for your intentions this year I look forward to seeing more! The sorting here HAS to be done. I have lost/mislaid items that have to be found - if I hadn't got into such a pickle over not having enough Christmas cards maybe it wouldn't be so bad!! Creating Christmas gifts in advance is a good one but considering what I have just written maybe I won't do this until at least July!
Oh!…in reply to your invite to come round and help you clean your kitchen - I would be there like a shot if I could - I'm sure you know that!! Big Hugs lovely lady, Chrisx

Linda Kunsman said...

I think you were quite successful and did a great job Elizabeth! Great new word for this year. You have really good intentions and I'm sure you'll do your best to get them all completed by the end of this year. Happy new year ! said...

Elizabeth -- what delightful lists and goals and ideas! I think you did a great job in 2016 and I am looking forward to seeing all your art and interviews and tutorials in 2017. My list of what I want to do is shorter than yours -- but i am trying! Happy 2017 to you.