New Year, New Goals

I made a lot of changes in 2018. Most ended up having a very positive impact on my personal outlook, health, and art. I didn’t find much time to work on my blogs, and even less time was put into my web page, but I’m hoping to become more committed to all three platforms this year.

I have been criticized in the past by people who think you aren’t a serious blogger if you don’t produce a certain amount of content, but I don’t believe in neglecting my family for someone else’s expectations.
It can be difficult to balance my passion and drive as an artist with personal relationships and responsibilities. I don’t always manage with grace or balance, but I don’t feel compelled to meet external demands or judgments either.
We’re all on our own journey, and I know that the people who see the value in what I do support me regardless of my productivity. To those of you who support and share my work – thank you. I am grateful.

kitchen chaos

Around the House

I am embarrassed at how long it has taken me to get started working on our current house. We moved to the country 6 years ago this spring and it still looks essentially the same as the day we moved in – dingy wall paint in a cheap flat white, 1970s brown paneling and trim, yellow formica countertops, etc.

I would not have chosen to paint the walls the same color as the carpet we removed, but this became my son’s room and he really loves the color.

Thankfully, we did replace the olive shag carpet with nice laminates over a couple of years early on, but that has been the extent of our completed projects. There are a slew of half started projects that have been languishing over the years, and I have finally set a deadline and made an effort to complete them.

To be fair, we have made a good bit of progress around the yard. My husband ripped out all of the dying foundation hedge within the first couple of years, we have laid out and mulched several areas where we will plant flower beds, we installed a small area of fencing for the dogs to go outside unsupervised, and I put up a small chicken house with a fenced yard that I am expanding this year.
We have also planted native and flowering plants for the pollinators in places where major underbrush and invasive species removal is not required. It was daunting and disappointing to have to start over after having spent 7 years working on the gardens at our previous house.

lovely light

In the Studio

In 2017, I was able to expand the guest room and attic storage upstairs to create a more functional studio space. It took several months to move all of my furniture and supplies upstairs and most of 2018 to figure out how I would work in the space.

Increased storage space comes at a disadvantage sometimes. I found myself holding onto everything, even if it meant continuing to have piles that had to be moved around, or finding out of the way places to shove things. Consequently, some things I could have been using remained packed up and stacked in the space.

I spent most of 2018 reorganizing and cleaning out my studio, donating unused supplies, and recycling as much of the excess ‘stuff’ that I have accumulated over the last six years in this house. I purchased a couple of pieces of furniture for storage, and spent the end of summer and autumn culling out things that no longer served a purpose in my work. I am currently in the process of packing up and donating the remainder of unused supplies to other artists in my community. This is allowing me to make the space more aesthetically pleasing, more efficient, and less cluttered. The result has been more artwork being created in the space.

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Life Philosophy


Disconnect from distraction

Be positive

As I become more focused on my art, I find myself yearning for a slower pace and simpler existence. These are the reasons, after all, for my push to move to a rural community, put down roots and make more personal connections.

I have partnered with two wonderful creative women over the last year, who are also great friends, to work on collaborative projects, lift one another up emotionally, and help grow our personal businesses. I started travelling with another friend this year as well, and we have had some lovely experiences at art fairs and explored new communities.

Lastly, I joined a new art group that is made up of some of the most supportive women I have ever met. I launched a workshop on Positivity Journaling and have scheduled two new venues for 2019.
2018 was a great year, and I look forward to even better things in 2019.

Where are you in your personal journey?
I hope you will share your accomplishments and feedback in the comments. I look froward to sharing in your journey as well.

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2 thoughts on “New Year, New Goals

  1. Love you. You have a life time for this work. You will always be doing it anyway. I have leds time now for my writing. I write even if the clean dishes are still in the dishwaher and the crowd is piling up on the counter. My opinion is the only one that matters. If you come to my house you can see my art. I will fix you a glass of extraordinary whiskey. I will read you some poetry. I will fix you meal. I will walk you through the Salt Ponds. You won’t remember the dishes on the counter. You will remember how I loved you into beauty and blest you on your way offering come back anytime. Love and life are everything.


    1. That is absolutely right Michael and I only have friends now who understand.
      As with most things of this sort, the issues are entirely mine. I get anxious when things are messy and unfinished, but I have been teaching myself to let it go. Ironically, in the letting go, I have been accomplishing more tasks.
      I decided to just start making an effort, however small, instead of obsessing over the whole project. One weekend a month didn’t seem like enough when I set the initial goal, but I accomplished a tremendous amount in the kitchen last weekend and I already feel so much better when I walk into the room.
      In addition to scheduling a work weekend every month, I told my husband we need to start having date nights. I don’t want to be a lonely old couple bumbling separately around this big house one day because we became disconnected while we were raising our boy. In October, we went to see Dwight Yoakham up in the mountains, then got busy with the holidays and fell off track. I got us out this weekend again to see my friend’s punk band down in Athens and we had a great time. In the spring, we will start hiking again.
      2019 is going to be a great year. I hope the same holds true for you Michael. You are one of the kindest and most supportive people I know. I love your poetry and your window onto the salt ponds. You live a beautiful life and are generous in how you share it.


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