Looking ahead in 2023

I’ve been writing this post in my head for so long, and of course when I sit down to actually write it on the computer, my mind goes blank. I’m giving myself a whole lot of slack lately, because it’s been rough. As far as this blog goes, I keep thinking that once I get my mojo back I will develop it more into my art website and archive the blog and then blog on Substack. Or archive this WordPress blog and move to Substack entirely. I played around with it yesterday and this morning some. I need to learn more about it before I make that decision.

It is always good to write up the year’s summary because I always find that I did a lot more than I thought. Or maybe it seems like it because that’s pretty much the times that I write. Here’s what I find interesting about getting those tapestries finished and ready for display and delivered – the weight of that procrastination was much, much heavier than I thought. I really want to move back to doing book arts and collage more, but I always had that damn unfinished tapestry hanging over my head. I felt like I had to work on it before I could let myself work on other projects, and what happened was that most of the time, I ended up doing nothing. Don’t get me wrong. I am pleased and proud of that tapestry. I am NOT happy that it took me almost eight years to weave and finish it. A lot of that was due to physical issues, but I could have lightened my load by getting it done more quickly when I was able.

My hope is that now that elephant in the room has been released to the jungle, I can play in the studio, maybe do some of these online classes that I bought, and banish the word “SHOULD” from my artist brain this year.

If I can get enough of a body of work together this year and highlight it on this website, maybe I can get some artist residencies after I retire in June 2024. Then I could travel AND do place-based art.

Of course, I have travel on my mind too. I’m not so sure that I’ll attend Focus on Book Arts if they have it this year. Last year I was surprised by the big increase in cost. Part of the reason I could fly to Oregon for this event was that it was always very reasonably priced. Then when they canceled it, it seemed to me that they could have sent an email saying that they needed everyone to register or it would be canceled for low enrollment BEFORE they canceled it. I don’t know what was going on behind the scenes and I know it is a volunteer run event, so I’m not mad, but I am disappointed. I am able to travel because I search out deals way ahead of time. You pretty much have to book airfare several months ahead to get a good price. If I can’t trust that they’ll have the event more than two months ahead of time, that’s a budget problem for me. Refundable fares are more expensive, and I usually go with travel insurance instead. I was also annoyed because I chose FOBA when I could have driven to Convergence which was held at the same time. However, I enjoyed Portland and lucked into getting an art class while I was there, so it turned out okay.

This experience makes me rethink the travel insurance for future trips – maybe I should spend the money on refundable airfare instead. It won’t help with getting my money back for events if something happens to make us cancel our trip on our end though.

Anyway, we are talking about going to Scotland in late May/early June this year. Sandy obviously can’t do much walking, so as long as we can take trains around the countryside, that may be our best bet for sightseeing. Scotland has gorgeous scenery and lots of trains. Then later I want to do a “girls’ trip” with my sister and a friend, and go to Scotland as well as England. Maybe Cornwall or Wales. Maybe somewhere else in Europe. My sister wants to do a river cruise, and that sounds very appealing.

I’ve been saving up my miles with United Airlines, and Sandy and I should be able to buy tickets that are very inexpensive with these miles. Then we’ll be just looking at accommodations and food and land transportation. I’ve told Sandy that he will need to pitch in more money for this trip if we go. As far as airlines go, I’ve had the best experience with United. When we got caught up in that shitstorm of canceled flights just before Memorial Day, they were very helpful and kind. It was Aer Lingus that was the problem because they shut down their customer service counter before the luggage was accounted for, and didn’t even have a sign on their office door in Boston Logan Airport!

I always have to keep in mind that Sandy is not in good health. He can totally fool you into thinking otherwise, which is great – he is not a whiner or complainer – but it is not great that he is often in denial about it. He has multiple issues that are being managed but they are not curable. Everything that I plan has to take that into account – that I might end up being a caretaker instead. Of course, I would really rather not think about it either, but that’s the way it is.

Now I’m going to copy and paste this post into Substack in case WordPress decides to eat it for Sunday dinner. It’s already given me a warning message that I am not allowed to edit this type of post. WHUT YOU MEAN, WORDPRESS? Gah.

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