Thursday, December 30, 2010

Color Therapy Thursday--Keeping it real

I have been enjoying everyone's end-of-the-year review, seeing the quilts and other sewn items that people have made.

Here's the thing for me. 2010 was a completely low-output year for me. My friend, Sue, was sick most of 2009 and then passed away at the end of March 2010, and this year, to put it mildly but honestly, was pretty sucky for me.

I started a lot of projects:

I thought about starting many more.
In reality, I any.

There was this quilt, which was donated to a charity auction:

These two, wedding gifts:

This one for a modern quilt exchange:
And a few bee swap blocks:
But the rest of the year, I really only had the creative energy to complete some of these:

And sometimes even that really taxed my creative energy.

Have you ever had one of those years? Or even a month? It didn't come as a complete surprise to me that Mark and I seemingly sleep-walked through much of 2010. We did the same thing in 2005. I know that quilting can be a wonderful antidote to hard times. And it has been the same way for me at times. Just not in 2010. At first I kind of beat myself up for it. You know. "Snap yourself out of it. Get busy and do something. You'll feel better." This year it just didn't work.

So instead, I read countless blogs, looked at, and was inspired by, what everyone else was doing. Did I feel, dare I say it, jealous of what everyone else seems able to accomplish. I did.

I also did a lot of what I called "grief therapy" fabric purchasing. A lot.
To combat that, I gave away/donated to church quilting group/sold a lot of fabric. And tried to simplify my life in other ways. Cleared out closets. Cleaned out drawers.

By December, I literally felt myself coming out of the year's fog. Our Christmas was more focused on spending time together and making memories, something you can't begin to put a price tag on.

My downer year of 2010 has not ended on a downer note. I feel light, and light-hearted. I have looked at relationships. One in particular had suffered as a result of this year. But that too has been repaired and restored.

Yesterday I read these two posts back to back. Oh, the conflict. The joys of simplifying one's life? Yes, please. The price of fabric going up? Seriously? And I may or may not have hit the "purchase" button once or twice. But with a little more control this time. I looked around my sewing room (and office...and spare bedroom). I have stacks of really gorgeous fabric that have been waiting for me to emerge.
I hear it calling me.

And finally....finally...I am ready to answer the call.

Thank you to all my blogging friends who have sustained, inspired and encouraged me throughout 2010.

Happy Creative New Year to you all.


05 08
Jennifer said... #

It was really good to read this and see you put your year into words. I have often thought of you and how difficult this year must have been. Unfortunately, I think we all have a year like this ever so often and I wonder if the hard years make the good years that much better. I'm glad you are starting to feel more like your crafty self again.

Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011!

Jennifer :)

Andrea said... #

I can understand how you feel, about finally coming out of the fog and feeling like 2011 has more hope and creativity. It's been a difficult year for you, and I'm glad you are feeling like 2011 will be better. Grieving is something so personal, and no one can understand it best but you. But just remember, your blog is about process and your life, not just your accomplishments and finishes... I enjoy reading your blog, whatever kind of post you have.

Maggie said... #

Rainy days (and years) don't last forever and I'm with you ~ I'm more than ready to say goodbye to 2010. There is so much joy in celebrating our friendship! Rejoicing in the return of your creative energy and that wonderful energy inside that brings light and sizzle to our lives. Everything begins to look more positive and hopeful and happy. Here is to a JOYFUL 2011. luvies, Maggie

Amy said... #

I know what you are screamin' this year has been crappy for us.. more down time than "up". I am praying the new year will be better for you and your fabrics. my poor stash is in storage in kansas....Not all of us can be creative machines,enjoy the process.Amy

Unknown said... #

Love this post. It's as if you were standing by my side for the last 5 months .. I am now standing by your side ready for a better and kinder 2011. At the risk of coming over all hippy - Love and Light :)

Anonymous said... #

Sometimes the creativity flows through tough times and other times it most definitely doesn't. I'm sorry to hear that you have had a bad year but I hope the dawning of a new year brings with it fresh hopes and energies. If you haven't been hugely productive this year (I think all of your projects look beautiful) then it's because you must have needed that break and all of those gorgeous fabrics will be there when you do feel so inclined.

Wishing you all the very best for 2011 with happier times ahead x

Justine said... #

What a lovely post and I am glad to hear that you feel the fogginess of the year is coming to an end. Grief is a funny thing that nobody but you can describe, we all feel it differently.

Here's to a creative, sewy 2011.

Happy New Year, Justine xx

Crystal said... #

I have really enjoyed getting to know you better this year. I know some years are harder than others and you had such a terrible loss...well, I just hope that 2011 will be kind to us all and you especially.

I look forward to seeing your new projects and convincing you to buy new fabric when you see it on my blog. ;)

Asiyah said... #

I totally get this post. Here's to a wondrous 2011!

felicity said... #

Here's to a wonderful 2011. Thanks for your heartfelt post!

elizabeth said... #

I have had a similar year with my mom passing away in April. I started my blog in July with the hopes of giving my creativity and heart a boost. It has been a wonderful experience discovering quilting blogs like yours, and although I have spent more time looking at blogs than creating, I have high hopes for 2011! I must admit that the last few months have been tough, and I thank you for reminding me that I am not alone : )


Sherri said... #

Best wishes for a wonderful 2011...I love your honesty and the way you put this post together...definitely keeping it real...and real food for thought!

Letterpress said... #

I had a saying posted on my closet door for years (when we painted, I lost it):

Too many irons in the fire put out the fire.

I think our lives can be that way sometimes, and sadness and hopes and pressures and stress can all act as "irons in the fire," dragging us down. You are a wonderfully creative person, and just as it is important for a field to lay fallow and rest, it is important for us as well.

I'll keep reading this next year--congrats on all that you accomplished and all that you shared with us this past year!

Elizabeth E.

Marit said... #

Thank you for your honest post.
Resting and recharging one's batteries is as important as being creative and productive. I think the two of them belongs in a cycle. This can be hard for me to accept - not being productive and creative all the time. I am not good at slowing down, myself...

I wish you a happy and creative 2011!

Anne at Film and Thread said... #

Losing a friend is one of the hardest things because they are so precious to have and it is hard to find good ones. I'm so glad you did the year in review. You are a such a generous person to make so much to give away and I know you didn't even list everything you made and gave away.

I'm so glad the year is ending on a lighter note for you. Have a wonderful New Year and a great time on your memory-making adventures!

by George! said... #

Nice and "friendly" post. Here's wishing you a happier new year.

Amanda Jean said... #

i've been reading a lot of end of year posts tonight and this has to be my favorite of all. i'm glad you are keeping it real. it's good to hear. and i'm soooooo happy to hear that you are coming out of the fog and that you are feeling light hearted again. yipee! i'm so happy for you, my friend!

Terriaw said... #

What a great way to look back at a year full of ups and downs. I admire you for your outlook. It looks to me like you completed a lot last year. Sometimes completing something doesn't just give you a tangible object in the end; sometimes is a feeling or a transition or an attitude.

I do have to say I am happy we became friends in 2010. Keep your chin up and keep on keeping on. Cheers to a happy 2011!