I'm not going to lie, this Christmas season I was not fully in the mood to celebrate the holidays. I pay a lot of attention to the news and read many of the stories that come across my way. Of course, there were the big tragedies in Newtown and the movie theater and the one in my own state at the Sikh temple.... and many more smaller tragedies that I hear about all the time. All of the bad things in the world have really weighed on my heart and I have just not felt right celebrating when the world is so broken. How can there be such evil in the world? It really has thrown me for a loop. I try to keep my blogging light and happy and positive but it just seemed like one after another this year. Because of this, it has really made think about how I treat other people and how I need to be a positive force. I need to keep perspective and not let the little things irritate me. I need to focus more on the big picture rather than the day to day. Letting things go that are really not a huge deal! We all need to be kinder to each other because we do not know the burdens another person bears. And I'm not just talking about a random act of kindness thing, but overall a shift in perspective for myself.
It's important to not take the little things (and the big things) for granted. It easy to let things slip by without really celebrating them. It's easy to focus on what you don't have or what you are not, rather than the things that you do well or the things that make you happy. I encourage you to make your OWN LIST of things that you are proud of or great memories you have from this year. Celebrate them! Embrace them and be proud of them. Carin had 60 things on her list!
Here are some of my creative and personal highlights of this year:
1. Participated in a fun online workshop from Strathmore with Traci Bautista.
2. Showed my students artworks in the Youth Art Month Show at the Hilldale Mall and the State Capitol.
3. Created some amazing collaborative canvases with my students (2 of which were auctioned off and 2 of which are hanging in my school.)
4. Conducted several fun and messy afterschool art classes for kids.
5. Went to New York in March for the National Art Education Conference and had an amazing time!
I got to hang out with some of my favorite art ed bloggers in person, and saw Peter Max and Chuck Close give speeches!
6. In January I started working with Marit and the team on a new mixed media art magazine called Featuring. The first issue came out in April! I interviewed artists and wrote 3 articles for the first issue.
7. Put out another school yearbook successfully with the middle school kids at my school.
8. In June I volunteered at the Re-Art Swap at a local art store in Madison where you can drop off unwanted supplies and then pick up new ones. Amazing! I am so volunteering again next year.
9. In June we also took a family trip (with Andrew's family) to Disneyworld! Yeah, I want to go back.
10. Had a lazy summer filled with art, friends, Daria time and relaxation.
11. In August, I wrote a lesson that was published in Scholastic Art magazine.
12. In August, I created a new logo image for our school's 30th anniversary that was printed into a big banner and used on our school t-shirts.
13. In September, I launched the Weekly Doodle-- printable drawing prompts for kids. I'm considering make some more e-packets for download.
14. Had a drawing page published in the Doodler's Anonymous Coloring Book yeah! It's so cool. The book, I mean.. my drawing is nice but the other ones are so amazing.
15. Sold a few things in my Etsy Shop!
16. Bravely experimented with glass fusing at school!
17. Got a new phone with a texting plan!! (Welcome to the year 2005, right?) And I joined Twitter. Woah! Technology overload.
18. Was in the running for the Art Ed blog of the Year with The Art of Education.. did not place in the top 10, but still honored to be one of the 20 in the running!
19. I had a few activities printed in 2 books in October. The best part of submitting to these sorts of things is that you get free copies of the book! And it looks good on your resume. Not that I am planning on ever leaving my current job but it's still always good to pursue recognition in your professional field.
20. Issue #2 of Featuring Magazine was released in the fall and I wrote 2 articles in this issue (one really long and intensive one and the other was a shorter interview.)
21. Continued to moderate the online group Artists in Blogland and continued to connect with more and more amazing, soulful and positive artists across the world. If you have not joined us there, the New Year is the perfect time to commit to making more of your own art. We have lots of fun challenges, swaps and interviews in the works.
22. Wrote an article for Art Journaling magazine by Somerset Studio which hits the newsstands any day now. I am very (humbly) proud of it! I have submitted to many, many publishers and contests this past year and received *many* rejections, but also a few acceptances. That is part of the process I have learned. Maybe some people have an easy time with it, but I am simply proud of what has been accepted. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer for a magazine as my career. Now I am simply satisfied with a few articles here and there. :)
23. My husband started his foray into the world of blogging with a Lego blog. It has been fun to share the experience of writing a blog. There is a whole community of adult Lego collectors who buy and sell sets. Very interesting.
24. Bought a binding tool to make my own sketchbooks:
25. Kept several art journals and filled a few of them!
26. Experimented with Gelli plate printing.
27. Made several mixed media collages for fun!
29. Participated in an ATC swap where I received some beautiful cards in the mail and made some to send out.
30. Read a whole bunch of inspiring books!
Well if you have read this far, thank you! I hope you will create your own list now and share it with me. Going forward 2013 seems full of possibilities. Happy New Year!!