Celebrating 2012-- Highlights of My Year

I read Carin's post today about her creative achievements of 2012 and it got me thinking "what would be on my list if I were to make one?"  At first I thought, well, I don't have a whole lot to say, but then I thought back to all the little things I am proud of, that made me happy and experiences I had this year that were fantastic. 

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!

28.  Filled two scrapbooks with Project Life style scrapbooking!

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!!

Empire State of Mind

Love this song!

I created two artworks for Marit's Top 2000 Blog Party.  The second one is inspired by lyrics from the song Empire State of Mind by Alicia Keys.  Love the song.  Love it.

Shut Your Eyes

I created two artworks for Marit's Top 2000 Blog Party.  The first one is inspired by lyrics from the song Shut Your Eyes by Snow Patrol.

Love Snow Patrol!

A Sneak Peak...

I received a nice surprise in the mail today!

I wrote an article for Art Journaling magazine by Somerset Studio!   I'm thrilled to have four pages of my artwork in this publication.  The magazine will hit the newsstands in January. 

This was one of my favorite pages!

Giraffe Drawing

See, look.. I can draw realistically when I want to!

What's on my bookshelf?

I have a bunch of books that are in my queue of books to read!

1.  ACRYLIC REVOLUTION:  I had been wanting to read this one but never picked up a copy.  When I was at the library today, this book was in the sale shelf.  It's pretty dinged up, but still readable (and practically free).

2. Journal It!: Perspectives in Creative Journaling:  I have read a lot of reviews on various blogs about this book, so I ordered a copy for myself while I was Christmas shopping.  It's very inspirational and the artwork is very interesting.  It's a good one!

3. Lenore Tawney: Signs on the Wind: Postcard Collages Exactly what the title says it is.. collages on postcards.  Two things that I love... collages and postcards.  My husband bought this one for me for Christmas.  Thanks, Andrew!

4. Learning by Heart: Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit  I learned about this book (and I think the Lenore Tawney one) from Kelly Kilmer's blog.  I got this from a relative for Christmas!  I can't wait to read it.

5. Fingerprint: The Art of Using Hand-Made Elements in Graphic Design This is another discarded book from the library that I picked up today.  There's a lot of interesting typography, graphic design, illustrations and drawings in this book.

6. We're Birds of a Feather--- vintage kids inspirational book.  This was on the shelf next to the other ones at the library, so I grabbed it to cut up for my art journal.

From the Learning by Heart book.

From Learning by Heart

Lenore Tawney's postcard collages

charming illustrations ready to be cut out and glued in my journal

From the Acrylic Revolution book

From the Fingerprint book

If those books aren't enough to inspire you, be sure to check out the new FEATURING magazine!  I have two articles in the magazine.. one about balancing motherhood and artmaking and the other about the Featured Blogger: Ihanna.  There is some amazing artwork in the magazine and the quality of the pages are scrumptious.  The magazine ships from the Netherlands and good news-- the shipping costs have been lowered for international shipping. 

** I have not been paid to promote any of these publications.  I am an Amazon affiliate, which means if you click on the links of the books and end up buying anything I get a *small* percentage to use as Amazon store credit.. which means I can buy more books and tell you about them!  **

Fall Fearless and Fly Prompt #6 and Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

This is a perfect time for the Fall Fearless and Fly prompt #6:
Headline Prompt:  Divided by God:  What does "God" mean to you?  How do you access"God" or the divine or the sacred in your life?
Color Prompt:
Metallics - gold, silver, copper, bronze, or all of them!
Quote Prompt:
"This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.  Our own brain, our own heart, is our temple; the philosophy is kindness."  The Dalai Lama

I do believe in God and the Bible as a blueprint for how to live our lives.  I do believe that God is much greater than any of us can understand and that he reveals himself through Jesus and creation in different ways to people all over the world. 

Here are some Christmas themed art journal pages from last year!

Faith lettering... a picture for my friend's daughter

LOVE Christmas card

Postcard Prints in My Etsy Shop

I just added 5"x7" art prints in my Etsy shop.  I tried out Overnight Prints to test out their quality and I was quite pleased.  (I would definitely order from them again, although they weren't especially speedy)  The cards are thick and glossy, like a postcard. 

I was really just super excited to see my artwork in a glossy postcard format.  So fun!

You can order a set of 5 in my Etsy shop or individual cards.  They would be nice to give to a friend as an inspirational "pick me up" or you could frame them.