2008, a year of loss and growth

Every year I look back through my blog and write up a little retrospective. I think that it’s valuable. It usually seems like a longer time ago to me and there are always things that I have forgotten. I’m especially surprised at all the headache complaints.

In 2008, I was reeling from the loss of my furchild, Squirt, but I felt strangely freed as well. I didn’t understand it at the time, but the thing that I had dreaded most had happened, and my load was lightened. I understand better about the damage that living in a negative future can do to your psyche, and I turned my energy toward art. I learned a lot about letting go and living authentically.

So here are what I gleaned as the highlights of the blog last year.

In January 2008, Sandy was rehired. I changed medications and got on with my life, especially my creative life. I planned and explored some paths that didn’t work out, but I did begin weaving the tapestry bag.

February brought the finished tapestry bag, the beginning of the labyrinth tapestry, woven ATCs, the discovery of podcasts and free audio books, the rediscovery of discussion lists, and beginning to fix up the house.

tapestry bag finale!

In March, I was thrilled to finally earn the trust of Mama Kitty after 12 years! I got heavily into the woven ATCs. Usual garden stuff. After years of grousing, one of my major goals of replacing the SUV was completed by the purchase of a purple Honda Fit.

April 2008: “By the Sea” tapestries. After photos of the Back Forty, with my favorite photo of Mama Kitty. Obsession with the free book shelf at Ed McKay’s. A LOT of time hanging with Mama Kitty on the deck.

The Back Forty is at its most beautiful in May. I went to Art and Soul and bound my first book and carved my first stamp. Mama Kitty went home. I changed my mind – this is my favorite photo – from 2007 just seconds before she whacked the bunny. I miss my feline garden friend.

mama kitty 07 08 07

In June we took our annual week-long vacation at Lake Waccamaw, with an unwelcome wildlife encounter. Cherry picking. Heat wave from hell. Most significantly, I made my first paper with the help of Susanne.

July was all about papermaking, binding books, journaling, and spending lots of time in the studio. Said goodbye to my friend John at the celebration of his life. These artichokes, from which I would later make beautiful paper, were in bloom.

violetto artichokes

In early August we put up a gazebo with mosquito netting in the very back – a wonderful place to relax and journal nearly bug-free. Recycled papermaking, altered journals, and more small bound journals.

I actually went to Slow Food Nation in San Francisco in late August, but I killed my camera and didn’t blog about it until September. I started back to school as an art undergrad (for the third time!) but I dropped my design class because I was frustrated with the Mac and physically hurting from being on the computer all the time. My need for blogging decelerates quickly. Finished the Labyrinth tapestry.

Labyrinth

October brings another loss with the passing of Miss Peanut. I take an incredible week-long class in book arts with Daniel Essig at John C. Campbell Folk School.

Bookmaking at John C. Campbell Folk School

Naturally, as an Obama supporter I was excited about Election Night in November. Guido had dental surgery, while I had the fun of forcing antibiotics down his throat twice a day for weeks.

And I didn’t blog much in December. Did the usual holiday family stuff. Had a lot of pain problems with my hip, but my attitude is pretty good. We bought some new furniture and painted the porch. Picked up and shelled a lot of pecans. Greatly disappointed with Obama and his lack of vision for our food future, but happier than I would have been with the alternative. A pretty laid-back Christmas, all-in-all, and focusing now on 2009.

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