Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December And Year End Reflections

Although I wrote about dropping a few balls again this holiday season, there was quite a bit of successful juggling in December!  As I reflect on this past year, much of what was most important for the entire year has also turned out to be what I was best at juggling this month.

Journeying along creative pathways, both personally and professionally… 

   I was very grateful for an enjoyable, successful holiday fair at Bella’s Studio earlier this month (despite the comedy of errors which unfolded that weekend - husband out of town, child care challenges, car trouble!)  I was also so very grateful for friends coming to my rescue and helping me clear all the expected and unexpected hurdles.  Whew!

   Making time to make a special Christmas gift for our daughter was a top priority.  She had asked me for a scarf handmade with upcycled souvenir t-shirts, similar to one I made for myself with old Monterey Jazz Festival tees.  I designed our daughter's scarf with her toddler tees from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Yosemite, The Living Desert in Palm Desert and Ten Thousand Waves in Santa Fe and embellished some of the panels with sweet flowers from my button collection.  I had enough leftover scraps to make a mini scarf for her favorite “stuffie,” too!  Because sewing doesn’t come as naturally to me as collaging and papercrafting, this project was a positive way to challenge myself and work on sewing skills while creating something meaningful in the process (and whittling away at our daughter’s cluttered room!)

   I've had fun stepping into a brand new role as an after-school enrichment teacher at our daughter’s school.  I’m in the midst of an 8-week session, teaching a papercraft class for 3rd through 5th graders, and it’s such a treat to offer creative inspiration to children.  This month’s lessons included winter/holiday notecards and gift tags as well as butterfly and heart bookmarks. 


   I was thrilled when custom order opportunities arose this month with individual clients as well as a new wholesale partner, The Quail And Olive, a rustically elegant olive oil tasting room in Carmel Valley.

   Participating in a fellow blogger’s (Dawn of Candidly Clyde) ornament swap was a fun way to make another connection in this vast online world while enjoying handcrafting ornaments for my swap partner, Meagan.  We were obviously on the same wavelength as we exchanged mittens, Meagan's with a festively filled bauble and mine with a button and jingle tree which I decorated in one of Meagan's favorite holiday color combinations, teal and silver!

Healing, physically and emotionally…

   As mentioned in my last post, although improving, fatigue still hovers over me.  As I work on becoming more in tune with my body and its needs and better self-care, I’m trying to make more room in my schedule for slowing down, relaxing and sleeping, even in the midst of the busy holiday season.

   The sacredness of “me time” during CHOMP’s monthly healing art retreat was a welcome respite for my body and soul during this fast paced month.  (One of this month's directives was illustrating ourselves as a tree created upside down, then positioned right side up against a background representative of a healing environment.)

Volunteering and helping others…

   My December responsibilities in the classroom and as the 3rd grade “Picture of the Month” art docent at our daughter’s school ranged from “place value” bingo and gingerbread houses to Winslow Homer’s 19th century American art!


  I wish I had the power to banish serious challenges facing some of my loved ones, but since I’m not a “superheroine,” I’ve been trying to do my best as a mere mortal with a listening ear, an encouraging voice, positivity, healing energy, comforting pots of homemade soup and much love.

Spending time with family and friends...

   Beach walks are always on the calendar, even in months like this one when the calendar is extremely full!

Each celebration this holiday season, whether lively or low key, has been a wonderful opportunity to savor time with loved ones.

As this year comes to a close, may we each take with us into the New Year the memories, experiences, emotions and gratitude that warm our hearts and fuel our souls.